Terry Allen (May 7, 1943 in Wichita, Kansas) is a country music singer in the outlaw country genre, painter, and conceptual artist from Lubbock, Texas, and living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His father was Fletcher ("Sled") Allen (b. August 23, 1886 in West Plains, Missouri – October 16, 1959 in Lubbock, Texas) a catcher in 1910 for the St. Louis Browns who continued his career as a player-manager in the Texas League.
He attended Monterey High School in Lubbock, Texas. His contemporaries at Monterey High School included Butch Hancock, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely, Jo Harvey Allen and Jo Carol Pierce. Trained as an architect, he received a B.F.A. from the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. His art has been supported by three NEA grants and a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. His work Trees (the music, literary and third trees) is installed on the campus of the University of California San Diego as part of the Stuart Collection. His artwork has been featured at the L.A. Louver art gallery in Venice, California.
Terry Allen is represented by Gallery Paule Anglim in San Francisco, CA. His works are represented in the collections of many international museums including the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Nelson/Atkins Museum in Kansas City, the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, l’Espace Lyonnais d'Art Contemporain, Musee Saint Pierre, Lyon, France, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.
Terry Allen recorded eight albums during the years 1979 to 2004 and collaborated with David Byrne on the soundtrack for Byrne's movie True Stories. Allen's music is far from traditional. A quote attributed to Allen states: "People tell me it's country music, and I ask, 'Which country?'" Allmusic calls his 1979 release, Lubbock (On Everything), "one of the finest country albums of all time" and a progenitor of the alt-country movement
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