Early Texas Bandstands
Texas Historical Marker

This bandstand, successor to earlier ones in Cuero, is a replica of the first one erected in this park -- used for concerts, patriotic meetings, bazaars, ice cream socials, political rallies, street dances. Cuero musicians won renown as official band for the internationally famed "Turkey Trot," founded 1912 and opened that year with a parade led by Governor Oscar B. Colquitt. The trot, a showing of Thanksgiving birds prior to shipment, used music on its programs.

Before Anglo-American colonization, Spanish troops at various presidios had marching bands. But on the frontier, most music was for dancing, and was played on violins, guitars, or some improvised instrument such as a plow point. Settlers loved their "tunes. " When the Texan Army went into battle at San Jacinto, April 21, 1836, it moved to the music of "Will You Come to the Bower?" -- played on a drum and fife.

In the 1840s when instruments arrived with the household goods of hundreds of European settlers, excellent bands were organized, and bandstands were erected for their performances. More than 200 local bands originated in Texas in the 19th century. At dedication of the new state Capitol in Austin, 1888, many city bands played for the celebration.

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