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Bob Wills Round-Up

Known as "the King of Western Swing", Wills was born on his daddy's cotton farm in east Texas.

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32 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 10 hours, 10 min)
available in the following formats:

1 MP3 CD
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11 Audio CDs


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Play a sample episode from January 28, 1946:

"Liberty"



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About this Old Time Radio Show

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2017 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

There weren't that many cattle drives through the streets of Pasadena in 1953, but you would never have believed it if you tuned your dial to 1110 kHz, KXLA. The “big eleven-ten” was the on-air home to Tennessee Ernie Ford and Stan Freberg, and in 1953, Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys joined the lineup.

Bob WillsKnown as “the King of Western Swing”, Wills grow up with a true Jazz-man's background. Born on his daddy's cotton farm in east Texas, little “Jim-Bob's” father had been the state fiddle-playing champion. When they were not working in the fields, the family was playing music. The family frequently held country dances in their house with Bob playing mandolin and fiddle and his sister and brothers on other instruments.

Bob recalled that his siblings were the only white kids he played with growing up. Most of his playmates were the children of that the “Negro field hands” on the farm. He heard the Blues first hand while picking cotton on the farm. At the age of 16, he hopped a freight train to find his fortune. Traveling from town to town, he frequently found work in medicine and minstrel shows, and often appeared in blackface.

Even though he made his professional debut in black-face, Wills had a great deal of respect for his African American friends and there music. He told his daughter of riding on horseback to see Bessie Smith perform: “... She was about the greatest thing I had ever heard. In fact, there was no doubt about it. She was the greatest thing I ever heard.”

In Fort Worth around 1930, he formed a fiddle band that was joined by vocalist Milton Brown. Future Texas Governor W. Lee “Pappy” O'Daniel hired the group and renamed them The Light Crust Doughboys for the radio program sponsored by his flour company. Brown left the group in 1932 to from The Musical Brownies. By adding tenor banjo, twin fiddles and a slap bass, the Brownies became the first true Western Swing band. In 1933, after becoming fed up with Pappy O’Daniel's authoritarian management (or Pappy becoming fed up with Wills' drinking), Bob left the Doughboys to form The Texas Playboys, modeled on the musical style of the Brownies.

Bob Wills FiddlinOne notable characteristic of Bob's style was his hollering over the music. The iconic falsetto “Ahaa” in the background of many country hits is a throwback to his background singing with African-American singers in the cotton fields of his youth. Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys worked steadily from 1934, on the road, playing radio stations throughout the Southwest, and appearing in dance halls. In 1940, they appeared in Take Me Back to Oklahoma with Tex Ritter. The band began to break up as members joined the service after Pearl Harbor, and Wills joined the Army at the age of 37 in December, 1942, and received a medical discharge in 1943. After the service, he settled in Hollywood, appearing in a few more musical cowboy films and reorganizing the Playboys.

Electric guitars filled in for the horns used by mainstream swing bands, and for a time, Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys dances were outdrawing the likes of Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman. From his base in Fresno, Wills and his outfit toured California and the Pacific Northwest extensively, setting attendance records in several halls, including Portland’s Jantzen Beach. The Playboys appeared on The Grand Ol' Opry in 1944, even though their form of music raised more than a few Opry eyebrows. In 1948, Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys were featured on the inaugural broadcast of KWKH's Louisiana Hayride.

Although the popularity of Western Swing dropped off dramatically in the late fifties and sixties, Bob Wills continued to tour and was considered a pioneer. "Rock and Roll? Why, man, that's the same kind of music we've been playin' since 1928!... We didn't call it rock and roll back when we introduced it as our style back in 1928, and we don't call it rock and roll the way we play it now. But it's just basic rhythm and has gone by a lot of different names in my time. It's the same, whether you just follow a drum beat like in Africa or surround it with a lot of instruments. The rhythm's what's important."

