West Texas Mourns the Loss of Music Icon Don Caldwell at 79

His wife Terri wrote on social media : “It is with a shattered heart I announce the passing of the love of my life, my hero Don Caldwell. Play on my darling.” With his passing Lubbock will feel a profound loss.

Born and raised in West Texas, Caldwell’s influence in the music world began in 1971 when he created Don Caldwell Recording Studios. The studios was the cornerstone for Lubbock music production for decades. He had a goal of fostering musical talent in the community and around the world which he succeeded in.

Caldwell’s name became synonymous with most of the significant musical events in West Texas such as “4th on Broadway,” “Lights On Broadway,” and “The Buddy Holly Music Festival.” These events brought laughter and incredible music to countless attendees. Caldwell efforts help solidify Lubbock’s place on the musical map of Texas.

As the CEO of Caldwell Entertainment, he produced numerous talents, continuously contributing to the Lubbock music scene. He was more than just a planner but a gifted saxophone player and regularly graced the stage at the Cactus Theater with countless shows and events. He purchased the Cactus Theater, renovating in the early 90s which was the beginning of the revitalization of Lubbock’s Depot District.

Recently, The Cactus hosted a benefit concert on May 18 in honor of Caldwell, organized by the Lubbock music community. The event featured a silent auction and performances, with all proceeds directed towards supporting Caldwell’s medical care. The concert had a sold-out crowd. Everyone who was there had been touched by generosity to the music community. The affection and respect the music community and the city of Lubbock held for him is immeasurable.

Throughout his career, Caldwell worked with The Maines Brothers Band and Terry Allen among many other artists. The Lubbock Centennial and various other local music celebrations were also touched by his genius.

Don Caldwell leaves behind his beloved wife Terri and their three children, who, along with the broader community, mourn the loss of a true musical legend. As his wife Terri said, “Play on my darling,” Caldwell’s music and legacy will continue to resonate in the hearts of many.

The City of Lubbock released the following:

The City of Lubbock is sad to learn of the overnight passing of local music legend, Don Caldwell. Caldwell was truly a local icon, impacting the lives of many local musicians and contributing to our city’s arts community.

Mr. Caldwell served on numerous City committees over the years, including committees responsible for the production of the City’s Centennial Celebration, Walk of Fame Induction Ceremonies, as well as multiple City-funded music festivals. Caldwell himself is also an inductee on Walk of Fame as of 1998.

Don Caldwell served as the Chair of Entertainment Lubbock, a Civic Lubbock, Inc. Board Member for 12 years (from 2005-2017) and was heavily involved in both the Lubbock Music NOW and J.I. Allison House Restoration projects. Additionally, he produced the city’s 4th on Broadway celebration and is credited for spearheading the development of the Depot Entertainment District among many other lasting contributions.

At the time of his death, Mr. Caldwell was actively serving as a member of the Entertainment Lubbock and West Texas Walk of Fame Committees.

The City of Lubbock extends its sincerest heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of Don Caldwell during this time.



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