This Week in Texas Music History: Oscar Julius Fox
This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll learn about a classically-trained musician who was best known for his cowboy songs.
Oscar Julius Fox died on July 29, 1961, in Charlottesville, Virginia. Born in Burnet County, Texas, on October 11, 1879, Fox went to Zürich, Switzerland as a teenager to study piano and violin. He returned to Texas in 1902 to become choirmaster at Galveston’s First Presbyterian Church. In 1904, he moved to San Antonio, where he directed several choral groups. Despite his classical training, Fox became famous during the 1920s for arranging and publishing a number of traditional cowboy songs, including “The Old Chisholm Trail” and “The Cowboy’s Lament.”
Oscar Julius Fox’s efforts to popularize the songs of working ranch hands helped spark a national interest in cowboy music that would lead to a boom in Hollywood westerns during the 1930s and 1940s.