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A Good Long Drive

A Good Long Drive
Fifty Years of Texas Country Reporter

The true story of how a Dallas TV reporter accidentally spent his life sharing the stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things

Series: Charles N. Prothro Texana Endowment

September 2021
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248 pages | 6 x 9 |

In 2021, Texas Country Reporter celebrates its fiftieth season on the air. Broadcast every week on stations across Texas, it focuses on “ordinary people doing extraordinary things.” And at the center of it is Bob Phillips, the show’s creator and host—an erstwhile poor kid from Dallas who ended up with a job that allowed him to rub elbows with sports figures, entertainers, and politicians but who preferred to spend his time on the back roads, listening to less-famous Texans tell their stories.

In this memoir, Phillips tells his own story, from his early days as a reporter and his initial pitch for the show while a student at SMU to his ongoing work at the longest-running independently produced TV show in American television history. As we travel with Phillips on his journey, we meet Willie Nelson and former Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry; reflect on memorable, unusual, and challenging show segments; experience the behind-the-scenes drama that goes on in local television; witness the launching of an annual festival; and discover the unbelievable allure of Texas, its culture, and, especially, its people. Spanning generations, A Good Long Drive is proof that life’s journey really is a destination unto itself.

  • Prologue
  • Part One: Only the Beginning
  • Part Two: Achieving the Dream. Almost.
  • Part Three: The First Years of Fifty
  • Part Four: A New Beginning
  • Part Five: Settling in for the Long Haul
  • Part Six: Stories from the Back Roads
  • Acknowledgments
  • Photo Credits

Bob Phillips is the host of Texas Country Reporter, a half-hour television show that is syndicated across Texas, and the author of several books related to the stories told on the show.


“Reading this book is like riding in the van with Bob and the crew of TCR on their way to another surprising story. It’s the perfect behind-the-scenes companion to one of the best TV shows in Texas.”
Nolan Ryan