Golden Triangle to Golden Record: What’s the Secret?

Bun B Museum of the Gulf Coast

We Grow Texas Tough Musicians

From UGK to Janis Joplin to ZZ Top, the Port Arthur area has produced power-packed performers from country and swamp pop to hip hop. Whatever your passion is, discover the secret behind THEIR inspiration and why it will inspire you, too!

man playing guitar port arthur texas

Through Time and Space

Why is it that even as an adult, you can’t help but max out the volume as soon as a UGK song bass-drops? Why is it that Janis Joplin can move you to tears whether she’s singing her own song or someone else’s? How come all your favorite Johnny Cash songs are actually Kris Kristofferson songs?

And of all the musicians out there, why was “Blind Willie” Johnson one of the only Americans whose song NASA launched into space to represent the gut-wrenching potential of Earth-music to alien life?
Because Texans make music that’s tough enough to outlast Time AND Space.

Raised in P.A.

Janis Joplin and UGK’s Bun B and Pimp C were all three raised in Port Arthur, Texas. The hip-hop duo met each other via a mutually broad taste for music. In the same city, 20 years earlier, Janis Joplin linked-up with the crew of offbeats who introduced her to Bessie Smith, Leadbelly, and many of the other bands and bothered memories responsible for influencing young Janis to sing the blues.
Is there more to their secret than being from Southeast Texas?


zz top in port arthur texas

Bigger in Texas

Yes, and there’s more to Southeast Texas than their secret. A lot more, and everything’s bigger here, but a good place to start digging is at the Museum of the Gulf Coast’s Music Hall of Fame. It showcases over 80 high-caliber musical legends of diverse genres. Regular people, with no inherent advantages over anyone else, were the people who made this timeless and impactful music. These trend-setting ground-breakers came from humble beginnings, and the people and places they lived around must have inspired them.

Janis Joplin in Port Arthur

How can they inspire you?

Whether your bag of tricks includes music, entertainment, sports, science, entrepreneurship, politics, education, the outdoors, all the above, or anything else, the thing that separates bad from good and good from great in any field is the passion behind it. Although separated by genre and decades, the musicians, athletes, and great minds showcased in the Halls of Fame at the Museum of the Gulf Coast all came from the same place –  Southeast Texas.

The Secret

What’s the secret that sparked the far-reaching light of these Texas stars? Visit The Museum of the Gulf Coast down in Port Arthur, Texas, to find out!

This Guy

Guest blogger Michael J. Thomas attended Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas before traveling around the country for nearly a decade as a musician, writer and chef. Reach him at

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