Legendary Texas Playboys Print
Friday, August 06, 2010


Friday, August 6, 2010
8:00 PM
Texas Crown Performance Hall
Canadian, TX

 

Click on the play button below to hear a sample of a tribute to Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys by Asleep At The Wheel and their rendition of "Red Wing".

 

 

 

Western Swing, that exciting music of the western dance hall, is a subtle and compelling mixture of square dance, big band swing, blues, Mexican mariachi, country and hot jazz played mostly on string instruments.  Western Swing is back.  It is being rediscovered by a whole new generation, and when Waylon Jennings sings "Bob Wills is still the King," he and thousands of others are paying tribute to the man whose personality and musicianship forged this musical form from its disparate elements.

 

Bob Wills formed his legendary Texas Playboys in 1933, and with him, they became one of the most innovative and popular bands of the next several decades with probably a greater impact and influence on music in general than any other single group from that era.  Although he died in 1975, Wills was able to see the beginnings of the Western Swing revival with artists like Merle Haggard and Asleep At The Whell paying tribute while they adopted both his material and his sound.

 

 

Among new Western Swing bands formed was an old one - The Texas Playboys themselves.  After superb and exciting informal get-togethers at Bob Wills festivals, The Texas Playboys began performing concerts and making television appearances.  The band is a collection of Texas Playboys from the various eras of the group's career.  They play smoothly and spiritedly with the assurance that comes form knowing one another for a number of years.  As Country Music Magazine recently said, "They'd have made ole Jim Robb (Wills) proud."

 

 

 

The Texas Playboys are now headed by Leon Rausch and Tommy Allsup.  Leon Rausch was a late member of the Playboys, but his association with the band (on and off from 1958 to 1965) quickly established him as one of the top Western Swing vocalists ever, firmly in the tradition of Wills' longtime singer Tommy Duncan, yet with a unique style of his own.  After a successful solo career, Rausch, who also plays guitar and bass, added his considerable talents to the revamped Texas Playboys.

 

 

Tommy Allsup started his musical career in Claremore, Oklahoma in 1949, at the age of 18.  In 1952, he joined the Johnnie Lee Wills Band in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  He later joined Buddy Holly and The Crickets in Clovis, New Mexico in 1958.  Tommy is here today by the flip of a coin.  He's the one that flipped the coin with Ritchie Valens for a seat on the plane that took Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Richie Valens' lives in February, 1959.  Tommy started producing Bob Will's records in the early 60's and continued until Bob's death.