Spirit of America Bookstore

Western Swing Music

Western swing band onstage, dancers swinging in foreground          short history

artists & bands

compilation recordings

movies & other media

works about Western Swing Music


"Western swing is nothing more than a group of talented country boys, unschooled in music,
but playing the music they feel, beating a solid two-four rhythm to the harmonies that buzz
around their brains. When it escapes in all its musical glory, my friend, you have Western swing."
legendary guitarist Merle Travis

          The History of Western Swing Music

          t e x t

          h e r e

Western swing is a subgenre of American country music that originated in the late 1920s in the Southwestern U.S. as an amalgamation of rural, cowboy, polka, folk, Dixieland jazz, and blues blended with big band swing. The lead instruments are always led by hot strings (fiddles) augmented with guitars, drums, saxophones, pianos, and notably, the steel guitar.

Western Swing Society
Western Swing entry at Wikipedia
browse Western Swing Music category at Amazon

Artists of Western Swing
browse Western Swing Music category at Amazon


Nolan Bruce Allen & The Lone Star Western Swing Band


Shelly Lee Alley


Asleep At The Wheel band


Back At The Ranch band


Jim Boyd & His Men of The West


Marjie Beeler


Milton Brown

"Milton Brown and The Founding of Western Swing" [Univ IL Press 1994]
by Cary Ginell, with Roy Lee Brown.


Spade Cooley & His Orchestra


Craig Duncan & The Smoky Mountain Band


Adolph Hofner


The Light Crust Doughboys


Patsy Montana & The Prairie Ramblers


Jody Nix & The Texas Cowboys


W. Lee O'Daniel & His Hillbilly Boys


Smokey Rogers


Sons of The Pioneers


Hank Thompson


Tex Williams


Billy Jack Wills


Spirit of America Bookstore'sBob Wills [1905-75] & His Texas Playboys Page


Johnny Lee Wills

Compilation Recordings
browse Western Swing Music category at Amazon


Golden Years of Western Swing music CD box set   "Doughboys Playboys & Cowboys: The Golden Years of Western Swing" Box Set [1999]
featuring Bill Boyd, Lew Brown, Spade Cooley & His Orchestra, Tommy Duncan, Fort Worth Doughboys, Buddy Jones, Buster Jones, Light Crust Doughboys, Patsy Montana & The Prairie Ramblers, W. Lee O'Daniel & His Hillbilly Boys, Sons of The Pioneers, Hank Thompson, Ernest Tubb, Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys – and more
Proper Box UK music CD set [12/99] 99 tracks on 4 disks for $25.98
Kings of Western Swing compilation album  
"Kings of Western Swing: Featuring Bob Wills, Spade Cooley, Milton Brown & Johnny Lee Wills" [2005]
Pazzazz Records music CD [4/2005] 36 tracks on 2 disks - out of prodn/used
Western Swing, Bootstompers From The Golden Age___   "Western Swing: 40 Bootstompers From The Golden Age" [2007]
featured artists include Shelly Lee Alley, Bill Boyd, Spade Cooley, Tommy Duncan, Adolph Hofner, The Light Crust Doughboys, Leon McAuliffe, Patsy Montana, Hank Thompson, Tex Williams, Bob Wills, Johnnie Lee Wills, Luke Wills & others
Primo import music CD [1/2007] 40 tracks on 2 disks for $10.98

Motion Pictures & Other Media
search Internet Movie Database on keyword 'western swing'

Legends of Western Swing Guitar compilation on DVD  "Legends of Western Swing Guitar" compilation [1996 video release]
60-minute compilation featuring recent recordings by Texas Playboys veteran Eldon Shamblin {15 songs}, plus songs & film clips of Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, The Light Crust Doughboys, and Jim Boyd & His Men of The West; other guitar artists include 'Junior' Barnard, Muriel 'Zeke' Campbell, Billy Dozier, Benny Garcia, Art Greenhaw, Cameron Hill, Bob Kiser, Tommy Morrell & Jimmy Wyble not listed on IMDb
Vestapol color/b&w DVD [11/2003] for $24.95
Vestapol color/b&w VHS [10/96] out of prodn/used
Still Swingin docufilm & compilation  "Still Swingin: 100th Birthday Special Edition - The History of Bob Wills & Western Swing Music, Featuring The Texas Playboys, Tracy Byrd, Ray Benson, Jody Nix & Asleep At The Wheel" [2005]
Color documentary aired on Independent Film Channel in April 2005; the DVD contains 5 hours of material, including 90-minute live concert recorded in March 1994 at the historic Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa, featuring The Original Texas Playboys and Jody Nix & The Texas Cowboys; Bob Wills 'Soundies' shorts and archival clips from B-westerns: "OK Oklahoma" (from "The Last Horseman"), "Yodel Mountain", "Three Miles South of Cash", "Blue Prelude", "Deep Water", "Sittin' On Top of The World" & "Ida Red" (from "Go West, Young Man"); interviews with Luke Wills, Lorene Wills, and Texas Playboys members Bobby Koefer, Casey Dickens, Truit Cunningham, Glenn Rhees, Curly Lewis & Clarence Cagle; and Western Swing tunes audio: "A Big Ball In Cow Town", "Bubbles In My Beer", "Faded Love", "Four or Five Times", "Hawaiian War Chant", "Laugh To Keep From Crying", "Misery", "My Window Faces South", "Right or Wrong", "Roly Poly", "Spanish Two-Step", "Take Me Back To Tulsa", "The Texas Playboys Theme", among others
Co-produced & directed by Jeffrey Schwarz; narrated by Red Steagall
V.C.I. Video two-sided color DVD [3/2005] for $17.99
credits at IMDb

Take Me Back To Tulsa Anthology of Western Swing Music on DVD  "Take Me Back To Tulsa: An Anthology of Western Swing" [2007]
featuring 21 tunes from Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys – "Adobe Hacienda", "Bluebonnet Lane", "Dusty Skies", "Fiddlin Man", "Gone Indian", "Goodbye, Liza Jane", "Home In San Antone", "I Hear Ya Talkin", "I Wonder If You Feel The Way I Do", "Ida Red", "It's A Grand Old World", "Liberty", "Lone Star Rag", "Mama Don't Allow", "San Antonio Rose", "Take Me Back To Oklahoma", "Take Me Back To Tulsa", "Time Changes Everything", "Under A Texas Moonlight", "You Are My Sunshine", and "You're From Texas"; plus Spade Cooley {5 songs}, Tommy Duncan {3 songs}, and singles by Marjie Beeler, Smokey Rogers, Tex Williams, and Hank Thompson
Vestapol b&w DVD [1/2007] for $24.95

Works About Western Swing Music
browse books

Western Swing entry at Wikipedia
Western Swing Society
Western Swing article at Roughstock website

Bob Wills Fiddle Festival & Contest [Oct 2017 = #4] in Greenville, Texas

Online sales in association with  browse Western Swing Music category at Amazon

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