Bob Wills

Probably because my formative, musical years were spent in Austin, doing drugs and listening to late night college radio, I have an inordinate fondness for Bob.

The Legends of Country Music
“The Legends of Country Music” (Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys)

Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys: Western-Swing Hype Man–Icon Invents, uh, Everything Western-swing hype man icon invents, uh, everything

Beginning down South in the early 1930s, Bob Wills turned what is technically known as “pretty much everything” into a singular sound, challenging audiences as it suavely extended an arm and escorted them to the dancefloor. Later categorized as “western swing,” Wills and His Texas Playboys' grooves sample ragtime, bluegrass, vaudeville, c&w, and swing—Ellingtonian swing.

A four-disc box set of 105 remastered tracks, Legends of Country Music: Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys casts doubt on the notion that several allegedly original pop music developments emerged only in the past 50 years; Bob was an early originator in disciplines including but not limited to hollering, waxing ironic, and rocking out.

Wills's ego was as vigorous as his liver was sickly. When he didn't go missing on a terrific bender, he usually appeared onstage in his uniform: a white Stetson on his head and a cigar between his grinning teeth. In 1975, after years of illness, he died at the age of 70. Along with Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley, Wills is a member of both the Country Music and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Consider: To whom does Jim Morrison owe “Do it, Robbie, do it”? Bob Wills. The peaceful accord between horns and electric guitars? Bob Wills brokered it. They Might Be Giants? They Might Be Bob Wills's Boogie Chillun.


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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on September 26, 2006 2:34 PM.

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