This paper critically listens to the Oral History of the Texas Oil Industry archives, a concatenation of slightly drawling white oilmen recorded in the mid twentieth century. The uniformity of the authorial voices in this archive helps to construct a monolithic white historiography that sanitizes collective memory in Texas. The archive offers insight into the sonic qualities of power in Texas as it is mediated through an idealized Texan identity via accent. In an effort to unsettle the authority of this totalizing Texan identity and its voice, this paper also listens to the history of Creole music as it migrated into Texas and transformed in contact with the state's oil industry. Placing these two different vocal histories together, one self-assured and one characterized by stretching its own limits, interrogates how we listen to the voice in history, attuned to sonic and vocal notations of power as it has alternately been enjoyed or endured.

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