A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 24, 2006
Live Music Capital of the World (Austin nickname)

The city of Austin, Texas has called itself the “Live Music Capital of the World” since 1985, when the Austin Convention and Visitors Council used that nickname in an advertisement in Billboard magazine. Austin has many venues for music of all kinds, especially along Sixth Street.

The “Live Music Capital of the World” nickname became official when it was approved by the city council in August 1991.


Wikipedia: Austin, Texas
Austin is the capital of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County. Situated in Central Texas, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 16th-largest in the United States of America, as well as the third fastest growing large city in the nation from 2000 to 2006. As of the 2006 U.S. Census estimate, Austin has a population of 709,893. The city is the cultural and economic center of the Greater Austin metropolitan area with a population of about 1.6 million people.

Austin was selected as the No. 1 Best Big City in “Best Places to Live” by Money magazine in 2006, and the “Greenest City in America” by MSN. Also, according to CNN Headline News and travel and leisure Austin ranks #2 on the list of cities with the best people referring to the personalities and attributes of the citizens. Austin was also voted America’s #1 College Town by the Travel Channel. Austin was ranked the 5th safest city in part because annually, there are fewer than 3 people murdered per 100,000 people.

Residents of Austin are known as “Austinites,” and include a mix of university professors, students, politicians, lobbyists, musicians, state employees, high-tech workers, blue-collar workers, and white-collar workers. The main campus of the University of Texas is located in Austin. The city is home to enough large sites of major technology corporations to have earned it the nickname “Silicon Hills.” Austin’s official slogan promotes the city as “The Live Music Capital of the World”, a reference to its status as home to many musicians and music venues. In recent years, many Austinites have also adopted the unofficial slogan “Keep Austin Weird”; this refers partly to the eclectic and progressive lifestyle of many Austin residents, but is also the slogan for a campaign to preserve smaller local businesses and resist excessive commercialization.

20 July 1985, Billboard, pg. T-13, col. 1 ad:
AUSTIN, TEXAS
THE LIVE MUSIC CAPITAL OF THE WORLD
Austin Convention and Visitors Council

25 October 1985, Albuquerque (NM) Journal, “Austin Cashes In on Music Scene” (Dallas Morning News), pg. C6, col. 1:
AUSTIN, Texas—When David Lord introduced the Chamber of Commerce to Omar and the Howlers, he meant business.

In Austin, music is business, and Omar plays music. And Lord figured it was time the chamber got into the act with a half-page ad in a recent issue of Billboard magazine promoting Omar’s rock ‘n’ blues trio and the rest of the music scene in “Austin—The Live Music Capital of the World.”

“Austin is different,” said Lord, the chamber vice president responsible for a fledgling alliance between the city’s button-down business community and its laid-back music scene.

22 June 1990, Austin (TX) American-Statesman, “Letters,” pg. A10:
This is Austin, the “Live Music Capital” of the world. Let’s give every genre of music a fair chance.
TIM HAMBLIN
P.O. Box 12192

29 August 1991, Austin (TX) American-Statesman, “Busy House in Orbit takes off for Labor Day” by Don McLeese, pg. 4:
MUSIC IS OUR MOTTO: Though Austin has long prided itself on being “The Live Music Capital of the World,” a resolution being considered today by the City Council would make the designation official. The proposal was recommended by the Austin Music Commission and will be introduced by council member Max Nofziger. If the motion is adopted, Nofziger additionally suggests that the council explore using the motto on city stationery, Economic Developmental material, Convention Center materials and (budget permitting) roadway signs welcoming visitors to Austin.

17 July 1994, New York Times, pg. H28:
Austin, Tex.
(...)
This city of 500,000—with more than 100 places to hear music—touts itself as the live-music capital of the world.

Austin (TX) American-Statesman
Austin as ‘Open City’ 3
By Michael Barnes | Monday, April 6, 2009, 03:56 PM
Mustachioed former flower salesman and city council member Max Nofziger pushed through “Live Music Capital of the World.”

While the claim stuck, the trademark remains controversial because of the original per-capita-music calculations, and because, as this column has pointed out before, we don’t support a music industry. We support a liquor industry fronted by some very talented, underpaid musicians.

Nofziger’s gift has also inspired hundreds of imitators, such as, for South Austin, “Live Taco Trailer Capital of the World,” and, for downtown, “Live Wine Bar Capital of the World.” (OK, I just made those up.)

KUT 90.5 (Austin’s NPR Station)
September 21, 2016
How Did Austin Become the Live Music Capital of the World?
By MOSE BUCHELE
(...)
“I give 100 percent of the credit to Lillian Standfield for bringing it up and bringing it to the music commission,” say Nancy Coplin, the first chair of the Music Commission.

Coplin says sometime around 1991 she got a call from Standfield.

“She said ‘You know, I just drove back from a gig in Houston, and as I pulled into Austin and saw the Austin city limits sign. I thought maybe we should have something that says ‘Music Capital of Texas,’” recalls Coplin.
(...)
Eventually, they settled on “Live Music Capital of the World,” and brought it to a vote at City Hall. That means, if you look through City Council archives, you can find the exact moment in history, August 29, 1991, when Austin proclaimed itself the Live Music Capital of the World.

(Trademark)
Word Mark AUSTIN - LIVE MUSIC CAPITAL OF THE WORLD
Goods and Services IC 035. US 100 101 102. G & S: Promoting of conventions and tourism in Austin, Texas; retail store services, featuring clothing, toys, foods, home accessories, music and video recordings via a physical storefront and a global computer network. FIRST USE: 19880510. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19880605
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Design Search Code
Serial Number 75477783
Filing Date May 1, 1998
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition June 27, 2000
Registration Number 2392553
Registration Date October 10, 2000
Owner (REGISTRANT) Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau CORPORATION TEXAS 201 E. 2nd Street Austin TEXAS 78701
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL-2(F)
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Thursday, August 24, 2006 • Permalink