Farewell to a Honky-Tonk Hero: James White

Photograph by Paramount Theatre – Austin, TX – January 2021

I had the honor and privilege to interview Mr. James White on two occasions. I’ve been very saddened about his passing. You can feel a deep mourning in the air. Many people are sad right now, and it’s healthy & natural to grieve, but it’s also important to celebrate such an illustrious, colorful & joyous life.

I remember one of his daughters making me fried okra from the kitchen, and they weren’t even open. It was early one morning in 2019. I interviewed her dad at table B2, where Willie Nelson and his wife used to eat..She offered me a few, and I took like three little pieces of okra, and I remember she reached out and gave me a big handful and said: I know you want more than that. The fried okra was delicious! I also remember Mr. White singing songs. And he gave me one of the original vinyl records produced from back in the Day of “Where There’s A Willie, There’s a Way.”

If you want to read the interviews, they’re on the web, and I’ll share them again later when it’s appropriate.

Photos of photos, taken by Nicolette Mallow. Broken Spoke – Austin, TX.

But what I remember most… I felt welcomed, and I will never forget that feeling. I’m a misfit like many artists. And I will always remember his kindness, nor will I ever forget his family’s hospitality.

I have to admit I’ve cried on quite a few occasions about his death and thinking of his family. When mi abuelita lost her husband of 64 years, another Army veteran as well, it took a long time for her heart to heal. My heart goes out to his wife and daughters, and everyone that was part of the Broken Spoke family. I cried when I saw the gold letters outside that said, Dad. But it also made me happy to see all the flowers!

Usually, when I interview people, it’s just a one-time occasion, and then I typically don’t see them again except maybe some emails here and there. I have conducted hundreds of interviews. But I considered Mr. White a friend. I always enjoyed going to the Spoke, and I will miss seeing him there on weekends in his cowboy hats wearing his bling-bling shirts.

If you’re in the vicinity, please go out and support the Broken Spoke and the White family. Grab a hot plate, a drink (alcohol or not) and relax to some genuine honky-tonk live music.

Published by Nicolette Mallow

‡ Nicolette Mallow is an Artist: writer, dancer, vocalist, thespian, and model. Writing is Mallow’s strongest artistic skill. Internationally published in the United States and Europe, Nicolette has obtained 110+ publications thus far. Mallow has interviewed an extensive list of talent and collaborated with companies and PR teams from Texas Monthly, National Geographic, Prevention Magazine, HBO Films, The Hollywood Reporter, SXSW, The David Lynch Foundation, Cine Las Americas, The University of Texas at Austin, and more. Presently her portfolio entails 12 national awards or scholarships, including both individual and group projects. Working with Press and Publicity teams from companies like Sunshine Sachs, Fons PR, Frank PR, and CW3PR — Mallow can liaise with publicists, entrepreneurs, and their brands. Since 2005, for 16 years, Nicolette Mallow has covered hundreds of press, corporate and red carpet events as a (dyslexic) writer. Mallow has interviewed talent far beyond her years, including Jimmy Chin, Greta Gerwig, Bob Roth, Dr. Travis Stork, Joan Lunden, Larysa DiDio, Lauren Handel Zander, James White, Jay Roach, Naomi Whittel, and Roc Chen. Once, she was a public speaker for a national business conference. Her career is diverse and transcends a vast array of industries, but the focus is always on the arts. Nicolette Mallow does enjoy all forms of writing, but her favorite writing genres to create entail editorial, arts & entertainment, literary journalism, travel, magical realism, nonfiction, technical and promotional publicity. Over time Nicolette has attained Press Credentials to events like Texas Film Awards (hosted by Austin Film Society), The Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin Film Festival, Euphoria Music Festival, and The Blanton Museum of Art. She also wrote for Savannah Magazine, a radio station operated by EMMIS Communications, District newspaper, and the Thinkery (formerly Austin Children’s Museum). In her spare time, Nicolette creates a magical realism novel and turns her nonfiction memoirs into short story novellas. Obtaining two degrees from the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD), she has a Master of Arts degree in Arts Administration (a graduate degree now recognized as Creative Business Leadership) and a B.F.A. in Writing and. Born and raised in Texas and NYC—Nicolette Mallow is also a world traveler that lives for art and loves to learn. “L’art Pour L’art.”

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