(1905 - 1975)

(born March 6, 1905, Moss Springs Community, 
Kosse, Texas; died May 13, 1975, Fort Worth, Texas)

He created a new art form called western swing and for over four decades influenced American popular music in general and country and western in particular.

Reared in poverty among unlettered white and black musicians who expressed their deepest emotions in music, he learned to perform and compose from his heart and soul.

Like those musicians, he was concerned more with musical feeling than with musical propriety.  This folk environment contributed to Wills' uninhibited, free, experimental, and often radical approach to music that put him years ahead of his time. 

Just how far ahead he really was is evident in the fact that his music appealed to both the age of jazz and swing era and continues to be popular in these times of rock and country and western.

Bob Wills began his career as a fiddler in 1915 and ended it at a recording session for United Artist fifty-eight years later, in 1973. 

He made his first record in 1929 and his last forty-four years later.  His total output in that period was over five hundred and fifty recordings.

From the horse and carriage to the space age, from the telephone to telstar, from the model T Ford to President Gerald R. Ford, few performers, in music or any other art, have appealed to the public through such a vast and changing period in history.

How he and his music could sustain this response for over a half a century is a human as well as a musical enigma.

Charles R. Townsend - Stars of Country Music

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