The "little band from Texas," ZZ Top, found nationwide fame when they released the song "La Grange" from their third studio album Tres Hombres. Billy Gibbons, Frank Beard, and Dusty Hill created a lot of buzz around La Grange, Texas, a little town about an hour south of College Station.
Gibbons, the singer and lead guitarist of the famous classic rock band, is known for his humorous storytelling abilities in song form. 'La Grange' is about a place known as the Chicken Ranch. The Chicken Ranch was a Texas brothel open from 1905 to 1973. (The inspiration behind the movie The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.) The house that sat on the outskirts of town was there to pleasure local law enforcement and politicians. It was also home of the Aggie Myth, which is no myth at all to my understanding. Thursday nights was "$8 Aggie Night," and it's where all the Aggie freshmen went to lose their virginity, more or less.
In an interview, Hill explained: "Did you ever see the movie, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas? That's what it's about. I went there when I was 13. A lot of boys in Texas, when it's time to be a guy, went there and had it done. Fathers took their sons there.
The music behind the risqué story allegedly features elements from John Lee Hookers' song "Boogie Chillen," which led to legal action by the song's publisher. American Blues Scene reports that the court ruled that the song publisher had failed to register for copyright protection in a timely manner, which meant that the elements of "Boogie Chillen" believed to be used in "La Grange" were under public domain.
The single charted at No. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and put ZZ Top on the metaphorical musical map.
ZZ Top had a long list of successes after the brothel tune. Their greatest hits include "Tush," "Sharp Dressed Man," "Gimme All Your Lovin'," "Jesus Just Left Chicago," "Just Got Paid," and "Waitin' For The Bus."
'La Grange' Lyrics:
Rumour spreadin' 'round
In that Texas town
About that shack outside La Grange
And you know what I'm talkin' about
Just let me know if you wanna go
To that home out on the range
They got a lot of nice girls
A haw, haw, haw, haw, a haw
A haw, haw, haw
Well, I hear it's fine
If you got the time
And the ten to get yourself in
A hmm, hmm
And I hear it's tight
Most ev'ry night
But now I might be mistaken
Hmm, hmm, hmm
Enjoy Country Music?
Sign up for daily stories delivered straight to your inbox.