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September 27

Texas Legend Bob Wills

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I grew up on music that we called western swing
It don’t matter who’s in Austin, Bob Wills is still the king.

So says Waylon Jennings in his song, Bob Will is Still King. It is a testament that no native of Texas and those from Oklahoma, especially those who grew up during the post-war era, is unfamiliar with the music of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys.

Bob Wills was a music innovator back in his time. Soon, he and his band had successfully blended traditional fiddle tunes, some blues, jazz, and folk touches. This musical style has now become known as the “western swing.” Though they were not necessarily the pioneers of such combination, they were to be credited for popularizing and cementing the “western swing” genre. Somehow, the audience loved it and fans for this type of music grew in numbers including two of today’s country legends, Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. In their own ways, they have kept the sound of Western Swing alive for years whether we realize it or not.

Now, time to have fun with the sound of Western Swing!  The featured tune is the song that made Bob Wills earned his title, “King of Western Swing.” Take it away!

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Did you have fun? For sure, a Texan reading this would have enjoyed Bob Wills. Western Swing is Texas’ official State Music, after all. Hence, I would leave it to Bob Wills’ fans to do the praising of their king.  I would just content myself to give a commentary on the song, San Antonio Rose. By now, you would have noticed how we analyze and pick apart pre-loved country songs. San Antonio Rose won’t be an exception.

Getting lost in that jazzed up cowboy singing, one could imagine that charismatic energy of Bob Wills infecting the crowd to be on their feet and gather on the dance floor. The antiquity of the music does not, in any way, diminish the quality. I know many of my contemporaries who would be ravished by this kind of tune. Hail to the King for this great piece of a work!


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