By Will McClure
The 87th Texas Cowboy Reunion is just around the corner with the residents of Stamford ready to welcome visitors to join them in celebrating the Texas cowboy. Over the many years of the TCR, there have been established many traditions that still continue to this day and have helped make the TCR a must-attend event. Over the many different events and guests of the TCR, one performer stands out as Jody Nix will be making his 31st straight appearance at the TCR, dating back to his first TCR event in 1986. An always-popular attraction, Nix and his band, the Texas Cowboys, have always loved returning to the TCR to perform each and every year at the place where Nix said that he really got his start after doing music on his own after performing in his father's band since he was only eight years old. Now, with the TCR approaching, Nix was able to spend a bit of time discussing the TCR and what it means to return to Stamford each year.
Nix began his career in music in 1960, joining his father, Hoyle Nix, in his band playing drums at the age of eight. He soon began playing the fiddle at the age of 11 and then began singing at 16. After 25 years of performing with his father, Nix found himself taking the lead after his father passed away in 1985. It was around that time that Leon Rausch and the Texas Panthers, who had performed for the TCR for several years prior, announced that they would no longer be performing. As the new leader of the Texas Cowboys and performing a few smaller events, Rausch suggested to Nix that he should play at the TCR. Reaching out to TCR Dance Chairperson Jim Astin, who still serves in this role, Nix and the Texas Cowboys found themselves on the schedule to perform all four nights of the 56th Texas Cowboy Reunion. Bringing a Western swing style popularized by Bob Wills in the 1930s which boasts a big band with a Western sound, Nix proved to be popular with the rodeo crowd his very first year, leading to over a decade of performing each night of the rodeo until newer acts would be brought in to perform on separate nights. However, Nix continued to be on the schedule as he would continue to come back each year.
Ever since that first year at the TCR, Nix said that it became an event that he looked forward to each year as it was one of the bigger places that helped him get his start, allowing him to grow as a performer and build a long and lasting friendship with Jim Astin over the years. When he comes to Stamford for the TCR, Nix said that it is always a great, fun atmosphere as visitors come to celebrate cowboy traditions and end the nights with good music and dancing. Although he and his band only perform one night of the rodeo, Nix said that they are always ready to perform more than one night if asked, helping to make sure that visitors have a good time and enjoy themselves. However, Nix still enjoys being able to go to the rodeo itself and enjoy the festivities with others.
Over his 32 year career on his own, Nix said that he has been able to cover a lot of ground performing all over Texas and the United States, even representing Texas in Washington, D.C. However, Nix said that he never takes anything for granted and that God had given him his talent. In addition, Nix said that it would not be possible without the hard work of the fellow members of the band, who also try to have a little fun at the same time. Nix said that he has been able to do what he loves and play music for 57 years in July when he first began with his father. With his 65th birthday this weekend on June 25th, Nix said that he sees no sign of slowing down now and is always happy to be able to play good music and receive a great response.
All in all, Nix said that it feels good to be back playing at the TCR for the 31st year in a row and is very appreciative of the warm and welcoming response from the people of Stamford each year. He ended by saying that the rodeo is always a fun time for him whether enjoying the festivities or playing the double fiddle to get people out on the dance floor. Ultimately, Jody Nix said that he and the Texas Cowboys will always continue to work hard and do what they do best, but still have some fun along the way.
Jody Nix and the Texas Cowboys will be performing Friday, June 30th at 9:30 pm after the conclusion of the rodeo performance for the evening. So wear your dancing shoes and come on out for a good time and some Western swing!