Earl Keen has been on the country music scene since 1984, recording 18 albums and having several huge hits under his belt. He is a legend among Texas country music stars, and his appearance at Rodeo Houston will definitely bring a Texas flavor to the city’s biggest event. So, to get you ready for his rocking performance in March, here are five things you may not have known about Robert Earl Keen.
1. His younger sister introduced him to the Houston scene.
Robert Earl Keen had a number of great influences in his life, but none more so than his younger sister, Kathy. According to an interview with Lone Star Magazine, Keen said that she introduced him to the city's music scene by taking him to the local bars.
2. He’s a Hall of Fame songwriter.
For the past 35 years, Robert Earl Keen has been supplying great Texas Country music to the world. All of his songs come from him, and for that, the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame inducted Earl Keen in 2012. Joining him in that class were fellow legends Lyle Lovett and the late Townes Van Zandt.
3. Before he got into country, he was a fan of English rock.
You may think that Robert Earl Keen was a fan of country music all his life, and you’d be mostly right. One of his influences was Willie Nelson. But, few know that he was also a fan of English rock, most notably the Cream, which featured future singer/songwriter legend, Eric Clapton.
4. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English in college.
Robert Earl Keen went to college at Texas A&M University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1978, It was also at Texas A&M where he began to formulate his legendary songwriting, starting with writing bluegrass and folk music with his college buddies.
5. He’s a native of Houston.
Playing at Rodeo Houston has always been a hallmark of Robert Earl Keen’s career. Why? Because he’s from Houston. Born on Jan. 11, 1956, Earl Keen is a Houstonian through-and-through, and he still lives there to this day. So, playing at Rodeo Houston for Earl Keen is like playing in front of friends and family, because all of Houston could very well be considered friends and family.