Big Band and Classic Jazz Features Pre-WWII Bob Wills

November 8, 2010  
Filed under Music, Top Story

When it comes to Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, my education is not quite up to par. I filled in some gaps Saturday morning while listening to Big Band & Classic Jazz, hosted by Thomas Durnin. That`s on KOOP Radio, 91.7 FM here in Austin, Texas. Thomas dedicated most of the show to some early Bob Wills` sides, from the Pre-WWII era. The 1930s, when The Great Depression cast a dark shadow on our nation, is generally thought of as Bob Wills` heyday.

Asleep At the Wheel had their 40th Reunion Friday night, and this seems to have prompted Thomas to feature these precious and rare early sides of Bob Wills. I picked up a Best Of for Bob Wills on itunes, when I realized I had n`er a single Wills track in my cupboard. It turns out that none of the sides featured on Big Band & Classic Jazz on Saturday were included in my 40 song package. *(I must remember not to record over this cassette.)

Some of the songs played by Thomas were Four or Five Times from 1935, Sugar Blues from 1936, Drunkard`s Blues from 1938, Way Down Upon the Swanee River, and You Can`t Come In. I`m still very early in my assessments of Bob Wills, but a general take-away I get from listening to these classic early songs, is that Western Swing is but a small part of Wills` musical thrust. Blues and jazz play a big part too (rudimentary yes, but it`s a start). Now I need to find out why Pappy O`Daniel wanted to run Bob Wills out of Texas?


One Response to “Big Band and Classic Jazz Features Pre-WWII Bob Wills”

  1. Art(uro) on November 9th, 2010 7:46 pm

    Thanks for the post, John! Just wanted to include a link for your out-of-town readers who’d like to listen to Thomas’ show online:

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