Western Swing: February 2007 Archives

Because I'm tired and burned out on serious stuff (the Republican County Convention was today), here's a bebop version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Bobby Troup, performed by legendary steel guitarist Leon McAuliffe (singing, not steeling, in this one) and his band. Take it away, Leon....

The baby bear's part cracks me up.

said the little wee bear,
"there's the chick that busted my chair!"

Bob Wills Grammy tribute

| | TrackBacks (0)

In case you missed it, here is Carrie Underwood performing "San Antonio Rose" with Johnny Gimble, Ray Benson, Dick Gimble, introduced by Reba McEntire.

One of the YouTube commenters wrote, "If country music was regularly performed this well, I would listen to country music. That was awesome."

I've been reading San Antonio Rose: The Life and Music of Bob Wills, Charles R. Townsend's definitive biography. At the back of the book is what looks to be a comprehensive discography -- every studio recording Bob Wills ever made, including a couple he cut in 1929 with Herman Arnspiger on guitar (the duo billed as the Wills Fiddle Band), a couple more in 1932 with the Light Crust Doughboys, and his post-Texas Playboys work in the late '60s on Kapp Records.

The final entry is, of course, For the Last Time, the double reunion album recorded in Dallas in December 1973. But right before that was a tantalizing entry about a September 1971 recording session for Capitol Records at Merle Haggard's home in Bakersfield, Calif. Twenty tracks were recorded, but never issued. It was an all-star lineup: Eldon Shamblin, Tiny Moore, Leon McAuliffe, Joe Holley, Johnnie Lee Wills, Luke Wills, Al Stricklin, Johnny Gimble, Alex Brashear, Smokey Dacus, and Glynn Duncan, there in place of his late brother Tommy Duncan. Merle Haggard played fiddle, and he sang "Misery." Bob Wills couldn't play the fiddle -- a stroke had left his bow hand paralyzed -- but he could still lead the band.

So where is this missing album?

It finally has been released, but it's not an easy thing to come by. It's only available as Disc 13 of Faded Love, Bear Family Records' massive 13 CD + 1 DVD box set, a comprehensive collection of Bob Wills recordings from 1947 to 1973. The price of the set is a mere $360. (1932-1947 are covered by San Antonio Rose, an 11 disc + 1 DVD box set that sells for $316.49 on Amazon.)

It would be exciting to hear more tracks from this great ensemble captured with modern recording techniques.

I learned about this on the website of an Australian record store. The same page quotes Bob Pinson, the definitive discographer of Bob Wills, as saying that Bear Family was likely to issue a box set of all the Tiffany Transcriptions, not just the 10 albums' worth of material that were released by Kaleidoscope on LP and by Rhino on CD. (And several of the CDs are now out of production.)

The Tiffany material isn't included in either of the two Bear Family box sets that have been released, as it was recorded for distribution to radio stations, not for commercial sale. I can't get enough of the Tiffany sound -- the freer feel to the music, the unique take on pop standards, Junior Barnard's amazing guitar solos, and the jazzy trios of Tiny Moore on mandolin, Eldon Shamblin on standard guitar, and Herb Remington on steel guitar. I'd love to hear even more. One estimate says the complete Tiffany Transcriptions, including tracks that were never released to radio stations, would fill 18-20 CDs.

(This review of Merle Haggard's A Tribute To The Best Damn Fiddle Player In The World mentions the 1971 Bakersfield session in passing.)

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned listening to a Johnnie Lee Wills transcription and hearing the announcer call out "Coyote Blues," by Lewis Meyer, best known to Tulsans for his bookstore and weekly book review show on TV.

Tomorrow night (Saturday), John Wooley will be playing two versions of "Coyote Blues" on Swing on This, his weekly hour of western swing, at 7 p.m. on KWGS 89.5 (and streaming on kwgs.com), and he's been kind enough to dedicate them to me and to Mike Ransom, webmaster of Tulsa TV Memories. Here's John's planned playlist, from his website:

1. “Texas Drummer Boy,” Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys
2. “Coyote Blues,” Dave Stuckey and the Rhythm Gang
3. “Coyote Blues,” Johnnie Lee Wills and All the Boys
4. “Land of Dreams,” Herb Remington
5. “Don’t Be Ashamed of Your Age,” Johnny Gimble and the Texas Swing Pioneers
6. “Maiden’s Prayer,” Asleep at the Wheel w/Squirrel Nut Zippers
7. “I Ain’t Gonna Give Nobody None O’ This Jelly Roll,” Cliff Bruner’s Texas Wanderers
8. “In the Jailhouse Now,” Hank Thompson
9. “Let’s Ride with Bob,” Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys
10. “Am I Blue,” Milton Brown and His Musical Brownies
11. “Back Home Again in Indiana,” Nashville Swing Band
12. “My Window Faces the South,” Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen
13. “Sweet Georgia Brown,” Billy Jack Wills and His Western Swing Band
14. “Mean Woman with Green Eyes,” Tom Morrell and His Time-Warp Tophands
15. “I Had Someone Else Before I Had You,” “Easy” Adams and His Texas Top Hands
16. “Oklahoma Hills,” Jack Guthrie

Should be a great

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Western Swing category from February 2007.

Western Swing: January 2007 is the previous archive.

Western Swing: March 2007 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.



Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed:
[What is this?]