Port Arthur’s Summer Play List

Two singers

Hit the Road with Tunes

What’s a summer road trip without a playlist?

Jam with some of our “locals” as you hit the road to Port Arthur, with your first stop being Museum of the Gulf Coast, to visit their hall of fame. That’s where we keep the colorful┬áreplica of Janis Joplin’s psychedelic Porsche and Tex Ritter’s flashy jacket.

Pack these tunes with ties to the Port Arthur area’s great musical legacy:

1. Me and Bobby McGee

Janis Joplin – Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose, Janis Joplin sings in this classic on-the-road song that Kris Kristofferson penned. It was released after Joplin’s death and became a No. 1 single for this born-in-Port Arthur artist in 1971. It’s actually a song about singing on the road. “We sang every song that driver knew.”

2. Chantilly Lace

The Big Bopper – J.P. Richardson is how people in Sabine Pass knew this local radio personality who started this ’50s classic about a pony-tailed girl with a wiggle in her walk and a giggle in her talk. Hellooo Baaaaaby! Richardson died in the plane crash that cut short his career as well as those of Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.

3. La Grange

ZZ Top of the beards and guitars used to play this area back in the day. This road song keeps you rolling to PA.

4. Running Bear

Johnny Preston – Two young Native American lovers are kept apart by their tribes in this song. Preston had a big hit here, penned by The Big Bopper.

5. He Stopped Loving Her Today

George Jones – This king of country used to sing on the streets of Beaumont as a kid.

What else do you like? The Port Arthur area has produced rockers such as Edgar Winter and his bluesy brother Johnny Winter; Swamp Pop sings such as Jivin’ Gene; country stars; and rappers UGK’s Bun B and Pimp C. Learn more about our musicians at Museum of the Gulf Coast.

  • Share this story!