Descriptive Summary

The journals Music City Texas and 3rd Coast Music were published in Austin by John Conquest from 1989 to 2013. The complete run of the publication is available below.

Biographical Sketch

"Roots" music and the singer-songwriter stylings that encompass blues, country, bluegrass and folk traditions have long found a home in Central Texas, where Austin has claimed for itself the title of "Live Music Capital of the World". One of the primal forces in that diverse movement was John Conquest, whose collection is now available to scholars through the Crossroads of Music Archive (CoMA).

Born in England, John Conquest followed the piper to Austin and launched his journal Music City Texas in 1989 to document the burgeoning live performance industry—especially the alt-country and singer-songwriter genres. A token of his respect for West Texas acts is found in the first issue: Jo Carol Pierce on the cover, Dossier #1 devoted to Charlene Hancock, editorial mentions of RC Banks, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Ponty Bone, Joe Ely, Jesse Taylor, Angela Strehli, Flatlanders and Texana Dames.

In 1997 the journal, distributed by subscription and through record stores, was renamed 3rd Coast Music. Except for special print editions, after 2013 3rd Coast Music was published in electronic .pdf form. Conquest was respected widely as a straight-talking promoter, perceptive if ascerbic music critic and historian.

In 1999 Conquest created the monthly FAR Chart (short for Freeform American Roots) to survey air play of these folk records by radio disc jockeys. His "NotSxSW" events were produced as alternative, unsanctioned showcases during the South by Southwest festival every March at the G and S Lounge in Austin. Both the FAR Chart and NotSXSW have survived Conquest’s death on September 30, 2016, at the age of 73.

Scope and Content

The John Conquest Papers revolve around his work as a music critic and historian centered in Austin, Texas. The collection includes a full run of his publications, related periodicals, research materials, music artifacts and posters, and extensive recordings in a variety of analog and digital media. By permission of the estate, the entire run of Music City Texas and 3rd Coast Music is being scanned and will be available soon as searchable digital files. The collection is in good condition, except as noted, and is part of the Crossroads of Music archive.

Related Material

John Conquest, Papers, 1922-2016

Keith Ferguson Papers, 1951-2008

Carmen Ford Papers, 1974-2006

Tommy and Charlene Hancock Family Papers, 1939-2011

Kerrville Folk Festival Records, 1958-2014

Christopher J. Oglesby Papers, 1969-2015

Kimmie Rhodes Papers, 1954-2018

Jesse "Guitar" Taylor Papers, 1970-2005

Texas Heritage Music Foundation Records, 1973-2015

Explore our other collections and activities at the Crossroads of Music Archive Web site or follow us at our CoMA Facebook page

Recent Submissions

View more