Happy Birthday, Bob Wills

It has been 110 years since the unsurpassed Bob Wills was born on March 6, 1905 in Kosse, Texas. Given the recent ways Texas Folklife has been showcasing its three decades of work documenting and celebrating Texas fiddling on its archival cd release and at the Festival of Texas Fiddling, it seemed appropriate to send along happy birthday wishes! It is hard to imagine someone who has had a more significant impact on both Texas music and on all American music than Bob Wills.

What tune to post? That's a tough question. Impossible to say, and about a million come to mind. My advice is for you to pick your favorite and go listen. I will just pick a couple, starting with a tune I've always liked called "Crippled Turkey." This tune is related to another tune played elswhere called "Say Old Man, Can You Play the Fiddle," according to Gus Meade, scholar of American fiddling,  but in Texas it has that wonderful evocative name "Crippled Turkey".

Wills recorded this tune in 1936 but it was not released.  Bob Wills got his start in Turkey, Texas, playing at the Turkey Hotel.  Nowadays you can take in the Bob Wills Day in Turkey if you are looking for something to do in April.  http://www.bobwillsday.com/

Then some footage of Wills playing "Liberty."