18 SEPTEMBER 2021

Although their duties have changed a bit over the years, the A&R (artists and repertoire) people at record labels are generally responsible for overseeing recording sessions and suggesting songs to be recorded by an act. In the pre-Internet days, they exerted a tremendous amount of influence, even to the point of nixing the release of songs that had already been recorded. 

Music historians have noted that “Uncle” Art Satherley, a Brit who became a big-time A&R man at Columbia, felt that the folks who bought Bob Wills records were unsophisticated and wanted simple fiddle tunes played by a small group, not big-band-style numbers with horns and reeds. Bob, on the other hand, was experimenting with the latter sound to great effect in the early 1940s. In fact, his biggest hit ever, “New San Antonio Rose,” featured a top-notch big-band arrangement. (Listen to the best-known version of it, from 1940, and see if you can hear any fiddles.) 

Still, Uncle Art insisted on releasing more discs of Wills’ small-combo, fiddle-driven material than his orchestral stuff — which is why a gem like “When It’s Honeysuckle Time in the Valley,” cut in 1942, laid around in the Columbia vaults for 45 years before seeing the light of day. (Sources cite Leon Huff as the vocalist, but it sure sounds like Tommy Duncan to me.) 

This week’s edition of SWING ON THIS begins with that number. It’s the gateway to an hour of western swing, cowboy jazz, and maybe a surprise or two. Those ribald Sweet Violent Boys will be back, and so will Red Steagall, singing a number that was nominated for an Academy Award in the early ‘60s. 

So here’s your weekly invitation to join the fun by tuning in SWING ON THIS, 7 p.m. this Saturday over radio station KWGS, 89.5 FM, in the Tulsa listening area, or via live-stream everywhere atpublicradiotulsa.org


1. “When It’s Honeysuckle Time in the Valley,” Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys
2. “She’s Just Getting Back at Me,” Billy Parker
3. “Hollywood and Wine,” Rodney Lay and the Wild West
(for ROBERT BLANCK and the GLASS LIFTERS)
4. “Out in the Rain Again,” Bill Boyd
5. “San Angelo,” Tom Morrell and the Time-Warp Tophands  w/Trudy Fair
6. “You Clobbered Me,” Spade Cooley
(for SCOTT MCCARTOR)
7. “Do Wacka Don’t/Five Foot Two,” Bagsby Brothers
8. “San Antonio Rose,” Les Oliver
(for AP MCQUIDDY)
9. “Black Eyed Susan Brown,” Tune Wranglers
10. “More,” Red Steagall
(for RAY BINGHAM)
11. “Never Trust A Woman,” Tex Williams
12. “South,” Roy Clark
(for JIM HALSEY and BARBARA CLARK)
13. “Three LIttle Words,” Hot Club of Cowtown
14. “Round and Round (Yas, Yas, Yas), Sweet Violet Boys
(for CAROLE & JACK BENDER)
15. “Oh Babe,” Homer and Jethro
(for HAMILL TIME)