institution: Bullock Texas State History Museum
category: Exhibition and Collection Extension
Pride and Joy: The Texas Blues of Stevie Ray Vaughan, curated by the GRAMMY Museum® at L.A. LIVE, came to Stevie’s home state of Texas in Austin at the Bullock Museum in March 2017. As with many of its borrowed exhibitions, the museum desired to create a companion media piece that complemented the show but allowed the museum to explore a fresh and locally relevant aspect of the topic under consideration.
A podcast featuring a millennial staff member of the Web and Digital team was chosen as the way to tell the story of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s impact on popular music through the eyes of someone who didn’t grow up listening to Stevie Ray or his style of music. As Evan notes in episode one: “In the months leading up to the opening of the exhibition, staff in the museum were increasingly excited. They’d swap stories after exhibition planning meetings. Everyone seemed to understand his place in music history … but, I felt a little left out, because essentially I knew nothing about Stevie Ray Vaughan.”
This journey of discovery and appreciation was designed to stand alone as a piece of evergreen content after the exhibition had closed and kick start a new podcast platform – The Texas Story Podcast – that could shift topics as required and grow as needed.
With zero budget, we felt like true starving music-makers ourselves, but had a Tascam recorder, a couple of mics and some experience writing and producing narrative sound pieces. And the narrator and co-producer of the Bullock’s first Podcast, Web and Digital Media Manager Evan Windham, had a makeshift closet in her apartment that served as the voice over recording booth.
The Museum pulled strings to set up a once-in-a-lifetime concert-going experience for Evan, and arrange behind the scenes interview sessions with those who knew and played with Stevie across the span of his too-short career. Interviewees included Stevie’s brother, Jimmie Vaughan, Whipper Layton and Tommy Shannon of Double Trouble, legendary Texas music writer Joe Nick Patoski, and many others.
The five-episode Podcast was produced in four short months and was released on iTunes, Soundcloud, and streamed through audio players on the Museum’s website. The Museum publicized it alongside the “Pride and Joy” exhibition through social channels, and each week more and more people—not only Museum visitors but people from far flung parts of the world—began to tune in.
The museum had generated create newfound relevance for the greater Texas music community through the people, places, and objects Stevie touched with his talent, and dynamic personality.