Bob Wills Radio podcast

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bobwills.com, the official Bob Wills website, has launched a podcast called Bob Wills Radio, hosted by Jim Goff. Each episode features music and excerpts from interviews with members of the Texas Playboys. New episodes will go up each Monday at noon.

The inaugural edition features a 1983 interview with steel guitar legend Leon McAuliffe. Leon talks about how he came to play steel guitar, how he became a part of the Texas Playboys back in 1935, his friendship with Tex Beneke, and the beginnings of his band in Tulsa after World War II. His first band was a horn-dominated swing band, designed to set him apart from the western swing bands around. After touring the local dance circuit, Leon found that the audiences expected him to play western swing, so he canned the horns, hired some fiddle players, and switched back to western swing. (Harlequin Records has a disc of the big band version of Leon McAuliffe's band, from 1946-8.)

Toward the end of the podcast, there's a version of "T-U-L-S-A Straight Ahead," sung by Leon and backed by the Original Texas Playboys, the band made up of Bob Wills sidemen that performed from the mid-70s to the mid-80s. (For some reason, recordings of the Original Texas Playboys are really hard to find.)

Also on the bobwills.com website, you can purchase for download a 36-minute interview with Bob Wills recorded in 1949. Before you buy, you can hear a three-minute excerpt in which Bob Wills talks about their first dances at Cain's Ballroom, what kind of music you'd hear at Cain's before the Texas Playboys took up residence, and why they had to buy Cain's from Mr. & Mrs. Cain. (They started out at the Playmor, NW corner of 2nd and Madison, a second-floor dance hall -- retail below -- about half the size of Cain's.)

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 9, 2009 7:32 PM.

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