Western Swing: July 2013 Archives

Championship fiddler Emma Jane Pendleton will hold a CD release party this Sunday, July 28, 2013, at 3 p.m., at Tulsa's Spotlight Theater (Riverside and Houston Ave.), featuring a performance followed by a reception. There's no cover charge, but RSVPs are requested to vmp@igeo.com, or you can text or call 918-261-6184.


Woody Paul of Riders in the Sky helpfully points out Emma Jane Pendleton at the 2012 National Fiddler Hall of Fame induction gala

Emma Jane has a long list of musical accomplishments to her name. She is currently a student at the University of Tulsa on a four-year scholarship, where she is studying mechanical engineering and violin performance. She has numerous state and national championships as a solo fiddler, for twin fiddles with her sister Marina, for string band with the Pendleton Family Fiddlers, and for yodeling.

Tulsa_Playboys-Cains_Ballroom-Logo.jpgThe Tulsa Playboys are back at Cain's Ballroom tonight, Thursday, July 25, 2013, from 7 pm to 10 pm. Guests on the bandstand include vocalists Janet Rutland, Devon Dawson, and Kristyn Harris, Evan Alexander on fiddle, and Isaac Eicher on electric mandolin.

The Tulsa Playboys are a very talented western swing band, and it's wonderful to have the music that Bob Wills made famous (and vice versa) back in the place where it became famous almost 80 years ago.

If you love big band music and swing dancing, you should come out to Cain's tonight for a great time. You'll recognize it as your kind of music, even if there are more fiddles than trumpets in the band.

If you're a western swing fan, this is a chance to hear the music you love played by musicians who know how to swing. It's also a chance to show your support for the music you love and give the musicians and venue owners a reason to hold these dances more often. In other parts of the country -- the Texas Hill Country and the San Francisco Bay Area, for example -- you can hear live western swing every weekend. Shouldn't the same be true of Tulsa?

Tickets are $10 at the door.

We've lost two more western swing greats in the last couple of weeks.

Tulsa fiddler and vocalist Julian "Curly" Lewis died Sunday at the age of 88. Lewis spent much of his career with Johnnie Lee Wills's band in the late '40s and '50s, but he also toured and performed with Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, Hank Thompson and His Brazos Valley Boys, and Leon McAuliffe's Cimarron Boys.

A memorial service for Curly Lewis will be held at Cain's Ballroom on Saturday, August 3, 2013.

(Read western swing historian John Wooley's July 2011 profile of Curly Lewis in Oklahoma Magazine.)

Lewis performed at the first gala of the National Fiddlers Hall of Fame in 2007 and was inducted as a member last year. In addition to his work as a fiddler, he had a fine singing voice and contributed lead vocals on many songs for Johnnie Lee Wills and His Boys. Here's Curly Lewis singing one of my grandmother's favorite tunes, "Thingamajig":

Click through for a video of Curly Lewis performing the classic fiddle tune "Don't Let the Deal Go Down" at the 1998 Bob Wills Day celebrations in Turkey, Texas.

As far as I know, Maurice "Reece" Anderson was the only pedal steel guitar player that Bob Wills ever hired. (Leon McAuliffe, Herb Remington, et al. played lap or console steel with no pedals.) Anderson died on July 4.

In the early '60s, Bob Wills had two steel guitar players -- Gene Crownover on console steel, Reece Anderson on pedal steel. Both get a chorus on this version of Billy Jack Wills's "Rockabye Baby Blues":

And more recently, here's Reece Anderson playing the steel classic "Sleepwalk":

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Western Swing category from July 2013.

Western Swing: June 2013 is the previous archive.

Western Swing: August 2013 is the next archive.

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