“Sweet Georgia Brown” is a popular first swing tune. Al Dexter had had a million-seller on his "Pistol Packin' Mama" record. This opened up a guitar position in the orchestra, so Wills added two electric guitarists, Jimmy Wyble and Cameron Hill. It is similar to the left hand piano rhythm style called “stride,” but played on the guitar. This style was born in the late 1940's with the rise of Western Swing - a hybrid of western-themed songs with jazz rhythm and harmony. An added benefit is that while album liner notes may not identify the musicians, Bob always did! The acoustic arch-top guitar chording of Freddie Green anchored Count Basie’s popular big band from 1937. That duo soon joined with another duo, vocalist Milton Brown and his younger brother Derwood Brown on guitar. [34] Brower, a classically trained violinist, was the first to master Joe Venuti's double shuffle and his improvisational style was a major contribution to the genre. Western Swing was born in the '30s and is still going strong! Robert Lee "Bob" Dunn (February 5, 1908 – May 27, 1971) was an American jazz trombonist and a pioneer Western swing steel guitarist. It wasn't all out boogie woogie; it was 'swingier'—more smooth and subdued. In this guitar lesson you’ll learn how to play a jazzy sounding, western swing lead over a I, IV, V chord progression for a much more melodic sounding lead. Johnson is shown with a small mahogany-topped Martin in photographs. View course $25. This gives you a much more melodic sounding lead, and you’ll find it’s really not that difficult to do! Later in 1933, Wills formed his Texas Playboys and over the next few years added drums, piano, horns, and the then-new electric steel guitar and standard guitar to the instrumentation of Western swing music. Western swing is a style of popular music that began in the 1920s in the American Southwest among the region's popular Western string bands. Any Django fans in the room? Milton Brown and His Brownies, Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, Spade Cooley and His Buckle-Busters, Adolph Hofner and His San Antonians, Tex Williams and His String Band, Grady Martin and His Winging Strings, and Billy Gray and His Western Okies all had their own albums. "The Cowboy's Bawdy Music". Django Reinhardt is an important “ear-opening” guitarist and his “Minor Swing” is also an often-played favorite. For some, it is contest-style fiddle backup on guitar, sometimes called Texas “sock” style. Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys remained popular after the war, and could not provide enough new recordings to fill demand. The 1936 recording of “Bluin’ the Blues” features a guitar solo by Sleepy Johnson on the jazzy acoustic lead. We was just tryin' to find enough tunes to keep 'em dancin' to not have to repeat so much. Montgomery Ward credited "Milton Brown and His Musical Brownies". Junior Barnard, born Lester Robert Barnard (December 17, 1920 – April 15, 1951) was an American Western swing guitarist who was a member of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. Western swing legend Tom "Wolf" Morrell died Tuesday of emphysema at his home in Little Elm, Texas. [35], The amplified stringed instruments, especially the steel guitar, gave the music its distinctive sound. Its short neck and high tuning (CGDA) made it a loud acoustic instrument. Career. ...It was nobody intended to start anything in the world. Ment Morris is an Austin based guitarist and educator specializing in Bakersfield Sound, Classic Country, Western Swing, Country Jazz, Swing/Bebop, and Electric Blues Guitar Note for note "Faded Love" and "San Antonio Rose The term swing, meaning big band dance music, wasn't used until after the 1932 hit "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)". Most of the big Western dance bandleaders simply referred to themselves as Western bands and their … Shamblin recorded solo guitar with Wills as early as 1938 and was already playing in his characteristic style. [10] The electrically amplified stringed instruments, especially the steel guitar, give the music a distinctive sound. Hugh Farr on fiddle and Karl on guitar created a Western version of the Reinhardt/Grappelli sound. Leon Rhodes guitar work on this project is memorable. For some, it is specifically the rhythm guitar style developed by the great Eldon Shamblin while he was a member of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. Band members Tim O’Brien and Nick Forrester both played the style well using vintage Gibson ES150 guitars. No list of Western swing musicians, let alone guitar players, is complete without the name Eldon Shamblin. Emulating The Pedal Steel Guitar. Both "Sunbonnet Sue" and "Nancy Jane" were