Paula is an avid music enthusiast, dancer and advocate of western swing music. She loves music of all kinds, but when it comes to dancing there's nothing like the variety and rhythm of western swing music that was made especially for dancing. She and her husband, Paul, decided to find something that was both exercise and enjoyment and also, something that they could do together after their sons left for college. Dancing filled the bill just fine. When a local dance hall closed they decided to seek out really good music to dance to. Having danced to western swing many times at the old club they felt that this music was what they would support. There wasn't many bands in their area of Texas that performed this style but, the one they had was just wonderful. They followed the band when they were in the area and helped interest other dancers in giving them a try by going out amongst them and asking them to join them when the band was in the area. The group grew ! The Jungmann's travel far and wide to take in and dance to western swing music. The German Belt of Texas has many historic dance halls where the music is frequently played and the North and West Texas Western Swing Festivals provide ample opportunties to enjoy.
You might say Paula fell in love with western swing music and began researching the history of the genre. This led her to seek a way to honor and hopefully elevate the music in the public eye. In 2008 she came upon the idea of getting the Texas Legislature to designate this Texas born music as the Official Music of Texas. She began a letter writing campaign requesting the Senator and Congressman of her area of Texas to champion her cause. It took awhile, with legislature only coming to session every two years. In 2010 Paula intensified her writing hoping that a resolution might be picked up in the 2011 session that was slated to begin on January 11, 2011. (A side note on this date is this was the 100th birthday anniversary of Thomas (Tommy) Elmer Duncan, the voice of Bob Wills greatest hits.)
She thought she had both the legislators ready to take this to their respective chambers, when the budget , as it always does in any legislative session, took precedence over other legislation. The 2011 Texas budget was a particularly tough session. Early in January, she lost the Congressman's support due to the work needed for the budget. On Feb 26, 2011 the Senator also, bowed out due to time constraints. She had to make a decision then and there as to whether she'd spend another couple of years trying to get Western Swing honored. Immediately she wrote to the Senator asking " what is it that you don't like about the request for a resolution to honor this Texas created music?" " What can I do to get you to champion this for me?" "I am not going away." "I will continue to write you". On March 7, 2011 she received a call from the Senator's Chief of Staff, saying that he would present a resolution. After, discussing the contents of the resolution, it was approved and began it's 38 steps to becoming "The Official Music of Texas" which was signed by Governor Rick Perry on June 17, 2011.
Texas is only the second State of the Union to adopt a resolution proclaiming a musical genre as their Official Music. Western Swing is the first popular music genre to be so designated. South Carolina chose the "Spiritual" as their Official Music in 1999.
On FaceBook you can find her Western Swing Fan Page, that was set up to Provide a site to talk about, listen to, and encourage participation in Western Swing Events and Music.
She is a member of the Academy of Western Artists, the Western Swing Guild, the Western Swing Dance Network and several Western Swing Societies.
Among the things that she does for this music, is ecouraging our musically talented youth to give western swing music a try. She provides a scholarship to one of the schools that promotes and teaches youngsters the skills of improvision and performance of this genre.