This Week In Texas Music History: J.R. Baxter
This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll learn about a man who helped build a gospel music empire.
Jesse Randall Baxter was born in Lebanon, Alabama, on December 8, 1887. He took an early interest ingospel music and began writing hymns while still a teenager.
In 1926, Baxter joined the already successful Stamps Publishing Company, founded by Texas businessman, Virgil Oliver Stamps. The two quickly built the Stamps-Baxter Music Company into the nation’s largest gospel music publisher. As a prolific composer himself, J.R. Baxter published hundreds of his own songs, as well as others. The Stamps-Baxter Music Company sold hundreds of thousands of songbooks, hosted radio programs, and managed dozens of gospel singing groups, including the popular Stamps-Baxter quartet.
After V.O Stamps died in 1940, J.R. Baxter became president and general manager and continued to run the Stamps-Baxter Music Company from its Dallas offices until his death on January 21, 1960.
Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll meet a woman who used music to break down the barriers of racial segregation.