James White, an Austin, Texas icon and founder of the legendary Broken Spoke dance hall passed away Sunday. He died of congestive heart failure in his South Austin home. His friend, George Strait is mourning his death.
White didn’t just open a dance hall. He gave life to a legendary venue that hosted some of the biggest names in country music. By all reports, White was one of the friendliest men to ever walk the earth. Some would say that everyone was his friend. One man certainly was. Texas native and country music legend George Strait took to Twitter today to publicly mourn the loss of an icon. More importantly, he mourned the loss of a dear friend.
George Strait is only one of many Twitter users remembering the Texas legend today. James White and the Broken Spoke touched the lives of countless country music fans and artists. In a series of tweets, Strait talks about his experience with Mr. White.
George Strait Remembers James White
James White’s love for honky-tonk music was the heart of the Broken Spoke. George Strait addressed this in his first tweet. He said that Mr. White was dedicated to keeping the tradition of honky-tonk alive. This is something that they have in common. Strait’s signature sound is a blend of western swing and honky-tonk. It was a sound that broke from trends and defined a decade.
He went on to say that some of his best memories are of playing at the Broken Spoke in the early days of his career. Before he hit it big, George Strait and the Ace in the Hole Band played White’s dance hall. In fact, he credits much of his success to the Broken Spoke.
At the same time that the Broken Spoke was hosting the then-unknown George Strait, it was also welcoming stars like Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Dolly Parton. This fact alone illustrates what James White and his venue were all about. The level of fame wasn’t a big deal. The man just wanted to host real, good, country music.
The world of country music is better because of James White. As George Strait said, his death leaves, “a deep hole in the Texas Honky Tonk world.”