A western swing sampler

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A friend who has heard about western swing, but hasn't actually heard much of it, has asked me to put together a sampler as an introduction to the genre. To keep from overwhelming her, I decided to limit it to what would fit on a single audio CD -- 74 minutes. Here's my working list thus far -- title, band, album:

Opening Theme Featuring Tommy Duncan, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, Radio Days
Narration(Ross Franklin), Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, Radio Days
Lone Star Rag, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, Radio Days
New San Antonio Rose, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, The Essential Bob Wills (1935-1947)
A Maiden's Prayer, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, The Essential Bob Wills (1935-1947)
Miss Molly, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, The Essential Bob Wills (1935-1947)
Texas Playboy Rag, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys
Take Me Back To Tulsa, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, Tiffany Transcriptions Volume 2
Roly Poly, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, Tiffany Transcriptions Volume 2
Ida Red, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, Tiffany Transcriptions Volume 2
Fat Boy Rag, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, Tiffany Transcriptions Volume 5
Trouble In Mind, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, Tiffany Transcriptions Volume 8
Blackout Blues, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, Tiffany Transcriptions Volume 1
Three Guitar Special, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, Tiffany Transcriptions Volume 5
What Is This Thing Called Love?, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, Tiffany Transcriptions Volume 9
Stay A Little Longer, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, The Essential Bob Wills (1935-1947)
Sweet Georgia Brown, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, Tiffany Transcriptions Volume 5
I'm A Ding-Dong Daddy, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, Take Me Back To Tulsa - Disc 4
I Laugh When I Think How I Cried Over You, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, Take Me Back To Tulsa - Disc 4
Faded Love, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, Boot Heel Drag: The MGM Years
Rag Mop, Johnnie Lee Wills, Band's a Rockin'
Cadillac in Model 'A', Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, Boot Heel Drag: The MGM Years
Lonesome Hearted Blues, Billy Jack Wills And His Western Swing Band, Billy Jack Wills And His Western Swing Band
Dipsy Doodle, Billy Jack Wills And His Western Swing Band, Billy Jack Wills And His Western Swing Band
Blue Guitar Stomp, Leon McAuliffe
Tulsa Straight Ahead, Asleep at the Wheel, 10
Way Down Texas Way, Asleep At The Wheel, 10
I Had Someone Else, Hot Club of Cowtown, Swingin' Stampede
Playboy Theme, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, For The Last Time

It begins with the opening of a 1945 Texas Playboys radio broadcast (on the 2005 release Radio Days). There's a section intended to highlight the Texas Playboy's offshoots and the style's evolution in the '50s, followed by a few cuts representing the modern revival. My intention is to represent the breadth of styles encompassed by western swing and that demonstrate the connection to the genres that influenced it. And of course I included some of the biggest hits and my personal favorites.

Anything you would have included that I missed? I realize that there have been plenty of western swing bands besides those of Bob Wills and his brothers, but my collection isn't that diversified yet.

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3 Comments

See-Dubya said:

Smoke on the Water!


Also, House of Blue Lights by Asleep at the Wheel.

So Round So Firm So Fully Packed--Merle Travis

Darlin' Is It Too Late Now--Jimmie Davis

I Want To Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart--Patsy Montana

Oklahoma Hills--I like Hank Thompson's version best

Total Strangers--Hank Thompson

T-Bone Rag--Jimmy West with Speedy Bryant

I could go on and on. But I think you should have some Hank Thompson on there.

Of course, "Smoke on the Water!"

I appreciate the recommendations, See-Dubya. I should have thought of Speedy and Jimmy.

Unfortunately, the only Hank Thompson I have is an over-produced Nashville-esque album from the '70s. It's got classic songs like "Oklahoma Hills," but the vocal track is too prominent, and there are no improv solos. Listening to clips on Amazon, I can tell I'd have liked his earlier stuff much better.

L. said:

You ought at least to have some Milton Brown in there - he pretty well invented the genre. And Spade Cooley too. (I would also get rid of a lot of the Wills stuff and replace it with stuff by the bands his sidemen started when they left - gives a more rounded picture)

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on January 2, 2007 7:06 PM.

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