ABOUT THIS BOOK
"Until Hank Williams came along, it was just Bob Willis," says Willie Nelson. "He was it." And indeed he was, especially for the thousands in the Southwest who knew and loved the King of Western Swing. The colorful band leader-composer-fiddler from Turkey, Texas, lassoed the emotions of country-and-western fans nationwide. In the early 1940s, his records outsold those of any other recording artist. He was voted not only into the Country Music Hall of Fame but also into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, the only performer other than Gene Autry to be so honored.
Affectionately written by a Texan who responded to the legendary fiddler's style, San Antonio Rose captures Wills's magnetism and the musical excitement he created. Charles R. Townsend traces Wills's dynamic life from his birth into a family of frontier fiddlers through his career and stardom and on to the poignant last recording session in 1973 and his death two years later. Townsend shows how Wills brought black and white music together and examines the tremendous impact he had on both popular and country music through the more than 550 selections he recorded and the forty years he and his Texas Playboys performed in dance halls and on radio.