Joe Gracey, a pioneering figure on the Austin and Texas music scene, died Thursday (Nov. 17) in Houston. He was 61 and had battled cancer since the late 1970s. He moved to Austin from West Texas in the early 1970s and became a leading proponent of the new “progressive country” music movement as a disc jockey at radio station KOKE-FM. He also served as rock critic for the Austin American-Statesman and was the original talent coordinator for Austin City Limits. After encouragement from Cowboy Jack Clement, he also opened his Electric Graceyland Studios, where he recorded a number of Texas artists, including Stevie Ray Vaughan and Willie Nelson. He was married to singer Kimmie Rhodes and played bass in her band. He also wrote extensively about food and was a contributor to Saveur magazine.