Wills is credited with influencing the “Bakersfield Style” of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, and has been the subject of tributes by Willie Nelson and the band Asleep At The Wheel. Still, he was a largely forgotten figure in Country Music at the time of his death. He suffered a series of strokes beginning in 1969, which prevented him from performing. Bob Wills died in Ft. Worth at the age of 70 in May, 1975.

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2017 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

These classic recordings are available in the following formats:
  • MP3 CDs are delivered by mail. These archival quality MP3 CDs are playable in your computer and many MP3 player devices.



    32 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $4.50
    total playtime 10 hours, 10 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      32 shows - total playtime 10 hours 10 minutes
      1. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 01 In Mood.mp3
      2. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 02 Liberty.mp3
      3. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 03 Silver Lake Blues.mp3
      4. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 04 Silver Bells.mp3
      5. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 05 Liberty.mp3
      6. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 06 Lone Star Rag.mp3
      7. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 07 Silver Bells.mp3
      8. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 08 Hog In Door No Op. Muffled.mp3
      9. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 09 C Jam Blues Open Breaks Up.mp3
      10. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 10 Sally Johnson.mp3
      11. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 11 Prosperity Special.mp3
      12. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 12 Britain Rag.mp3
      13. Bob Wills Roundup 451227 Rubber Dolly Bad Sound.mp3
      14. Bob Wills Roundup 451228 Seven Come Eleven Bad Sound.mp3
      15. Bob Wills Roundup 460128 Liberty.mp3
      16. Bob Wills Roundup 460130 Silver Bells.mp3
      17. Bob Wills Roundup Along Navaho Trail Beginning End Cut.mp3
      18. Bob Wills Roundup Beaumont Rag End Cut.mp3
      19. Bob Wills Roundup Billy In Low Ground Very Muffled. End Cut.mp3
      20. Bob Wills Roundup Black And White Rag Very Scratchy.mp3
      21. Bob Wills Roundup Cherokee Maiden 5 Min Missing.mp3
      22. Bob Wills Roundup Convict And Rose 1st Minute Missing.mp3
      23. Bob Wills Roundup Fast And Blue Scratchy.mp3
      24. Bob Wills Roundup Is Right Or Wrong 1st 2 Minutes Missing.mp3
      25. Bob Wills Roundup Lady Be Good Very Scratchy.mp3
      26. Bob Wills Roundup Milk Cow Blues End Cut.mp3
      27. Bob Wills Roundup Miss Molly Scratchy.mp3
      28. Bob Wills Roundup Ready Betty Brown Open Missing. Muffled.mp3
      29. Bob Wills Roundup Rubber Dolly Scratchy. End Cut.mp3
      30. Bob Wills Roundup San Antonio Rose Missing Opening End Cut.mp3
      31. Bob Wills Roundup Seven Miles Outta Town Open Missing.mp3
      32. Bob Wills Roundup Waitin For Train To Come In Skips.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    32 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $4.50
    total playtime 10 hours, 10 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      32 shows - total playtime 10 hours 10 minutes
      1. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 01 In Mood.mp3
      2. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 02 Liberty.mp3
      3. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 03 Silver Lake Blues.mp3
      4. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 04 Silver Bells.mp3
      5. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 05 Liberty.mp3
      6. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 06 Lone Star Rag.mp3
      7. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 07 Silver Bells.mp3
      8. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 08 Hog In Door No Op. Muffled.mp3
      9. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 09 C Jam Blues Open Breaks Up.mp3
      10. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 10 Sally Johnson.mp3
      11. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 11 Prosperity Special.mp3
      12. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 12 Britain Rag.mp3
      13. Bob Wills Roundup 451227 Rubber Dolly Bad Sound.mp3
      14. Bob Wills Roundup 451228 Seven Come Eleven Bad Sound.mp3
      15. Bob Wills Roundup 460128 Liberty.mp3
      16. Bob Wills Roundup 460130 Silver Bells.mp3
      17. Bob Wills Roundup Along Navaho Trail Beginning End Cut.mp3
      18. Bob Wills Roundup Beaumont Rag End Cut.mp3
      19. Bob Wills Roundup Billy In Low Ground Very Muffled. End Cut.mp3
      20. Bob Wills Roundup Black And White Rag Very Scratchy.mp3
      21. Bob Wills Roundup Cherokee Maiden 5 Min Missing.mp3
      22. Bob Wills Roundup Convict And Rose 1st Minute Missing.mp3
      23. Bob Wills Roundup Fast And Blue Scratchy.mp3
      24. Bob Wills Roundup Is Right Or Wrong 1st 2 Minutes Missing.mp3
      25. Bob Wills Roundup Lady Be Good Very Scratchy.mp3
      26. Bob Wills Roundup Milk Cow Blues End Cut.mp3
      27. Bob Wills Roundup Miss Molly Scratchy.mp3
      28. Bob Wills Roundup Ready Betty Brown Open Missing. Muffled.mp3
      29. Bob Wills Roundup Rubber Dolly Scratchy. End Cut.mp3
      30. Bob Wills Roundup San Antonio Rose Missing Opening End Cut.mp3
      31. Bob Wills Roundup Seven Miles Outta Town Open Missing.mp3
      32. Bob Wills Roundup Waitin For Train To Come In Skips.mp3
  • Standard Audio CDs are delivered by mail on archival quality media with up to 60 minutes on each CD and play in all CD players