recorded that day. "[30], In the early 1930s, Bob Wills and Milton Brown co-founded the string band that became the Light Crust Doughboys, the first professional band in this genre. The Crystal Springs Dance Pavilion was at the center, and it prospered as a country music venue until the 1950s. The Heroes of Flatpicking and Bluegrass Guitar. Despite the presence of great musicians including former Playboy Johnny Gimble and a who’s-who of session musicians, the Nashville sessions are generally lack luster and pale in comparison to Wills’ best work. An in depth video course on the guitarist who's blues, jazz, and swing stylings helped create the Western Swing guitar sound! The record was released by Victor (23653), Blue Bird (5257), Montgomery Ward (4416 & 4757), and (Canadian) Sunrise (3340). Photographs of the Light Crust Doughboys taken as early as 1931 show two guitars along with fiddle player Wills. 36 , Issue 10 NorthWest Western Swing … Texas steel guitarist Tommy Morrell has produced a series of great instrumental recordings on his own label that feature great swing rhythm guitar. By September 1932, Milton Brown had left the Doughboys because he was interested in leading his own dance band and playing the kind of music that W. Lee O’Daniel was not allowing the Doughboys to play. Club owners and promoters couldn't afford the combined city, state government taxes. Western swing in its beginnings was just dance music. Wills’ post-war groups featured string musicians who played harmonized section choruses much like a horn group. Western Swing evolved from old house parties and ranch dances where fiddlers and guitarists entertained dancers. Junior’s wild bluesy sound was in stark contrast to Shamblin’s more controlled jazz inspired approach. Early lead players, such as Shamblin and Junior Barnard, were close in sound and style to such early jazz and blues guitarists as Charlie Christian and T-Bone Walker. Shamblin’s solo guitar work has been incorrectly (in my opinion) called “Christian-esque” in numerous accounts of his style. The Light Crust Doughboys’ repertoire as the Doughboys differed greatly from what was played at the dance halls. It sounds like there are more chords due to guitarists employing different Recordings of early Texas fiddlers in the 1920s also feature the “boom-chick” style. Swing rhythm features steady four-to-the-bar strums with chords typically changing every two beats. The ethnic sounds of German, Czech, French, and Mexican Americans also were a great influence. Legendary jazz guitarist Charlie Christian made recordings beginning in the early 1940s with the Benny Goodman orchestra. Vocalist/guitarist Tag Lambert traveled and performed with Wills during these years and his style shows a strong influence of earlier Wills’ guitarists including Junior Barnard. I’ll show you how to play a few jazz runs by targeting the notes within the chord. Western Swing was born in the '30s and is still going strong! Bob Wills was heard on every jukebox with this "San Antonio Rose". Charlie Christian was the Oklahoma guitarist who single-handedly defined electric jazz guitar in the early 1940s. Wills’ vocal antics should be addressed here. It was the South’s answer to big-band music, minus the horn section. The 45 RPM disc above has to be at least ONE of the greatest Western Swing recordings ever made. His lead style had a life changing effect on many jazz and swing guitarists including jazz greats Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis and nearly everyone else. [61] In November, Billboard reported Decca was rushing out three more albums in the series, albeit with less of a Western swing flavor. Some early photos of the Doughboys (see phot on this page) do not include the teenaged Durwood Brown, as he was an “unofficial” member of the band. Additionally, although popular horn bands tended to arrange and score their music, most Western bands improvised freely, either by soloists or collectively.[12]. This concept is shown with a I–V (G6–D7/A) progression in the key of G major in Example 1. It was so-called because it was used as a lead instrument in the then-popular American tango bands. Haggard’s 1970 Wills tribute album led directly to the United Artists 1972 release For the Last Time: Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys two-album boxed set. Example #1 - Western Swing. Most guitarists think (wrongly) that the Telecaster and Stratocaster were created for Rock, blues and Country players. 