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Bob Wills


The King of Western Swing, musical innovator Bob Wills learned to love music as the son of a fiddler who led his family across Texas in search of a better life. While picking cotton as a migrant laborer, Wills was exposed to the blues by fellow workers, and by age ten he had started entertaining country folk with his own fiddle performances. As a young man Wills teamed with Milton Brown, and the duo soon expanded to become the Light Crust Doughboys. In 1933 Wills moved to Oklahoma, where he formed his Texas Playboys. Adding horns to a string band was radical at the time, and the result was a danceable mix of country, western, blues, jazz, pop and swing. Wills was also a prolific songwriter, composing genre classics like "San Antonio Rose" and "Faded Love" (co-written with his father). After World War II, Wills moved his group to California, where he continued to keep the dance floors hoppin' with standards like "Yellow Rose of Texas," "Take Me Back to Tulsa," "Home in San Antone," "Sitting on Top of the World" and "Steel Guitar Rag."

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