What You Need To Know
Cary E. Mansfield | Studio City, CA USA | 09/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bob Wills' name will forever be associated with Western swing. Although he did not invent the genre single-handedly, he did popularize it and changed its rules.
* Throughout the `40s, Bob Wills And The Texas Playboys was one of the most popular groups in the country and the musicians in the Playboys were among the finest of their era.
* Among the Texas Playboys included on these tracks are brother Billy Jack Wills on bass and Johnny Cuviello on drums, keeping the rhythm bright and swinging. Right on top is the captivating musical combination of Tommy Duncan's singing and Bob Wills' hollering. Their special magic can be found here in some of their most obscure tunes, rarities like the jazzy "31st Street Blues," a Dixieland dance number called "Darktown Strutters Ball," and the topical World War II gem, "G.I. Blues."
* These rare recordings from the late '30s and '40s never saw release during Bob Wills or Tommy Duncan's lifetimes. They were, in fact, issued only for a short time in the US on Longhorn Records, and this is their first domestic release on CD."
+1/2 -- Rare western swing from the late '30s and '40s
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 12/14/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Recorded during Bob Wills' most productive years in the '30s and '40s, these tracks went unreleased until a vinyl issue on Longhorn records in 1981. Many of Wills' essential Playboys are here, including The Texas Drummer Boy, John Cuviello, and steel guitarist Noel Boggs. Tommy Duncan provides lead vocals on eight of the fifteen selections. Of particular interest is the war-era "G.I. Wish," the trad-jazz/dixieland "Darktown Strutters Ball," and the oft-recorded 1920's blues (turned into a Western Swing by Milton Brown in the mid-30s) "Corrine, Corrina." There are also five instrumentals that give the band's chops a chance to shine. Given the sheer volume of Wills' recordings that have found their way to CD, particularly the volumes of transcription recordings, nearly every one of these titles has already appeared in one form or another. Still, these are excellent performances that give a good sense of what Wills and his band could do. 3-1/2 stars, if allowed fractional ratings. [©2007 hyperbolium dot com]"