Billy Bob's Texas Keeps the Music Playing

Fort Worth honky tonk celebrates 28 years of cranking out country music.

Billy Bob's Texas in the Fort Worth Stockyards celebrates 28 years of business on April 1, 2009.  

Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers performed on that opening day in 1981.  Since then, BBT has become a must for almost every country music star trying to make it big.   Stars already established find time on their schedules to make it there, too.  Along the way, BBT's made it big. It's been named country music club of the year 10 times and has been featured in movies, TV shows and country music videos.

So as number 28 arrives, BBT marketing director and Cowgirl Hall of Famer Pam Minick talked with NBCDFW about what's been and what's to come. She and husband Billy Minick (BBT CEO and co-owner) are the driving force behind the club.

NBCDFW: What's planned for the 28th anniversary?

MINICK:   "I hate to say it, but with all the hustle and bustle of NASCAR, Wednesday will be a normal business day here.  I should have gotten a cake....maybe I will, just for me...haha."

NBCDFW: How does Billy Bob's Texas stay fresh and current? 

MINICK: 'There are 2 keys to our is location!   No place better than the historic Fort Worth Stockyards.  The other is "live entertainment"  and Billy (even at 70) has his pulse on the up and coming artists of Texas and Country Music.   Making young people feel passionate about their experience at Billy Bob's assures us that they will continue to be fans for the rest of their lives, we hope.   Billy says "we get em from womb to tomb"."

NBCDFW: How far in advance does it take to book concerts?

MINICK: "We normally book about 90 days out, but occasionally there is a tour building that we can book farther out than that.  The artists/management likes to make sure that whatever they book here in Fort Worth routes up with something in like Oklahoma City or San Antonio.  That keeps their travel costs down and more efficient travel plans for all the band and crews."

NBCDFW: What upcoming concerts are you most jazzed about?

MINICK: "I'm jazzed about the 2 upcoming shows in particular (but I love them all.). One is Jamey Johnson. He seems to be quite the rising star.   And at the Billy Currington concert, Billy C. has requested that we remove the tables and chairs from the showroom and make it a stage "Pit".  We are going to try it, although, there is a part of me that thinks our customers likes having a seat (and beverage service at the seat).  We can't say no to an artists request, and can't say something doesn't work if we don't try it!" 

NBCDFW: What are one or two of your memorable Billy Bob's moments?

MINICK: "Well - there are so many, beginning with the night in November of 1982 when I met Billy outside of Billy Bob's!  Next would be Garth Brooks selecting Billy Bob's as his location to announce his new Christmas Album and hisFeed the Children charity campaign (that was in the mid 90's).  He has never forgotten Billy Bob's.   Another was meeting and visiting with Ringo Starr backstage.  He is such a huge country music fan...and a collector of vintage western shirts.     These are just highlights, but there are many, many more.   Shocking to believe, but I have worked here for 20 years!!!!!"

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