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1977 Luckenbach World's Fair

Wallace and Euna Pryor

Sound | 1977

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  •  Marcia Ball and Band 
  •  Even Steven from San Antonio on bike,  Bad McFad from Luckenbach with explosion 
  •  Marcia Ball and Alvin Crow 
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  • About the video
  • Wally Pryor Wally Pryor
  • Willie Nelson Willie Nelson
  • Guich Koock Guich Koock
  • Hondo Crouch Hondo Crouch
  • Texas Locations
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This film clip documents the 1977 Luckenbach World's Fair, held in Fredericksburg, Texas. Showcased are a number of musical acts, including a duet bashing Anita Bryant and a performance by Alvin Crow and Marcia Ball. Also highlighted are festival events such as daredevil stunts and armadillo racing. Of special note are the chicken flying races, about which Wally Pryor interviews actor and Luckenbach owner, Guich Koock. This footage also contains the 1977 country song about the tiny town "Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)" performed by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.

Known to many as the "Voice of the Longhorns," Wally Pryor served as the announcer for UT sports from 1953 until 2002. While his voice was certainly recognizable he also played an active role as a producer – for KTBC, amongst others – and regularly served as an emcee for various events. Wally regularly worked as a producer for his older brother Richard "Cactus" Pryor. The films in the Wally Pryor collection represent a range of films from home movies, to various pieces he produced, films featuring himself, and several films featuring Cactus Pryor.

Willie Nelson was born in Abbot, Texas on April 29, 1933.  He is a world renowned country music singer and musician, as well as an actor, activist, and author.   His most famous country albums include Shotgun Willie (1973), Red Headed Stranger (1975) and Stardust (1978).  Nelson popularized the “outlaw country” subgenre along with Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings, and has written some of the most famous country music songs recorded, including Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” which he wrote at the ripe age of 19, “On the Road Again,” and “Pancho and Lefty.”  His primary musical collaboration is with Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Waylon Jennings, performing as the Highwaymen, among many others.  Nelson was named the honorary chairman of the advisory board of the official music charity of the state of Texas, the Texas Music Project, for his philanthropic work in and outside the music community.  He was also inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1993 and received a 1998 Kennedy Center Honor. 
Nelson has also advocated for marijuana legalization, biodiesel alternative fuel, and is a supporter of democratic campaigns, such as Dennis Kuchinich’s 2004 run.  He also founded the annual fundraiser Farm Aid, which benefits the local, American, small farmer, and has featured multitudes of musicians of different genres.
Guich Koock, born William Faulk Koock, is a sixth generation Texan whose mother was Mary Faulk, sister of Texan author and famously blacklisted radio entertainer, John Henry Faulk. Koock grew up on 23 acres in a Victoria home just south of Austin, which his mother turned into the well-known Green Pastures restaurant in 1946. Consistent with the Faulk family's progressive values, Green Pastures was open to all races beginning on its opening day, 18 years before the Civil Rights Act. The Koock family lived above the restaurant, enjoying constant visits from friends and extended family and an ideal combination of urban and rural life as they raised animals on their 23 acre property.
In high school, Koock worked as author and folklorist J. Frank Dobie's driver. His access to Dobie influenced his intellectual interests and led to his acquaintance with many prominent Texans, including Tex Robertson, who hired him to work at Camp Longhorn. At Camp Longhorn, he befriended Cactus Pryor and Hondo Crouch, with whom he remained friends into adulthood. Koock studied history and English at Texas A&M. His Master's thesis was a history of slavery in East Texas, compiled by Koock from an extensive series of interviews with the children of former slaves in the region. Koock was later awarded a Lomax Fellowship from the University of Texas to collect Texas folklore from South Texas ranches.
In 1970, Koock teamed up with Hondo Crouch to buy the town of Luckenbach, Texas. With the help of its owners, Luckenbach became a major tourist attraction in Texas and hosted five World's Fair celebrations. It was in Luckenbach that Steven Spielberg's casting director spotted Koock and recruited him for a supporting role in The Sugarland Express (1974).
Koock spent the next two decades traveling between Texas and Los Angeles, where he perfected the part of the "good ol’ boy" in movies such as Piranha (1978) North Dallas Forty (1979), American Ninja (1985), and Square Dance (1987) and television shows such as Carter Country (1977-79), Lewis & Clark (1981-82), and She's the Sheriff (1987-89). He also made recurring appearances on Good Morning America, The Tonight Show, and The Merv Griffin Show
Koock has 3 children, Travis, Dobie, and Jennifer. He continues to occasionally appear onscreen and is currently working in green technology development with his partners.
Hondo Crouch, the self-proclaimed “Clown Prince of Luckenbach,” was born John Russell Crouch in Hondo, Texas on December 4, 1916. He earned a degree in physical education from the University of Texas. Having been an All-American swimmer there, he later encouraged the school to build the Texas Swim Center in 1975. Crouch settled into ranch life near Fredricksburg  and married Helen Ruth (Shatzie) Stieler. He continued to coach swimming, and he also wrote satirical articles for the Comfort News under the pen name Peter Cedarstacker. These “Cedar Creek Clippings” touched on a variety of topics, from politics to everyday issues in country living. 
In 1971, Crouch bought the small town of Luckenbach, Texas, where he earned his fame.  As the mayor, he presided over three people, the dance hall, and a single parking meter. He also held a variety of oddball events, including an all-female chili cook-off and an unofficial world’s fair. He also coined the town’s motto: “Everybody’s Somebody in Luckenbach.” Hondo was beloved by many, and helped revitalize the near ghost town of Luckenbach. He died in Blanco on September 27, 1976, leaving behind his wife and four children.