To Whom It May Concern:
This might not be the usual way to be evaluated for consideration as “Texas State Musician.”
However, I have had nearly all of my success by doing things in the way that seemed, at the time, the only way to get them done—most of the time taking a different path than might be expected.
I intended to create a page with videos, links, articles and quotes, in one neat, orderly one-stop. Life, especially pandemic life, has interfered with that goal! The timing with my St. Edwards University college classes, my daughter’s 18th birthday, three charity recordings and videos that are due Friday, and a webinar talk to thousands of Google employees have made it impossible to compile and implement a separate webpage with all of the features I would have liked to showcase.
It would be one of the great honors of my life to hold the title of Texas State Musician. Having been a musician, songwriter and entertainer for 45 years, I have stated in interviews for the entirety of my career that if not for my native Texas upbringing, I am quite sure I wouldn’t have followed this calling that has brought me unimaginable success. The death of Jerry Jeff Walker a few days ago has brought the past rushing to the present as I listened in tribute to his body of work—much of the soundtrack to my youth.
My musical DNA is completely infused with Texas music. The Vaughan brothers, Stevie Ray and Jimmie, gave me support and encouragement. Eric Johnson sat me down and showed me guitar technique. Doug Sahm gave me my first professional stage appearance, inviting me to sit-in with his band in 1976 at the Rome Inn. Antones, Soap Creek Saloon, and the Armadillo World Headquarters were my stomping grounds as a teenager. From Jimmy Reed to Bob Wills, from Buddy Holly to Roky Erickson, I felt wrapped in the fabric of Texas music, even while searching other cities for inspiration and opportunity. I taught my short-lived London band ZZ Top songs and returned from England armed with a new sound. In 1978, I started the Violators, the very first new wave/punk band in Austin. We launched a vibrant and celebrated scene that lasted well into the 1980’s. I could not leave Texas behind after moving to Los Angeles in search of fame and fortune either: my first band to sign a record deal was The Textones. And when the Go-Go’s—the band that enabled me to make music history—began to work less, I started the Bluebonnets. I moved this band to Austin 14 years ago and we still maintain a presence in the music landscape.
Perhaps these sections from my book “All I Ever Wanted,” released in April, 2020, best describe some of the impact that growing up in Austin, Texas had on my musical life.
Kathy Valentine achievements:
- A member of the history-making Go-Go’s—the first and only all-female band that had a number one record. The Go-Go’s have been cited by countless artists, publications and music writers as one of the most influential bands of the 1980’s.
- Wrote many of the Go-Go’s hit singles including “Vacation,” “Head Over Heels” and “The Whole World Lost its Head” and Can’t Stop the World” featured on Go-Go’s debut album, one of only 24 debut albums in rock history to go to number one.
- Nominated for a Grammy as best new band with the Go-Go’s.
- Inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame in 2015
- Penned acclaimed memoir “All I Ever Wanted: A Rock n’ Roll Memoir in 2020
Charity and Activism (Recent)
- Featured performer on “Walk With Me Austin” to benefit Health Alliance for Austin Musicians
- Featured performer on “Sweet Dreams” to benefit The Miraculous Love Kids supporting Afghani Girls efforts to learn guitar and partner with Western musicians
- Featured performer on 2020 HOME Benefit (Housing Opportunities for Musicians and Entertainers)
- Featured Performer for virtual 2020 Library Foundation Gala