Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys


-Elmo

Back when I was in the army I roomed with a couple of black GIs for a few months and I was the only white boy in the room. Nice guys and we got along well, but their music of choice was Motown and disco.
Motown I can handle for short periods of time, but disco drives me insane, almost to the point of violence.
In retaliation, I went to the PX at Robinson Barracks in Stuttgart and bought some Bob Wills, Don Walser, Patsy Cline, Eddy Arnold, Hank Williams and Miss Kitty Wells to play on my stereo. I dearly love old skool Country, but Texas Swing…? Man, there ain’t nothing finer if you ask me. Give me a water glass full of bourbon and some Texas Swing and I’m set for the next hour or so.
After that, it was a race to see who could get up to the room first to put their music on. One day, I came in to find a gift wrapped box on my bunk – they had bought me a very nice pair of headphones, Bose if I remember correctly.
It was a win/win situation – they didn’t have to listen to my music and I didn’t have to listen to their constant whining and bitching.

Here’s some Don Walser if you want to hear what was really pissing them off. I mean, they’d go fucking nuts when I put this song on:

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20 Responses to Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys

  1. Jeff says:

    Damn, that brings back memories. My first trip to Germany we had a drunken stereo war, so top made everybody pack their speakers and store them in the attic, ever swinging dick had a pair of bose head phones.

  2. Antibubba says:

    Speed it up some and change it to Spanish and they could play that on a hundred radio stations in the Central Valley.

  3. Butch says:

    I know that song, but don’t remember his name. And I grew up with that kind of music. Graduated High School in 1964 in Corpus Christi, TX and I was the only “shit-kicker” (Country Music fan) in the whole HS. Everyone was listening to rock and roll. My fav radio station was KROB out of Robstown Texas and they played the songs of all the greats plus we had a dozen or so bands from the South Texas Brush Country who were good as well. Country and Western songs about Love’s lost and won, oilfield dramas, were some of the favorites. And just about every small country town had a dance hall and a dance about once a month. If you were tall enough to look over the bar and had the guts to order and pay for a beer, you got one. Dance halls would be full of good German, Polish, Czech and other “Bohemian” ethnics and mostly always a good time.

    I would just as soon have those days back.

  4. H says:

    “It don’t matter who’s in Austin, Bob Wills is still The King”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRJJmhMo7Nw

  5. 4brig says:

    LOL, I’ve always liked country, but even I couldn’t take it when the Cowman would put this song on the record player… https://youtu.be/j-ERitO9qeM

  6. Titan Mk6B says:

    Bob Wills made famous the Cains Ballroom in Tulsa. I was lucky enough to get to work there once.

    A very cool place.

  7. Don says:

    Thanks, that’s good music! I have several fiddler’s in the family that like to go to fiddle contests down in Texas – still hear a lot of Bob Will’s tunes down there. There’s one coming up in Athens that usually draws some really good players.

  8. Tom from East Tennessee says:

    Is that the music that they played in Mars Attacks to blow up the Martians’ heads?

  9. Mike_C says:

    In the 1950’s when dad was a graduate student at Major Midwestern University he lived a year in “international student housing” which was 2-person rooms. Most of the residents were Chinese, though there was this one American Jewish guy, let’s call him Stanley, who lived there for reasons no one understood. So anyway dad was assigned to room with Stanley. The other Chinese students predicted despair and doom for dad: it seemed that Stanley’s MO was to play rock music very loud, claiming that he needed it on to be able to study. Invariably the Chinese roommate would move out in despair, either sleeping on the floor in someone else’s room, or camp in the common area down the hall, and Stanley would have a 2-man room all to himself, while paying the shared-room rate.

    Sure enough, Stanley began with the loud music. Politely requesting that he shut it off, or at least turn it down, did not work. Aggressive requests were met with claims of harassment and discrimination. So from somewhere dad obtained some Peking Opera records, and a record player. Dad took to playing Peking Opera at full volume at all hours. Stanley asked him to stop with the noise already. Dad said, “Sorry, can’t do it. Just like you need rock to concentrate, I need Chinese Opera to concentrate.” Stanley complained it was horrible. Dad pulled out the discrimination flag (which was NOT a thing in the US in the 1950’s in general, but Stanley had pulled his out first — hah!) Stalemate. Stanley then tried the windows open all night in winter trick. Dad slept in his wool topcoat. Then the unwashed laundry everywhere trick. Dad took to misplacing his dirty, stinking socks on Stanley’s desk. “Oh, that’s where they were! Thanks for finding them.”

    After about three months of this mutual torture, Stanley packed up his stuff and moved out, so dad had a 2-man room to himself. About a year later dad ran into Stanley one day. Somewhat to dad’s surprise, Stanley was all friendly and shook hands. “You beat me! Gotta admit it, pretty impressive. Never met a Chinaman who could stand up to that!” (Which may explain why Stanley was living with the foreign students….) Dad says Stanley eventually got his PhD and was teaching at Columbia University, last he heard. Anyway, dad purely HATES Chinese Opera. The clip should give you a reason why.

    https://youtu.be/zHPegoquV5I?t=28

  10. Family Tradition says:

    My cousin is in the Bob Wills Hall Of Fame. A great steel guitar player that has played with many bands over the Years. His name is Bobby Baker.

  11. pigpen51 says:

    I saw Eddie Arnold and Boots Randolph together at the Star Plaza in Merrillville, Indiana. This was back in 2000, so Eddie Arnold was 81. He played awhile with a band, then they brought him a chair, and he sat with a guitar and a microphone, and sang some of his truly biggest hits, all alone. I will never forget that performance. He died 8 years later.
    Boots Randolph was the reason I started playing saxophone, when I was about 10 years old. It was the only instrument I fell in love with and would be willing to play in our school band. Little did I know that from sitting in that band room, and just watching others play their horns, I learned how to play most all other instruments as well, since I had several older siblings who had been in band, and I had their horns to practice on at home.
    Boots stepped away from his mike, and stood in the front of the auditorium, a super place to watch a concert, with 3400 seats, and fantastic acoustics. He played the old song, Danny Boy, alone, and it truly made you get goose bumps.
    I could live without a lot of things, but I listen to music or play it, everyday, and that I could not do without.

  12. SgtBob says:

    My father wanted to be Bob Wills, but the job was already filled. Instead, Daddy played in a weekend band in NE Texas, at BYOB places where the bottles were kept in the car and the dance hall sold soft drinks and ice. Then there were more kids, 5 eventually. If you don’t have the real “want to,” and I mean a real want to, wife and kids will end your career. Or cause you to make a career change from fiddle player to full time dad. Daddy was a decent fiddle player, but much better at upright honky tonk piano. And, yes, Bob Wills is still the king. Just ask anybody from Asleep at the Wheel.

  13. anonymous says:

    ” . . . but disco drives me insane, almost to the point of violence” – #hellyes. But it only takes a few bars of ‘Tie A Yellow Ribbon …’ and I go batcrap crazy with rage …

Play nice.