James White, owner and founder of Austin’s legendary Broken Spoke, laid to rest Sunday


Family members of James White, the owner of Austin honky tonk the Broken Spoke, updated the marquee sign in front of the venue to commemorate his life. White passed away on January 24, 2021 at the age of 81. (KXAN Photo/ Andrew Choat).

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Services for the legendary owner and founder of Austin’s Broken Spoke dance hall, James White, were held Sunday in the icon’s honor.

Family members, friends and community members shared memories of White, and he took his last trip by the dance hall to the tune of country music.

“The constant theme from all the posts on Facebook was James was so friendly…nice…funny… honest…honorable…and loving.. if those are adjectives used to describe someone than they did something right,” said Ginny White-Peacock, his youngest daughter. “And my dad did a whole lot of right.”

His services were held at his ranch in the Hill Country and was buried at the Oak Hill Cemetery.


James White died last Sunday, Jan. 24, of congestive heart failure at 81 years old.

He had recently dealt with an illness and returned home from the hospital.

White’s dance hall, dreamed up by him and finally realized, brought in some of the most decorated and well-known stars, from Dolly Parton to George Strait.

“He made everyone feel special and loved,” said Ginny. “One of my greatest accomplishments is nothing I did in particular, it is being James and Annetta’s daughter.”

White’s shining moment, which he claims put the Broken Spoke on the map, was when he got Bob Wills to walk through his dance hall’s doors in 1966.

People stopped by the Broken Spoke all day last Sunday to drop off flowers, leave notes and pay their respects to White and his family.

Many, including state and local leaders, musicians and venues also sent their heartfelt messages on social media.

Ginny thanked the community at the memorial service Sunday for their prayers and kind words.

“I’ll always be daddy’s little darling,” she said. “I’m going to miss him so much, he was my bestest friend and one of my biggest champions and I’m determined to honor him and make him proud.”

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