Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys
Joe “Jody” Holley
A Western rogue whose musical chemistry and repartee charged audiences with excitement.
Bob Wills blended genres of all kinds to create a distinctly American sound. With his Texas Playboys, their impromptu jams shot through with call and response “yee-ha”’s reveal what we can only call their raucous reverence for Western swing.
Hall of Fame Essay
Years before Sam Phillips envisioned a new frontier in the sound of Elvis Presley’s voice, Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys were out there cutting the path that would run through Memphis, merge with other musical byways in the mid-1950s and lead ultimately to rock & roll.
Bob Wills, the King of Western Swing, was all over early rock & roll, and it’s entirely appropriate that he is honored tonight for his pioneering achievements in laying the groundwork for what many believe is the most important popular-culture phenomenon of the century.
In fact, Will’s spirit, if not invoked by name, is nevertheless more powerfully felt today than it has been in years.
They had the big beat and they flaunted it.
Photography: Kevin Mazur, WireImage
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