50,000-watt radio station KVOO broadcast daily programs. [1] Characteristic chord forms include sixths, ninths, diminished and augmented. Marble, Manning; John McMillian; Nishani Frazier (eds.). “Chinatown, My Chinatown” was written in 1906 and became a jazz classic when Louis Armstrong recorded These recordings featured the smaller “post-war band” and are available today in the multi-volume “Tiffany Transcriptions” series. The new style combined the jazz sounds of radio, records and the big dance halls of the central and northeastern United States with fiddle tunes, square dance music, blues, and other rural folk music. Clinton “Sleepy” Johnson later replaced Arnspiger in the Doughboys (see the photo on the next page). All these styles can rightfully be called Western swing style guitar. Both recordings feature acoustic rhythm guitar played in the open bass-chord style by Derwood Brown. #591256 - 04/11/20 05:24 AM [Off-Topic] An Introduction to Western Swing and Its Illustrious Guitarists Registered: 07/13/02 Posts: 2984 (Boatright was a fiddle player originally from Goree. Handy's "St. Louis Blues" (Decca 5070) using a shortened arrangement of what they played at dances at the Crystal Springs Dance Pavilion outside Fort Worth, Texas. Eldon bought it for $225, paid out at $2 a week. In this week's guitar lesson, I'll show you an easy way to play lead chord changes over a Western Swing style rhythm. The name of this band changed often, depending on who hired them. Waco guitarist Ken Frazier to be inducted Into Western Swing Hall of Fame May 19, 2011 May 19, 2011 Updated Aug 17, 2019 0 × Thanks for reading! He was 68. Speaking of Milton Brown and himself—working with popular songs done by Jimmie Davis, the Skillet Lickers, Jimmie Rodgers, songs he had learned from his father and others—Wills said, "We'd...pull these tunes down an set 'em in a dance category. However they get into it, most guitarists eventually find their way to the unique Western version of swing music. [31], In late 1933, Wills organized the Texas Playboys in Waco, Texas. Karl Farr’s rhythm and lead style helped set the swingy drive of Western music. "They were pretty simple couples dances, two steps and the Lindy Hop with a few Western twirls added for good measure. [39], A documented instance of a Western swing group adopting the newer, by then mainstream 44 meter swing jazz style, replacing the 24 style, was when producer Art Satherley required it at a September 1936 Light Crust Doughboy recording session.[40]. Western swing, jazz: Occupation(s) Musician: Instruments: Guitar: Years active: 1930s–1940s: Associated acts: Bob Wills: Junior Barnard, born Lester Robert Barnard (December 17, 1920 – April 15, 1951) was an American Western swing guitarist who was a member of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. It wasn't done in the music's heyday of the 30's and 40's, but in 1973, in Nashville. Between 1934 and 1936, Milton Brown and his Musical Brownies recorded nearly one hundred selections for Decca and Victor. His influence on swing guitar was immense. Haggard later added both Moore and Shamblin to his band, the Strangers. Leon McAuliffe and Tommy Duncan both had solo careers after their stints with Wills. Western swing began in the dance halls of small towns throughout the lower Great Plains in the late 1920s and early 1930s,[26][27] growing from house parties and ranch dances where fiddlers and guitarists played for dancers. This album is now available in CD format at a bargain price and contains lots of great Eldon-style rhythm guitar. Western swing style guitar suggests many different images. Colter Wall's guitar tends to be tuned down to a D tuning but he frequently has the capo on 2nd anyway so I decided to tab the song in the standard tuning. You were lucky to find a ticket on a Wednesday night. The band relocated to Austin, Texas and for over thirty years, kept the Western swing torch alive. They all made the switch to solid body guitars made by Leo Fender, and custom guitars by Semie Moseley during the 1950s. Jazz drummer Max Roach argued, "This tax is the real story why dancing...public dancing per se...were just out." They are champion Lead Guitar Style of Roy Nichols. If your movie tastes are more toward art-house films, it is also where actress Judy Davis is […] The role of the sax section and the trumpet section had been replaced with a fiddle and a lap steel guitar. "Western jazz" brought it its initial popularity. That winter, influential LA-area jazz and swing disc jockey Al Jarvis held a radio contest for top popular band leaders. It was so-called because it was used as a lead instrument in the then-popular American tango bands. We will examine the use of:br>br>1. "[52], In 1950, Hank Penny and Armand Gautier opened the Palomino in North Hollywood, "one of country music's most fabled venues, the commercial and social focal point of Hollywood's country set." By the end of the Thirties, Milton Brown’s band had broken up (following the leader’s death on the highway), and the best-known, most influential Western swing pickers were guitarists Eldon Shamblin and steel guitarist Leon The group also appeared on the American Forces Network's Melody Roundup radio program during the war.