From hamburger to steak

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A new entry on YouTube -- the Texas Playboys performing "New San Antonio Rose" on Austin City Limits in 1976. The ensemble included Leon McAuliffe on steel guitar, Leon Rausch singing, Eldon Shamblin on standard guitar (you can see him off to the left in the wide shots). The poster thinks that the fiddle player, who is doing his best impression of Bob Wills' stage mannerisms, is Keith Coleman. (The audio's a bit warbly.)

Another recent YouTube addition: A 1951 Snader Transcription -- music video -- of Carolina Cotton singing "Three Miles South of Cash in Arkansas" with Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. That's Joe Holley playing fiddle left-handed and a headless Bobby Koefer on steel guitar. (Here's a website devoted to the late Carolina Cotton's life and career.)

Meanwhile, from a perusal of the message board at, I learn:

Herb Remington, a legendary steel guitar player who was with the Playboys from 1946 to 1950 (you'll hear him on a lot of the Tiffany Transcriptions and some of the early material recorded for MGM), is still performing in the Houston area. He's with the River Road Boys, who have a couple of gigs scheduled each month through the end of the year. And he plays 2nd Sunday of each month with the Swing Kings at Cosmo's Cafe (that's a Cosmo's in Houston, NOT the one in Tulsa). And Herb has a company, Remington Steel Guitars, that custom-builds non-pedal steel guitars. That website has some of his CDs on sale, too.

There's a Live365 radio station that plays a lot of Western Swing. It's called Ralphie's Radio: "We're playing all your Western Swing favorites by Milton Brown & His Musical Brownies, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, Hank Penny & His Radio Cowboys, Tex Williams & His Western Caravan, Spade Cooley, Hi-Flyers, Sons of the Pioneers and many, many others. CAUTION: This stuff 'gets your heart to jumpin' and it gets so hot it burns a hole in your undershirt!'" Right now, I'm listening to "Hometown Stomp," a 1947 instrumental that spotlights Herb Remington.

Leon Rausch and Tommy Allsup lead the current incarnation of the Texas Playboys, and they brought in some big country names -- e.g., George Jones, Porter Waggoner, Tanya Tucker, Charlie Daniels -- to sing and play on a Bob Wills 100th birthday tribute album. Rausch, Allsup, and the Playboys played New York City at the end of June -- I would love to hear from someone who was there.

This month's "Swingin' West" Internet radio show is a tribute to songwriter Cindy Walker, who passed away earlier this year.

There are two new Bob Wills CD releases on their way from Collectables Records. One is a double album due out in August -- Wills' last album with Liberty and, for the first time on CD, Capitol's "In Concert" LP. There are some tracks here that haven't been available on CD other than the ultra-comprehensive and expensive Bear Family compilations. Just out last week, but less exciting, is San Antonio Rose, a collection of ten of his most popular songs. No indication which era or eras the songs were taken from.

On Amazon, I note a planned September release for In Hollywood 1943-44.

Early this year, a 1930s radio broadcast of the Texas Playboys was released on CD. This one is on my acquisition list.


Kevin Carson said:

A Bob Wills fan? God bless you!

Every now and again I call up the local "Today's Hot New Country" station and request something by Wills or Roy Acuff, just to piss 'em off.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 15, 2006 10:35 PM.

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