Tommy and Charlene Hancock Family Collection

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Descriptive Summary

The Hancocks are a fundamentally influential family in the West Texas music community. Known in music circles as the "Godfather of West Texas Music," Tommy Hancock was born and raised in Lubbock, Texas. Prompted by his grandmother, he began taking classical violin lessons. During World War II, he served as a military police officer and paratrooper. After the war's end, Hancock returned to Lubbock and joined the fiddle-driven swing ensemble called the Roadside Playboys. The group hired a female singer named Charlene Condray, born in Morton, Texas, who would later become Tommy's wife. After operating and performing at the Cotton Club, the musical family moved in 1970 from Lubbock to a cold-water cabin with no electricity or phone in Questa, New Mexico. They began touring under the name of The Supernatural Family Band. Together with their children, Conni, Traci Lamar, Joaquin, and Holli, who all learned music by "practicing on the job," their group was as much inspired by Timothy Leary and the Guru, Prem Rawat (Maharaj Ji) as by Bob Wills.

The Hancocks were influential role models to many celebrated Texas musicians, including Buddy Holly, Joe Ely, Butch Hancock (no relation), Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Jesse Taylor, and the Maines Brothers Band. Moreover, in a time of significant social change in which the arts—particularly popular music—figured greatly as both record and agent of historical events, the Hancocks were always ahead of the curve in both the development of their music and in the way which they organized their lives. In 1988, with daughters Conni and Traci, Charlene formed The Texana Dames and toured across the United States and Europe. Eventually, they stopped touring and settled in Austin, Texas, where much of the family resides. Tommy, a notorious barefoot dancer known as Tom X, published his book Zen and the Art of the Texas Two-Step in 1998.

Charlene and Tommy were inducted into the West Texas Walk of Fame in 2012.


Communities in this Community

Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
  • Photos of the Historic Cotton Club Located in Lubbock, Texas.
  • Connoisseurs of Hillbilly swing, a country band in Lubbock, Texas. Led by fiddler and singer Tommy Hancock, the group was the house band at Lubbock’s Cotton Club from the 1940s into the 1960s.
  • The band consisted of members of the Hancock family, including Tommy Hancock, his wife Charlene, and their children, with other cousins and family friends involved at various points.
  • Austin, Texas band, formed around 1988 by sisters Conni Hancock and Traci Lamar with their mother Charlene Hancock.