The Texas Gospel Connection to Frank Ocean’s ‘Blond’

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelSeptember 1, 2016 11:12 am

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for a Texas music update with our series Cut In. This week, writer Lyndsay Knecht examines the Texas connection to what was arguably the most anticipated record of the summer: Frank Ocean’s “Blond.” (You can read more about how the title of the album is spelled here.)

A whopping 12 songs from his latest opus are on Billboard’s Hot R&B songs chart right now.

“One of the songs from ‘Blond’ not on that list is a sparse goodbye with a voice to lean in for,” Knecht says. “It’s called Godspeed, and it features Houston gospel singer Kim Burrell.”

Ocean wrote on Tumblr that a video of Burrell singing her song “Home” in 2007 deeply impacted him. “He revered gospel musicians so much he felt intimidated by them, and she was chief among those,” Knecht says. “Also among Burrell’s fans is Stevie Wonder, who once said that when he heard her sing, he heard God.”

Dove hunting season starts in Texas today.

“We expect to see well over a couple hundred thousand in the field, chasing doves across Texas, both north and central zones,” says Shaun Oldenburger with Texas Parks and Wildlife. “In the state of Texas, we have about 350,000 dove hunters whom take about 7 million doves on an annual basis.”

But what kind of doves are we talking here?

“The two big ones are morning doves and white wing doves,” he says. “And we have a white wing population that’s really taken off in the last few years so people hunt those a lot now.”

The dove hunting season lasts 90 days this year – the longest it’s been in 80 years.

It’s been 148 days since Texas executed anyone. Fusion reports that’s the longest pause since 2008. The last person put to death was Pablo Vasquez on April 6 and since then, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has canceled at least five executions. The next one is scheduled for September 14.