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Western swing

From Academic Kids

Western swing, also known as Country Swing, is dance music with an up-tempo beat and a decidedly Southwestern US regional flavor. It consists of an eclectic combination of country, cowboy, polka, and folk music, blended with a jazzy "swing", with a tip of the hat to New Orleans jazz and Delta blues, and played by a hot string band often augmented with drums, saxophones, pianos and, notably, the pedal steel guitar.

It originated in the dance halls, road houses and county fairs of small towns throughout the Lower Great Plains in the 1920's and 1930's. With the advent of radio broadcasting, it gained a much wider following and reached its "golden age" in the post-WWII era of the mid-forties — reflecting the waxing and waning of the more mainstream big-band sound. Spade Cooley coined the term 'Western swing' in the early 1940's.

Notable bands from the early era included:

  • Al Dexter and His Troopers
  • The Light Crust Doughboys
  • Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys
  • Milton Brown and his Brownies
  • The Southern Melody Boys
  • The High Flyers
  • The Tune Wranglers
  • Adolph Hofner and his San Antonians
  • Bill Boyd and the Cowboy Ramblers
  • Spade Cooley and His Orchestra
  • Tex Williams and the Western Caravan
  • "Texas" Jim Lewis and His Lone Star Cowboys
  • Hank Thompson and His Brazos Valley Boys
  • Bill Haley and the Saddlemen (later - Bill Haley and the Comets)
  • The Forth Worth Doughboys
  • Doug Bine and his Dixie Ramblers
  • Jimmie Revard and his Oklahoma Playboys
  • The Washboard Wonders
  • Cliff Bruner's Texas Wanderers
  • Buddy Jones
  • Sons of the Pioneers
  • Smokey Wood and the Wood Chips
  • Hank Penny and his Radio Cowboys
  • W. Lee O'Daniel and his Hillbilly Boys
  • Porky Freeman
  • Ocie Stockard and the Wanderers

Later bands and artists of the genre (or influenced by it):

See also: List of swing/big band musicians


External Links:

Western Swing at Big Bands Database Plus (http://nfo.net/usa/weswing.html)

Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys website (http://www.texasplayboys.net/)

Milton Brown bio at TSHA (http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/MM/xgm1.html)

WesternSwing.com Links (http://www.westernswing.com/Links.html)

Popular Culture Excavation Site (http://www.beta.webyoda.com/dumboozle/western/westdex.html)

A Short History of Western Swing (http://www.pencilstubs.com/magazine/MagPage.asp?NID=319)

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