Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Listening to Now: Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys - "San Antonio Rose"

By Richard K. Barry


Bob Wills was famous for a style of music called Western Swing. In 1934 he formed his band, called the Texas Playboys, with Wills on fiddle, Tommy Duncan on piano and vocals, rhythm guitarist June Whalin, tenor banjoist Johnnie Lee Wills, and Kermit Whalin, who played steel guitar and bass.  Sometimes they played with Leon McAuliffe on steel guitar, pianist Al Stricklin, drummer Smokey Dacus, and with a horn section.

San Antonio Rose was their signature song, which sold over a million records. 

They were an enormously popular band in the 1940s with hits like "Steel Guitar Rag", "New San Antonio Rose", "Smoke on the Water", "Stars and Stripes on Iwo Jima", and "New Spanish Two Step".

Lots of different configurations, always great music. Rather than try to describe Western Swing, just listen.

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