Notable Faces From Denton

  • Maren Morris
  • Midlake
  • Sarah Jaffe
  • Eli Young Band
  • Dr. Phil (McGraw)
  • Sam Bass
  • Don Henley
  • Roy Orbison
  • Jordan Malone
  • Johnny Quinn
  • Larry McMurtry
  • Thomas Haden Church
  • “Mean Joe” Greene
  • Norah Jones

University of North Texas alumna Maren Morris released her third full-length album, Live Wire, while she was still attending UNT. She was crowned the 2017 Academy of Country Music’s Female Vocalist and she was also recently awarded a Grammy for Best Country Solo Performance for “My Church.”


Midlake is an indie rock band that began when Jazz students from the University of North Texas came together to create their unique sound in 1999.

Recently Midlake released their 4th album, Antiphon, and while touring opened for Pearl Jam.

Calling Denton home is a bit of an understatement.  The band opened a bar, Paschall Bar, conveniently located close to their recording studio.

This Denton singer/songwriter is taking over the indie-Rock scene.  With four albums and a recent performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live under her belt, you can also hear her vocals in “The Blue Umbrella”, the short film shown before Disney Pixar’s Monster’s University.

Cracking the Top 10 has not changed the four fraternity brothers who have been best friends, a second family really, since they met at UNT more than a decade ago.

Best known as Dr. Phil, this American television personality, author of 5 #1 best sellers, psychologist, and  television host, earned his M.A. and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of North Texas.

When he had fully exploited his horse known as the Denton Mare, winning many horse races in North Texas, Sam Bass tried herding cattle.  However gambling drove him down the path of outlaw life when he turned stagecoach and train robber.

Learn more about Sam Bass through the Texas State Historical Association

Musician, singer and songwriter for the classic rock group, Eagles, Henly attended the University of North Texas, at the time when it was still North Texas State University.  Henly co-wrote and is lead vocals to most of the band’s top songs which earned Grammy Awards.

It was on top of a North Texas State College (University of North Texas) frat house, that Orbison’s band The Teen Kings composed “Ooby Dooby.”  The song propelled them into the spotlight but Oribison’s most memorable hit has been “Oh,Pretty Woman.”

Jordan Malone, speed skater, Denton, TX, Olympics

Texas-proud Denton Olympian Jordan Malone is known for his victories in in speedskating in the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics. In the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Jordan brought home Bronze, and in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Jordan brought home Silver for Team USA.

Johnny Quinn, Denton, Team USA, 2014 Winter Olympics

UNT Alum Johnny Quinn was a part of the USA Bobsled Team in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Johnny become an internet sensation, trending on social media with the hashtag #Quinning after busting out of his hotel bathroom he was locked in in Sochi.

During the two and half years he spent in Denton, earning his B.A. at North Texas State College (currently University of North Texas), novelist and screen writer McMurtry started his first book Horseman, Pass By.  His favorite Denton spot became Recycled Books where he would still frequent as a book scout.  McMurtry would go on to write Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Lonesome Dove, and numerous other bestsellers, including Terms of Endearment.

Former University of North Texas student, Thomas Haden Church won America’s hearts on the NBC sitcom Wings.  His extensive filmography includes roles in Tombstone, George of the Jungle and most recently Broken Trail and Spider-Man 3

Pro Football Hall of Famer “Mean Joe” Greene earned his nickname from the University of North Texas football team Mean Green.  As a North Texas defensive tackle, he lead the team to a 23-5-1 record during his three seasons.  He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and had a successful career with the Pittsburgh Steelers helping them win four Super Bowls during the 1970’s. But he is best remembered for his Coca Cola commercial smile.

An image of Norah Jones.

Norah Jones is an American singer-songwriter, pianist, and actress. She attended the University of North Texas where she majored in jazz piano and performed with the UNT Jazz Singers and a jazz piano group, the Zebras. Now a 9 time Grammy Award winner, Norah recently returned to Denton to perform during Oaktopia.