[57]. page 119, Popular Music in America: The Beat Goes On. Some listeners have objected to his nearly constant talking, introducing and “Ahh-Haa-ing” during instrumental solos. It would seem that Shamblin and Christian were both influenced by the great jazz soloists of the 1920s and 30s and developed their styles independently. Price, "Jazz Guitar and Western Swing", p. 81. The guitar in Western Swing holds a particularly important place. During a 1940 recording session, Wills asked him to “put some runs” into his rhythm guitar part on “Take Me Back To Tulsa.” Shamblin remembers this was the only time Wills ever told him what he wanted from the guitar. "[23] A more widely known "first use" was an October 1944 Billboard item mentioning a forthcoming songbook by Cooley titled Western Swing. T. Texas Tyler was doing well with his "Remember Me (When the Candlelights are Gleaming)". The greatest players throughout history could communicate their musical ideas to stunning effect. The pandemic, like many, has me feeling noticeable less inspired but this one kind of … “Bob Wills Music” and “Western swing” have become synonyms for this infectious style. In 1930 the group got a job promoting lamps on WBAP for the Aladdin Lamp Company and they were known as the Aladdin Laddies. The winner would be named "the King of Swing". The line outside at that time was ten deep and stretched into Venice. "[37], In 1935, Brown and His Musical Brownies recorded W.C. In 1944, with the United States' continuing involvement in World War II, a 30 percent federal excise tax was levied against "dancing" nightclubs. "Here's the way I figure it," he said. Shamblin recorded with the Super 400 guitar and kept a bass line running through the songs, often with a new chord every two beats. This book includes 25 swingin' classics, including the solos of the best guitarists from yesterday and today, such as Chet Atkins, Ray Benson, Vince Gill, Roy Lanham, Marty Stuart and more. Influenced by influential Hawaiian lap steel guitar player Sol Hoʻopiʻi, Dunn played in his own original bluesy style and was one of the first to record an electric guitar, preceding other country & western guitarists following him shortly. The guitar in Western Swing holds a particularly important place. As the popularity of tangos faded, the tango banjo became the tenor banjo and was used in the late teens and 1920s dance orchestras to supply dance rhythm at a volume to compete with drums, horns, and other instruments. The second acoustic guitarist on these recordings was often either Johnson or Leon McAuliffe, who would become best known as an electric steel guitarist. The rhythmic long-short, long-short beat was a national craze. In the 1940s, many copies of these transcribed performances would have been made. This album featured many of the original Playboys including Shamblin. Although Shamblin played solos on these early recording, he saw himself primarily as a rhythm guitarist. [45] Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen and the Strangers were also key players in this revitalization. These recordings were less formal than a serious recording session and include many candid moments such as vocalist Tommy Duncan’s laughter at Bob’s constant vocalizing. Introduced in 1931, the hollow-bodied electric guitar was immediately sought-after by guitarists struggling to be heard in the swing era of brass … Born in Weatherford, Oklahoma, Shamblin taught himself guitar and music by studying big-band charts and stock arrangements as a teen. The crowds of dancers loved the arrangement and eagerly anticipated the change in tempo. In the 1950s and 60s, country stars Hank Thompson and Ray Price kept the Western swing sound alive but otherwise this was a dark period for the style. Eldon Shamblin (April 24, 1916 – August 5, 1998) was an American guitarist and arranger, particularly important to the development of Western swing music as one of the first electric guitarists in a popular dance band. Swing. The music that they played in the dance halls was different than that which they played on the radio as the Light Crust Doughboys because the sponsor, W. Lee O’Daniel, picked the songs that the Doughboys played. Eldon left the band to serve in the armed forces during World War II. Brown’s rhythm section included brother Derwood on guitar and Ocie Stockard on tenor banjo. The book Milton Brown and the