Don Caldwell has the longest-running music production company in West Texas. In high school, he joined the band and was on his way to a career in music as a saxophone player. 1963 he enrolled in the School of Music at Texas Tech but left to play live music throughout the region.
In 1971, he opened a music store, and in 1973, Lloyd Maines began working for Caldwell in a makeshift studio. Later that year, Caldwell sold the remaining store inventory and bought a multi-track audio recorder from Norman Petty. He started Texas Soul Records, financing projects and shopping the material for larger record companies. By 1976, the studio was growing financially stable; by 1978, creative forces began to flourish.
Paul Milosevich swayed Lubbock native Terry Allen to come to Lubbock and cut a song for his upcoming album. Allen impressed with the working atmosphere at Caldwell Studios, decided to cut the entire album Lubbock on Everything there. Caldwell upgraded the studio equipment, and more artists frequented the studio. In the 1980s, the Maines Brothers contracted with Mercury Records and had several songs make their way onto the country charts while recording at Caldwell Studios.
In the 1990s, Caldwell helped create the 4th on Broadway Music Festival before revitalizing and opening the Cactus Theater in Lubbock’s Depot District. Caldwell’s mission is to “create venues that embrace West Texas talent and provide them with management.”
Don Caldwell was inducted into the West Texas Walk of Fame in 1998.