Release Date: 05/15/07
He Created Western Swing - and Dominated It
Born in 1905 in Kosse, Texas, Bob Wills was the first child of ten. A great uncle was a fine fiddle player and it was hoped that Bob would emulate him. Bob's first public appearance playing fiddle was in 1915 - his father had been booked to play and sent the ten-year old Bob ahead with the instruments. When Wills senior arrived he was too drunk to perform. Bob took over. The audience, in the mood for fun was soon out on the floor. Bob's repertoire was only about six tunes and he played them until the early hours. Bob Wills the entertainer had arrived. But playing music didn't pay the bills and by his late teens Bob - as the family's oldest child - seemed fated to work in the fields. However, a worker exhorted Bob to get away from the land. Later that day Bob was on a train. Bob married in 1926 and a daughter arrived in 1929. In the spring of 1930, Wills and guitarist Herman Arnspiger started to play dances in the Fort Worth area. Even so times were hard. Fortunately, Arnspiger, had a slot on KTAT radio and heard the station needed a fiddler. Bob auditioned and got the job. The duo continued on the radio and also played dances. At one such dance Wills and Arnspiger, now the Wills Fiddle band, heard someone sing part of a song with Bob. Milton Brown introduced himself and was offered the job of vocalist. Bob won an 'old fiddler's' contest, organised by station KFJZ. His fame spread but the Wills Fiddle Band was fired from KTAT - their victory revealed that they had been playing for rivals. A break came when they were booked by WBAP for a show sponsored by the Aladdin Lamp Company. For advertising purposes, they became the Aladdin Laddies. Wills decided to enlarge the group. So, added to the line-up was a banjo player and second fiddler. In 1931, the band entered another phase - as the Light Crust Doughboys. The publicity resulting from their radio shows (and thus their audiences at dances) was phenomenal. They rarely looked back.
|Label: Jsp Records|
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