Murder Ballads of the Texas Panhandle

My first newspaper job was as night cops reporter at the Amarillo Globe-News. Amarillo is a windswept city of cowboys, roughnecks, truckers, Baptist women with big hair and other characters. It is smack-dab in the middle of the Texas Panhandle, 25,823.89 square miles of boredom.

People deal with that boredom in different ways. Oilman Stanley Marsh 3 buried 10 Cadillacs nose-first along I-40 and called it Cadillac Ranch. Amarillo erected a monument to helium. The federal government decided it was the ideal place to assemble the nation’s nuclear weapons.

As night cops reporter in Amarillo, I got to see how others dealt with that boredom. The six songs of “Murder Ballads of the Texas Panhandle” are a mixture of true stories, fiction and yarns “inspired by true events.” But there’s a grain or two of truth in even the fictional tales.

It felt odd recording songs about the Texas Panhandle while sitting in a studio roughly 6,800 miles away in Nicosia, Cyprus, but Michalis Chrysanthou of New Music School & Recording Studios made me feel comfortable and did a great job dealing with my eccentricities and insecurities.

As always, I have to thank my wife, Sharon, for her inspiration, support and love.

“The sound is captivatingly clear and puts his stories appropriately in the spotlight.”

Mark Bennett, Terre Haute Tribune-Star


Photo: Carol M. Highsmith, Library of Congress

Murder Ballads of the Texas Panhandle
1. Romance of the Gun
2. A Cautionary Tale
3. Canadian, Texas
4. Paul Wayne Brewer’s Blues
5. The Murder of Dr. Roy and Mae Hunt
6. Guymon, OK

All songs © 2020 by David Hanners
David Hanners: Guitar and vocals
Recorded and mixed by Michalis Chrysanthou
New Music School & Recording Studios
Nicosia, Cyprus