Why you should visit Luckenbach, TX

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There’s nothing like a Hill Country getaway less than an hour away. | 📸 : @oldwestpodcast

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When you think of Texas country music cities, what comes to mind? Maybe it’s heading to the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin, or visiting the Stockyards at Fort Worth.

But there’s one town just over 60 miles from SATX that every resident of the Lone Star State needs to put on their country music road trip itinerary — Luckenbach, TX.

Today, we’re giving you a glimpse into the surprising history of this once ghost town turned country paradise (Hint: it may have something to do with a certain Willie + Waylon duo).


Boot Scootin’ Boogie this way for country-lovin’ fun. | 📸 : @colleenmichellemusic

How the town got its name 📜

  • Jacob Luckenbach (1817-1911) came to Texas in the mid-1830s and was among those who helped to win its independence from Mexico.
  • Jacob’s family was allocated 10 acres southwest of Fredericksburg.
  • During the Texas Civil War, he served in Captain Englebert Krauskopf’s home guard.
  • When the town was applying for a post office, Minna Engel selected the name of her fiancé, Carl Albert Luckenbach (son of Jacob).

Early Luckenbach 🕰️

  • After the post office was established in 1886, a general merchandise store soon followed, featuring a blacksmith shop, cotton gin, saloon, and warehouses.
  • A dance hall (Tanz Halle) also located and served as a center for social gatherings. This iconic venue still stands today + hosts various concerts year-round.

Texan Jacob Brodbeck is known as the “Father of Aviation.” | 📸 : @marcussarate

Airplanes: Texas did it first ✈️

  • In 1865, Luckenbach teacher, inventor, and musician Jacob Brodbeck built + flew what could be considered the world’s very first airplane.
  • The plane, however, could not rewind the coils fast enough in flight to keep the airship up in the air and crashed.
  • Brodbeck survived the crash, but his investors would not help him try it again.
  • While waiting to get his invention patented + seeking new investors, Brodbeck was mugged and robbed of all his airplane diagrams.
  • It wasn’t until 15 years later that the Wright brothers got their airplane off the ground.

The song that changed everything 🎶

  • Waylon Jennings’ 1977 hit, “Luckenbach, Texas (Back To The Basics Of Love),” can be considered what catapulted the town into the country paradise that it has become.
  • During Waylon’s time in Nashville recording, Willie Nelson dropped by unannounced. Willie ended up recording the last verse of the song and even added a few lyrical changes.
  • The song was was received with incredible acclaim — making Billboard history with the first single to debut in the top half of the country chart (soon after claiming the No. 1 spot for six straight weeks).

Lucken’ for love? Why not make it official with a smooch? | 📸 : @ournotso_perfectlife

Spend a day like “Waylon and Willie and the boys”

Luckenbach has no shortage of events with live music performances hosted almost daily at The Historic Dancehall.

Here are some events to look out for:

  • Thomas Michael Riley Music Festival | Fri., June 10 + Sat., June 11 | Noon-Midnight | $35+ | Join this two-day country music extravaganza with local artists + vendors.
  • Waylon’s Birthday Bash | Sun., June 12 | Noon-5 p.m. | $10 suggested donation | Celebrate Waylon’s with a fundraiser for diabetes that supports the Good Samaritan Center of Fredericksburg.
  • Randy Rogers Band | Sat., June 25 | 7-11 p.m. | $35+ | Have a good ‘ole Hill Country time with special guests William Beckmann + Kin Faux.

Check out the calendar to see the full list of performances.

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