Billy Bob's Texas is 30 years old. The World's Largest Honky-Tonk has seen some great shows over the years
In the late 1990's - back when visiting a music store with a large selection of CDs was a possibility - I would occasionally see the "Live From Billy Bob's CDs."
I'd always wonder from afar what the World's Largest Honky Tonk was really like.
Since that point, I'd had the privilege to visit BBT twice (2002) and (2009), and it's everything I hoped it would be. A honky-tonk plus a store, mini-restaurant, mini-bull riding arena and a huge dance floor (if only I didn't have two left feet).
And the Fort Worth Stockyards - with its dedication to the historic Cattle Drive era - is the perfect setting for this venue.
As Billy Bob's celebrates it's 30th anniversary, Smith Music Group released a book to celebrate their three decades of music, dancing and good times.
The history is very interesting, and I would recommend any country music fan visit BBT at least once.
BBT opened on April 1, 1981 with a Larry Gatlin performance, but it's been anything but an April Fool's Day Joke since that point.
Rock & Roll has a million Hard Rock Cafes all across the world. This is our one gigantic answer to all of those places, minus the over-priced food.
Billy Bob Barnett founded the venue in 1981, and it was the late Rick Smith who made a huge contribution to BBT's recognition through the release of Smith Music Group's "Live At Billy Bob's Texas" album series.
BBT's biscuits and butter is obviously country music, but they've had artists from just about every venue perform there - including Roy Orbison, Ray Charles, ZZ Top, Tina Turner and Fats Domino among others.
The anniversary book highlights events year-by-year, and the performers from each passing year showcases how music has changed over the years.
The extreme popularity of Texas Country has made Billy Bob's the place to be since many Red Dirt/Texas bands consider a BBT gig as a sign that they reached a certain career benchmark.