Two Texas legends get official markers
Two of Texas’ greatest musical legends have received permanent markers in their respective home towns, signs that share their legends with visitors. Bluesman Sam “Lightnin'” Hopkins received an official Texas State Historical marker in Houston’s Third Ward, while legendary rock and roller Doug Sahm got a permanent marker atop the hill named after him in Austin.
Hopkins, who died in 1982, is only the second Texas blues great to get a marker – his mentor Blind Lemon Jefferson has one near the presumed site of his grave in Wortham, Texas. Lightnin’ is of course the seminar guitar-playing bluesman who influenced such greats as Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. His marker weighs more than 75 pounds and stands about six feet tall. It is located on the grounds of Project Row Houses in Houston’s Third Ward (near the intersection of Dowling and Francis streets), where “The King of Dowling Street” spent most of his time.
Meanwhile, friends and family of the late Sir Douglas Sahm gathered in Butler Park to unveil a permanent marker that resides atop Doug Sahm Hill. Shawn Sahm of the Texas Tornados and Shandon Sahm, Sir Doug’s sons, were joined by Austin artist Kerry Awn, who designed the marker, and a large crowd to pay tribute to Doug Sahm, the singer/songwriter who died in 1999. Sahm led the Sir Douglas Quintet in the mid-1960s, then had a fruitful solo career before organizing the Lone Star supergroup Texas Tornados around 1990.
Now that some of Texas’ legendary musicians have been honored in their home state (Stevie Ray Vaughan has a statue in Austin’s Auditorium Shores park), one can only wonder how long it will take these worthy musicians to find a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
YouTube: Lightnin’ Hopkins historical marker dedication