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Long Live the Longneck!

Singer Michael Murphey raises a long neck on stage

MARCH 1 – 31, 2015

Lone Star Beer district manager JERRY RETZLOFF moved to Austin in the early 1970s with the task of reinvigorating the brand’s declining sales. Retzloff quickly saw that a new culture was being formed in Austin from the blending of the hippies and the rednecks at venues such as the Armadillo World Headquarters. Retzloff grew a beard, began wearing a cowboy hat, and was soon in the thick of this transformative time. He deepened his longtime  friendship with Willie Nelson and other leaders of the progressive country scene as he promoted Lone Star Beer and its signature longneck bottle.

Retzloff’s efforts included commissioning one-minute radio spots that featured songs that mention Lone Star Beer; producing the Lone Star Cross Country Music Show; working with artists on poster and print advertising tying brand into the visual landscape of Austin; and generally making sure that Lone Star was on the scene in music, film, radio, and print. This exhibition features materials from Retzloff’s extensive personal collection, donated to the Wittliff Collections in 2014.

Above: Singer Michael Murphey raises a long neck on stage