Broken Spoke honoring its late owner with free show Thursday

Austin

The late James White points to a picture he took with Bob Wills inside the Broken Spoke’s restaurant when White booked Wills to play the honky tonk in 1966. (KXAN Photo/Jody Barr)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — “He built it. He named it. He made it legendary!”

That’s what the event poster says as one of Texas’ most renowned honky-tonks is throwing a party in honor of its late owner Thursday.

Broken Spoke founder James M. White died aged 81 in January, and the Austin entertainment icon’s life will be honored from 8 p.m. to midnight at the venue, located at 3201 S. Lamar Blvd.

It’s a free show featuring several acts including Alvin Crow, Dale Watson, Weldon Henson, Derailers, Tylor Brandon, Pauline Reese, Wagoneers, Monte Warden and many others, organizers said.

White opened Broken Spoke in 1964, and even late into his life, he’d still be around the dance hall helping greet patrons and making sure everyone was having a good time.

White had said the Broken Spoke hosted more than 20 members of the Country Music Hall of Fame. One of his daughters, Ginny White-Peacock, told KXAN after his death that “God put him on this earth to have him entertain people and make them feel welcome.”

“He said he wanted to build a place like no other, where people could come and have a good time and listen to country music,” she recalled of her father. “And after he built it, he named it the Broken Spoke.”

White died Jan. 24 of congestive heart failure. His funeral was held a week later at his Hill Country ranch and he’s buried at Oak Hill Cemetery.

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