Founding of Western Swing (University of Illinois Press, 1994) written by Cary Ginell and Roy Lee Brown (Milton’s youngest brother) states, “In addition to barnstorming for Light Crust Flour, Milton Brown and the band continued to play dances every Saturday night at Crystal Springs. The Doughboys changed their name to the Fort Worth Doughboys (to avoid any trouble between the band and W. Lee O’Daniel) and recorded “Sunbonnet Sue” and “Nancy Jane” for Victor. According to Roy Lee Brown, Milton told the bass player to “Slap it like they do down in New Orleans.” Later Brown added jazz-influenced Bob Dunn on steel guitar. According to Merle Travis, "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. In 1931, with the Burrus Flour Mill as their sponsor, they became the Light Crust Doughboys. [55], Fred "Poppa" Calhoun, piano player for Milton Brown, vividly remembered how people in Texas and Oklahoma danced when Bob Wills played. Shamblin’s first recorded guitar work with Wills was on the acoustic. Wills moved to Fort Worth in 1929 and formed the Wills Fiddle Band as a duo with himself on fiddle and Herman Arnspiger on acoustic guitar. [59] In January 1953 Billboard reported Cooley played to 192,000 payees over 52 Saturday night dates at the Santa Monica Ballroom, grossing $220,000. Later recordings of “Roly Poly” generally include musical “quotes” from Wyble’s memorable solo. Wetlock, E. Clyde; Richard Drake Saunders (eds.). Still others think of cowboy music, beginning with the Sons of the Pioneers and including modern groups such as Riders In The Sky. Western swing started to gain popularity in the 1920s. Western swing was one of the many subgenres to influence rockabilly and rock and roll. "[49] When Bob Wills played the Los Angeles Country Barn Dance at the Venice Pier for three nights shortly before he broke up his band to join the U.S. Army during World War II, the attendance was above 15,000. In Clint Eastwood's 1982 movie Honkytonk Man, his character meets Bob Wills (played by Johnny Gimble, an original Texas Playboy), who is recording in a studio with other former band members. [51], Riverside Rancho, operated by Marty Landau, had a 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) dance floor, three bars and a restaurant. The tenor banjo may well have been the first instrument to play swing rhythm in Western swing. Wills’ call of “Herbie, Tiny, Eldon” during harmonized solos helped establish solo careers for Herb Remington (steel) Tiny Moore (electric mandolin) and Eldon Shamblin. The music was broadcast as a radio show, The Cavalcade of Western Music, on KFI-AM. When Spade Cooley unexpectedly received the most votes, besting Benny Goodman and Harry James, Jarvis declared Cooley to be the King of Western Swing. During these years Wills carried a full line-up of horns. Note the four note rhythm chords and the use of dominant 9th and 13th voicings. [48], One group which played at the Venice Pier Ballroom was led by Jimmy Wakely with Spade Cooley, his successor as bandleader, on fiddle. Western swing is a unique fusion of musical styles and cultures, primarily encompassing country, jazz, blues, swing, and big band. It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing), Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen, List of Western swing and swing (big band) musicians, "Answers - The Most Trusted Place for Answering Life's Questions", "A complete and up to the minute listing of dances, shows, festivals and events playing Western Swing music", Highlights, transcript, and audio links to NPR story on the Bobby Boatright Memorial Music Camp that aired 07/21/10, "82(R) SCR 35 - Enrolled version - Bill Text", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Western_swing&oldid=981569419, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Western swing differs in several ways from the music played by the nationally popular horn-driven big swing bands of the same era. The group, with Fred "Papa" Calhoun on piano, played dance halls and was heard on radio. Idk, does it matter that much? Robert Lee "Bob" Dunn (February 5, 1908 – May 27, 1971) was an American jazz trombonist and a pioneer Western swing steel guitarist. Western Swing Monthly,[65] based in Austin, is a newsletter for musicians and fans. [15] Most of the big Western dance bandleaders simply referred to themselves as Western bands and their music as Western dance music, many adamantly refusing the hillbilly label.[16]. Western Swing Guitar Lesson – Time Jumpers Guitar Licks Western swing music combines bits of early jazz and country music together into a sound that became hugely popular throughout the 30s and 40s.

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