Loving Texas is an apolitical endeavor. Those who tout the state's virtues don't always agree on which Hill Country barbecue is best or whether an opponent should be Hooked or Gigged. But, one thing that's not controversial is just how many things there are to like about Texas. As legendary singer-songwriter Gary P. Nunn is fond of saying, if we were to list them all, "we'd be here all night long."
But, listing them out or, rather, showing them, is just what a new effort by the Texas Travel Industry Association is all about. The What I Like About Texas campaign seeks "narratives and visual contributions" from social media users to "help create an important digital history with reasons we live here, stay here, or visit here."
Something tells us it won't be hard finding willing participants to use the hashtag, #WhatILikeAboutTexas, on their own Very Texan Moments.
Inspired by Nunn's song of the same name, the What I Like About Texas campaign jumps off from the lyrics' passionate enthusiasm for all corners of the Lone Star State. Followers are asked to share photos of iconic moments, places and people that capture the state's mythic appeal.
Similar to Don't Mess With Texas, What I Like About Texas will roll out a series of videos featuring famous Texans like Nunn, of course, who launched the summer travel season with a sing-along at the state capitol in May.
Kam Franklin, Houstonian and lead singer of The Suffers, soon joined with her own spot. She likes the food, which she says is good for the soul (a subject we're guessing she, as a soul singer, knows a lot about).
The newest video features former governor and current U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. Perry likes the state's "cultural arts," he says; you can find them even outside of the big cities in places like his hometown of Round Top, population 90. That's where he and Nunn filmed his video, in the town's "a thousand and one" seat Festival Institute symphony hall.
(Perry's original hometown is Paint Creek in North Central Texas, where he was raised; he bought a home in Round Top, about 75 miles east of Austin, in 2015, during an interlude between bowing out of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign and competing on Dancing With the Stars before beginning his new gig with the Trump administration.)
Nunn first recorded "What I Like About Texas" on his 1984 album Home With the Armadillo: Live at Austin City Limits. It's a standard among fans of the particular brand of homegrown indie country music the artist and his peers refined and perfected in Austin in the 1970s and '80s.
The ebullient tune celebrates the essence of feeling young, exciting and glamorously Texan.
With lyrics conjuring nostalgic images of frosty amber bottles of Lone Star Beer, one of Nunn's longtime sponsors, as the ideal complement to a midnight burritos runs or a sun-soaked float down the Guadalupe, it name-checks the places, people and Very Texan Moments the What I Like About Texas campaign seeks from contributors.
It's clear: Gary P. Nunn knows Texas. You could go so far as to say he wrote the song on it. Well, make that songs. His catalog is full of them. That's why it seems the fitting place to start when it comes to a new effort to sing the state's praises.
Looking to snap your own #WhatILikeAboutTexas moment? We know a good place to start: