Listen to Johnny Tex sing “This old Texas cowboy feels like my home state’s no longer mine. . .”
The following excerpts are from an August 17, 2006 article written by Carl Hoover, Entertainment Editor for the Waco Tribune-Herald.
Longtime songwriter Rita Jones knows that coincidence can create a song just as well as diligent discipline, so when the convergence of George Strait’s “The Seashores of Old Mexico” and the national debate on illegal immigration sparked an idea, she quickly put it to paper.
The result, the country spoof, “So Long, Texas—Hello, Mexico!,” imagines a Texas cowboy heading south of the border after illegal immigration has made his home state unrecognizable.
The Axtell songwriter, a Music Association of Central Texas Songwriter of the Year, thought it little more than a fun throwaway. Her husband, Mike, disagreed, though, and tagged it on to a demo of Jones’ Western swing song “Life’s Too Short Not To Live In Texas.”
He passed the demo on to Central Texas musician and talent promoter Johnny Bradshaw, who found the added song amusing and timely—emphasis on timely.
After younger local musicians passed on the offer of recording it earlier this spring, Bradshaw and the Joneses decided to do it themselves, securing Temple recording engineer Steve Palousek. Palousek added guitar and steel guitar to Rita’s keyboards, Mike’s bass and Bradshaw’s vocals, and “Johnny Tex and the Texicans” was born.
Bradshaw—Johnny Tex—aired the song on KBCT 94.5 FM’s local country music show, “Bryan’s Barn,” and passed a copy on to WACO 100-FM operations manager and morning personality, Zack Owen.
The song’s clean production and topical humor made it a winner to Owen’s ears. He and co-host Jim Cody have played it regularly on their morning show, to the delight of many WACO fans.
Rita Jones says she didn’t write her song to be mean-spirited and shrugs at the small bit of negative criticism. “The only people offended are those who are here illegally,” she said.