Beautiful Texas

As played by Milton Brown and the Musical Brownies from the Texas region

Waltz in G

From the Texas and Oklahoma Collection

2 files for this tune:

Melody-Only Transcription (PDF)


An old 78 RPM record digitized and hosted at the Internet Archive


I first heard this tune at the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park, which is ironic because it was written by the only person to beat LBJ in an election. At that park, visitors are given a CD that narrates the auto tour of LBJ's ranch. This is one of the few songs on that CD, and I found it rather appealing.

This song was written by W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel, a musician, businessman, and politician. Sheet music of Beautiful Texas for piano and voice can be found at the website of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Pappy O'Daniel served as governor of the state of Texas from 1939-1941 and as one of Texas' U. S. Senators from 1941-1949. It was in this senate election that O'Daniel (a conservative Democrat) beat Johnson (a liberal Democrat), the only time that Johnson ever lost an election.

To my ears, O'Daniel's two bands, the Light Crust Doughboys and the Hillbilly Boys, are at a crossroads of fiddle styles. They played both Western Swing and what we would now call Old Time music. This music was promoted as "good ole Mountain Music played by a real hillbilly band," and these bands played many old time tunes, so I do think their material is applicable to this site.

Although this tune was first recorded by Pappy O'Daniel and the Light Crust Doughboys, I could not find their version online with the fiddle part intact. If anyone reading this has it, please let me know. This transcription is from Milton Brown and the Musical Brownies' cover of Beautiful Texas.

Don't play this tune too fast, and try to play it as smoothly as possible.

This tune is a member of the following groups:

Western Swing

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