Michael Corcoran

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Journalist Michael Corcoran sits down with us this week. We’ll be talking with him about his new book, All Over the Map: True Heroes of Texas Music (University of N. Texas Press, June 2017), that’s been called “a beautiful waltz across Texas.”

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Michael Corcoran’s first book, All Over the Map: True Heroes of Texas Music (University of Texas Press, 2005), is a study of 32 Texas music figures, some obscure, some well-known. Now, some dozen years later, Michael has overhauled the entire book, released by University of N. Texas Press, also called,  All Over the Map: True Heroes of Texas Music. However, as Texas Monthly warns, “Don’t call it a reprint: the second edition …….  Not only revises every chapter of the original 2005 volume, it includes new entries on Janis Joplin, Freddy Fender, King Curtis, and a dozen other luminaries.” D.J. Stout and Pentagram designed the reborn edition, with photographer Scott Newton providing portraits.

Michael Corcoran has been a music critic since age 19, beginning with Sunbums in Honolulu, followed by San Francisco’s East Bay Express, Austin Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, and Austin American Statesman, among others. He’s also written for Texas Monthly, Rolling Stone, Creem and Spin, and served as contributing editor for National Lampoon.

Michael was named “Writer of the Year” for the Cox Newspapers chain. Other awards include “Best Entertainment Feature,” AAFSE awards, “Best Feature Story,” Texas APME, and Da Capo “Best Music Writing” series for 3 straight years.  He’s currently researching and writing a book on 1920’s Texas gospel greats Arizona Dranes, Washington Phillips and Blind Willie Johnson.  Michael also writes on sports, music, popular culture, true crime, and more. He lives in the Austin area.


Editorial Reviews—    All Over the Map: True Heroes of Texas Music (University of N. Texas Press, June 2017)

“Corcoran’s book is the work of a rock and roll detective . . .” —Peter Stothard, The Times of London

All Over the Map is indispensable for anyone interested in Texas music or Texas history.” —Eddie Wilson, founder of the Armadillo World Headquarters

“Factor in an amazing selection of archival photos–several of them not heavily circulated before, like a teenaged Stevie Ray Vaughan, and a shot of Don Walser and his band onstage and sporting Stetsons nearly scraping the venue’s impossibly low ceiling–and you’ve got a Texas-themed book that is essential reading whether you’re a Lone Star fanatic or just a standard-issue music geek.” —Blurt Magazine

 “A compelling summary of the breadth and depth of Texas music and a fascinating survey of stories and personalities.”—Robert Hardy, author of A Deeper Blue: The Life and Music of Townes Van Zandt
“Corcoran is masterful at incorporating personal narrative into reportage in a way that is both engaging and informative.”—Cathy Brigham, co-editor of Handbook of Texas Music

All Over the Map tells the story of Texas music that needed to be told, as broad and deep, dark and quirky as the state itself. These are the compelling stories of the artists and individuals who created a musical cultural that defies the usual stereotypes.” —Terry Lickona, producer, Austin City Limits

“[Corcoran] profiles 42 Texas acts from, well, all over the state: Janis Joplin and Gatemouth Brown in East Texas, Geto Boys and DJ Screw in Houston, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Butthole Surfers (from 1986) and Calvin Russell in Austin. It’s sharp, informative stuff from a guy who well and truly loves this state.” —Austin American-Statesman

“[Corcoran’s] reverence manifests for characters, stories, and cultural consequences surrounding the art form. . . . [Makes] the reader want to immediately set his or her ears upon their music. . . . Other music history books read like Wikipedia entries by comparison.” —Austin Chronicle

ABOUT  All Over the Map: True Heroes of Texas Music (University of N. Texas Press, June 2017)

A lavishly illustrated collection of forty-two profiles of Texas music pioneers, most underrated or overlooked, All Over the Map: True Heroes of Texas Music covers the musical landscape of a most musical state. The first edition was published in 2005 to wide acclaim. This second edition includes updated information, a bonus section of six behind-the-scenes heroes, and fifteen new portraits of Lefty Frizzell, Janis Joplin, and others, spanning such diverse styles as blues, country, hip-hop, conjunto, gospel, rock, and jazz.

D.J. Stout and Pentagram designed the reborn edition, with photographer Scott Newton providing portraits. Michael Corcoran has been writing about Texas music for more than thirty years, for the Dallas Morning News and Austin American Statesman, as well as in such publications as Texas Monthly and Spin. These pieces are based on his personal interviews with their subjects as well as in-depth research. Expertly written with flair, the book is a musical waltz across Texas. — University of N. Texas Press

For more information on Michael, as well as best-of lists, histories, articles, and “Corki-pedia,” head over to MichaelCorcoran.net. You can stay up with him on Twitter @michaelcorcoran.