As western-swing fans know, Bob Wills and Milton Brown performed together in a band out of Fort Worth called the Light Crust Doughboys, whose main purpose was to advertise the Burrus Mill’s Light Crust Flour. Brown left first to start his own band, followed shortly by Wills. In both cases, their departures had something to do with the heavy hand of Burrus general manager — and, later, Texas governor and U.S. Senator — W. Lee “Pappy” O’Daniel, who controlled the Doughboys.
Not quite as well-known is the fact that old Pappy left Burris Mill a few years after Bob’s 1933 departure to start his own Hillbilly Flour operation, putting together a group modeled after the Doughboys called W. Lee O’Daniel and His Hillbilly Boys. Its singer at one point was the smooth-voiced Leon Huff,
I know it’s hard to believe, but I actually misspeak on this week’s show, identifying Huff as the vocalist on Johnnie Lee Wills’ big hit “Milk Cow Blues.” He wasn’t (it was Cotton Thompson), but Huff did later distinguish himself as a vocalist with both Bob and Johnnie Lee’s bands.
Saturday on SWING ON THIS, you’ll hear Huff with the Hillbilly Boys, Johnnie Lee with his longtime musical compadre Curly Lewis, and Bob with a classic from the Cindy Walker songbook. Also, more new music from the Brazos Valley Boys and the Hot Texas Swing Band, and a tune from the Hoosier Hot Shots that goes all the way back to The Ziegfeld Follies of 1927.
All that and much more this Saturday, 7 p.m. Tulsa time, on radio station KWGS, 89.5 FM, and live-streaming everywhere (including Kansas, where we seem to be picking up some listeners) at publicradiotulsa.org. That’s SWING ON THIS, where you’re always welcome!
1. “Don’t Be Ashamed of Your Age,” Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys
2. “Cherokee Maiden,” Eric Diamond
3. “Dirty Hangover Blues,” W. Lee O’Daniel and His Hillbilly Boys
(for WES & JEANNIE BENGE and the GLASS LIFTERS)
4. “You Don’t Have to Drive Me Crazy,” Billy Parker
(for JACK & CAROLE BENDER)
5. “Oklahoma Blues,” Zeke Clements and His Western Swing Gang
6. “Seven Come Eleven,” Truitt Cunningham and His San Antone Rose Band
(for BOBBY & JUDY KOEFER and ROSE SINCLAIR)
7. “Let Me Be,” Johnnie Lee Wills w/Curly Lewis
(for CYNTHIA HACKATHORN)
8 “Relaxin’,” Brazos Valley Boys
(for JOHN HAMILL)
9. “Big Daddy Blues,” Jimmy Revard and His Oklahoma Playboys
(for CAT & CHRIS BURTON0
10. “My Blue Heaven,” Hoosier Hot Shots
(for WAYNE MCCOMBS)
11. “Morning Green,” Hot Texas Swing Band
12. “Swinging the Devil’s Dream,” Spade Cooley
13. “Love Letters in the Sand,” the Boys in the Bunkhouse
(for RAY BINGHAM)
14. “Cowboy’s Swing,” Hank Penny and His Radio Cowboys
15. “Till Then,” Tom Morrell and the Time-Warp Tophands