    32 recordings on 11 Audio CDs
    total playtime 10 hours, 10 min

    Bob Wills Round Up Disc A001

    1. Bob Wills Roundup Along Navaho Trail Beginning End Cut
    2. Bob Wills Roundup Beaumont Rag End Cut
    3. Bob Wills Roundup Billy In Low Ground Very Muffled. End Cut
    4. Bob Wills Roundup Black And White Rag Very Scratchy
    5. Bob Wills Roundup Cherokee Maiden 5 Min Missing

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Bob Wills Round Up Disc A002

    1. Bob Wills Roundup Convict And Rose 1st Minute Missing
    2. Bob Wills Roundup Fast And Blue Scratchy
    3. Bob Wills Roundup Is Right Or Wrong 1st 2 Minutes Missing
    4. Bob Wills Roundup Lady Be Good Very Scratchy
    5. Bob Wills Roundup Milk Cow Blues End Cut

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Bob Wills Round Up Disc A003

    1. Bob Wills Roundup Miss Molly Scratchy
    2. Bob Wills Roundup Ready Betty Brown Open Missing. Muffled
    3. Bob Wills Roundup Rubber Dolly Scratchy. End Cut
    4. Bob Wills Roundup San Antonio Rose Missing Opening End Cut
    5. Bob Wills Roundup Seven Miles Outta Town Open Missing

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Bob Wills Round Up Disc A004

    1. Bob Wills Roundup Waitin For Train To Come In Skips
    2. Bob Wills Roundup 451227 Rubber Dolly Bad Sound
    3. Bob Wills Roundup 451228 Seven Come Eleven Bad Sound
    4. Bob Wills Roundup 460128 Liberty

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Bob Wills Round Up Disc A005

    1. Bob Wills Roundup 460130 Silver Bells
    2. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 01 In Mood

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Bob Wills Round Up Disc A006

    1. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 02 Liberty
    2. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 03 Silver Lake Blues

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Bob Wills Round Up Disc A007

    1. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 04 Silver Bells
    2. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 05 Liberty

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Bob Wills Round Up Disc A008

    1. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 06 Lone Star Rag
    2. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 07 Silver Bells

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Bob Wills Round Up Disc A009

    1. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 08 Hog In Door No Op. Muffled
    2. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 09 C Jam Blues Open Breaks Up

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Bob Wills Round Up Disc A010

    1. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 10 Sally Johnson
    2. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 11 Prosperity Special

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Bob Wills Round Up Disc A011

    1. Bob Wills Kxla 530100 12 Britain Rag

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00

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