Bob Wills











Bob Wills
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WILLS, JAMES ROBERT (1905-1975). James Robert (Bob) Wills, musician, was born on March 6, 1905, near Kosse, Limestone County, Texas, the first of ten children of John and Emmaline (Foley) Wills. In 1913 the family moved to Hall County, where they settled on the Ogden Ranch, between Memphis and Estelline. In the early 1920s they moved to a combination farm and ranch between the Little Red River and the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River. In Hall County Wills learned to play the violin; in 1915 he played at his first dance. He played for ranch dances in West Texas for the next fourteen years, and his life and career were greatly influenced by that environment. During that time he brought together two streams of American folk music to produce western swing. He had first learned frontier fiddle music from his father and grandfather, but he also learned blues and jazz from black playmates and coworkers in the cotton fields of East and West Texas. He played fiddle music with the heat of blues and the swing of jazz; his new music could as properly have been called western jazz as western swing. In 1929 Wills moved to Fort Worth, where he performed on several radio stations, organized a band that became the Light Crust Doughboys,qv and worked for a future governor of Texas and United States senator, W. Lee O'Daniel.qv In 1934 Wills moved to Oklahoma, where he made radio and musical history with his broadcasts over Station KVOO. During his years in Tulsa (1934-43) he and his new group, the Texas Playboys, continued to develop the swinging western jazz he had pioneered in West Texas, adding drums and a horn section of brass and reeds. Wills's recording of his composition "New San Antonio Rose" (1940) made him a national figure in popular music. He went to Hollywood that year and made the first of his nineteen movies. Wills joined the army in December 1942. After World War IIqv he had his greatest success, grossing nearly a half million dollars during some years. In 1957 he was elected to the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. In 1968 he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame, although he never thought of his music as "country." Wills was married and divorced several times between 1935 and 1941. On August 10, 1942, he was married to Betty Anderson, and they remained married until his death; they had four children. Wills had two children by former marriages. In 1969 the governor and legislature of Texas honored Wills for his contribution to American music, one of the few original music forms Texas and the Southwest have produced. The day after the ceremonies in Austin, Wills had the first in a series of crippling strokes. By 1973 his health had improved to the extent that he could lead some of his former Texas Playboys in a recording session for United Artists. The album, For the Last Time: Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, sold more copies than any other in Wills's career and was awarded a Grammy Award by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the highest achievement of any Wills recording or any other recording in the history of western swing. Bob Wills died on May 13, 1975, and was buried in Memorial Park in Tulsa, Oklahoma. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Ruth Sheldon, Hubbin' It: The Life of Bob Wills (Kingsport, Tennessee: Kingsport Press, 1938). Charles R. Townsend, San Antonio Rose: The Life and Music of Bob Wills (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1976). Charles R. Townsend
Date Venue City State Note
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01/10/2007 - Ride with a legend, Ride with Bob - Read More
12/24/2006 - Bob Wills: His Rollicking Roots Are Showing - Read More
12/07/2006 - Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys - Read More
09/27/2006 - Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys - Legends of Country Music - Columbia/Legacy - Read More
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Average Rating : 5              Total Reviews: 11


Bob Wills  01/09/2009            
Dayne
Actually Bob Wills didnt invent country-western swing. it was Melton Brown, my grandmaw's cousin. bob wills played fiddle for him but melton died young and bob carried on what he started.
Bob Wills  04/28/2007            
cooder
the one and only king of western swing.
Bob Wills  03/31/2006            
Chris
"Stay all night, stay a little longer"...miss ya Mr. Wills
Bob Wills  11/16/2005            
Okie Joe Steel Man
This should win several grammys. Tommy and Leon do it right. Love it.
Bob Wills  01/25/2005            
Rolly Polly
Rolly polly dadys little man will be a man some day
Bob Wills  02/29/2004            
justsomejack
Bob Wills is the single most important figure in popular music who is not of African American lineage. Hank Williams is an icon, but Bob Wills gave our music pulse.No Bob, no Elvis. No Elvis, no John Cash, no cash...how do you feel about Perry Como's MTV New Years Special. Bob Wills is still the King. Tommy Duncan can be Duke, if he wants..
Bob Wills  03/01/2003            
LJMill
For those who know, Bob Wills truly is still the king!
Bob Wills  06/29/2002            
FMC Rating: Essential
There is nothing else to say but: "..no matter whose in Texas; Bob Wills is still the King." This is the hear and soul of all that is Texas. If you don't have a Bob Wills CD you are missing out on where Texas Music Began. Combine Bob Wills and Jimmy Rodgers and you have the Dirt and Roots of the What is here today.
Bob Wills  10/11/2001            
Rick B.
This may well be THE Bob Wills album of all time. The only sad thing about that is that Bob was no longer able to fiddle and only rasps out a few words and "Aaahs" on a few of the tracks. He was the inspiration for this reunion of so many of his Texas Playboys and Merle Haggard, as he has continues to be the inspiration for so many artists today. Haggard was never a Texas Playboy, but he should have been, and he helps kick off this CD by taking the vocals on "Texas Playboy Theme." (If you can find it, check out Haggard's own Wills tribute from the early '70's titled "A Tribute To The Best Damn Fiddle Player In The World, or My Salute To Bob Wills"). Also missing here is Tommy Duncan, who died in the '60's, but Haggard and Leon Rausch would have made him proud on the songs they sing. The Texas Playboys were in fine form and the versions of "Faded Love," "San Antonio Rose," "Big Ball's In Cowtown," and many others are as good or better than previously recorded versions. As great as Bob Wills himself was, this album and the many tribute albums recorded since then show that it's the music that will live on forever.
Bob Wills  06/16/2001            
Choate
The Greatest
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