15 JANUARY 2022

When the music that would become known as Western swing took off from Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, via Tulsa’s Cain’s Ballroom and radio station KVOO, a lot of bands came along that looked to Wills for inspiration — and sometimes, for outright imitation. (See Ole Rasumssen and his Cornhuskers, for instance). Three of these acts would have an even closer relationship with Bob, thanks to their being his younger brothers. Johnnie Lee, Luke (aka Luther J.) and Billy Jack Wills all spent time not only playing in the Texas Playboys, but also leading their own groups — with their eldest brother’s encouragement and approval.

        

This Saturday on SWING ON THIS, we’ll feature songs from each of the four bandleading Wills brothers, along with a seldom-heard cut from Cindy Walker, who was maybe Bob’s favorite songwriter through the years.
        
You jazz lovers out there may be Interested in guitarist Herb Ellis’s take on a 1945 Charlie Parker composition, and fans of the Beatles could find something eerily familiar in a 1938 tune I’m playing from Roy Newman and His Boys. Plus, there’s plenty more Western swing, cowboy jazz, and maybe a surprise or two.
        
So please join me this Saturday at 7 p.m. for SWING ON THIS, broadcast in the Tulsa listening area over NPR affiliate KWGS, 89.5 FM, and live-streaming everywhere in the cosmos at publicradiotulsa.org
 
1. “Put Another chair at the Table,” Bob Will and His Texas Playboys
(for HAMILL TIME)
2. “Stompin’ at the Savoy,” Tom Morrell and the Time-Warp Tophands 
3. “Lonesome Blues,” Tune Wranglers
4 “Shut Up and Drink Your Beer,” Luke Wills Rhythm Busters
(for RANDY JOHNSTON and the GLASS LIFTERS)
5. “Take Me in Your Arms (And Hold Me),” Cindy Walker
6. “Once Is Enough,” Lyle Lovett
(for CAROLE & JACK BENDER and JANIS)
7. “Old Waterfall,” Jimmie Revard and His Oklahoma Playboys
(for CAT & CHRIS BURTON — HAPPY ANNIVERSARY) 
8. “San Antonio Rose,” Hank Snow
(for AP MCQUIDDY)
9. “When the Bloom Is on the Sage,” Hot Texas Swing Band
10. “I Never See My Baby Alone,” Johnny Tyler and His Riders of the Rio Grande
11. “Billie’s Bounce,” Herb Ellis
(for TOM BOMER)
12. “Milk Cow Blues,” Billy Parker w/Johnnie Lee Wills
13, “Everybody’s Trying to be My Baby,” Roy Newman and His Boys
(for CARL EDDY)
14. “Roped and Tied,” Billy Jack Wills
15. “I Love Being Here with You,” Brazos Valley Boys
(for SUE ANN CHAPMAN)