However, that job only lasted a few months. The music was broadcast as a radio show, The Cavalcade of Western Music, on KFI-AM. Shamblin recorded solo guitar with Wills as early as 1938 and was already playing in his characteristic style. The movement was an outgrowth of jazz. Western-swing rhythm guitar features a lot of moving chord voicings, but the progressions are usually simple in terms of the actual number of chords. Logsdon, Guy. His recorded introductions however did much for the musicians that may not be immediately obvious. If your movie tastes are more toward art-house films, it is also where actress Judy Davis is […] By 1937 the jitterbug hit big in the West and allowed much greater freedom of movement. Western swing lives on at the Bobby Boatright Memorial Music Camp in Goree, Texas. By September 1932, Milton Brown had left the Doughboys because he was interested in leading his own dance band and playing the kind of music that W. Lee O’Daniel was not allowing the Doughboys to play. Waco guitarist Ken Frazier to be inducted Into Western Swing Hall of Fame May 19, 2011 May 19, 2011 Updated Aug 17, 2019 0 × Thanks for reading! Wetlock, E. Clyde; Richard Drake Saunders (eds.). View course $25. Fiddle-tune-based flatpick style guitarists generally discover swing style guitar at some point in their development. Wills’ early recordings included some of this material as well, but not to the same extent as the Brownies. Wills himself was present for the first session and makes a few vocal contributions. Derwood Brown played guitar and Johnson played tenor guitar. When Spade Cooley unexpectedly received the most votes, besting Benny Goodman and Harry James, Jarvis declared Cooley to be the King of Western Swing. Johnson’s playing on later fiddle/guitar recordings with Wills from 1935 and 1936 include “Smith’s Reel” and “Waltz in D.” These recordings feature the same open-chording style used by Derwood Brown. It is very much in the style of eastern “hillbilly” guitarists of the period such as “blue yodeler” Jimmy Rogers and the influential Riley Puckett, who played with Gid Tanner’s Skillet Lickers. You may recognize the name Roy Smeck as much for his own prolific recordings as for the dozens of guitar instruction books he issued throughout the years. Characteristic chord forms include sixths, ninths, diminished and augmented. Western swing, jazz: Occupation(s) Musician: Instruments: Guitar: Years active: 1930s–1940s: Associated acts: Bob Wills: Junior Barnard, born Lester Robert Barnard (December 17, 1920 – April 15, 1951) was an American Western swing guitarist who was a member of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. Doyle Brink and his Texas Swingsters out of Waco, Texas, also played on the road for almost 50 years. The syncopated Western swing guitar rhythm was not born until later. Many of the early Western swing bands featured a tenor banjo in their lineup and some kept the instrument long after most swing and jazz bands had replaced rhythm banjo with guitar. A moving bass line often anchors these changing chords. Between 1934 and 1936, Milton Brown and his Musical Brownies recorded nearly one hundred selections for Decca and Victor. His unique style featuring string bends, bluesy licks, and an overdriven amplifier tone was at least ten years before its time. Fearing the dance floor would collapse, police stopped ticket sales at 11 p.m. The ethnic sounds of German, Czech, French, and Mexican Americans also were a great influence. Its short neck and high tuning (CGDA) made it a loud acoustic instrument. Arnspiger appears with a Gibson L-4 guitar in numerous early 1930s photographs. View course $25. #591256 - 04/11/20 05:24 AM [Off-Topic] An Introduction to Western Swing and Its Illustrious Guitarists Registered: 07/13/02 Posts: 2984 Wills moved to Fort Worth in 1929 and formed the Wills Fiddle Band as a duo with himself on fiddle and Herman Arnspiger on acoustic guitar. An estimated 1,800 persons attended a New Year's Eve Dance there in 1955. To play it, use whatever grips are most comfortable for you—look at the accompanying video to see which ones … Country singer Merle Haggard helped start a revival of Western swing. Robert Lee "Bob" Dunn (February 5, 1908 – May 27, 1971) was an American jazz trombonist and a pioneer Western swing steel guitarist. Blessed with some of the most nimble fingers imaginable, Smeck's approach to music often bordered on the showy, novelty side, but he also influenced many Western swing guitarists in the process. In 1944, with the United States' continuing involvement in World War II, a 30 percent federal excise tax was levied against "dancing" nightclubs. Try a Sample Lesson Chord Melody Basics, Part 1: Triad Inversions This book includes 25 swingin' classics, including the solos of the best guitarists from yesterday and today, such as Chet Atkins, Ray Benson, Vince … Jazz Age dances such as the Charleston, Lindy Hop, and Fox Trot helped establish swing as the popular modern beat. The term swing, meaning big band dance music, wasn't used until after the 1932 hit "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)". He was particularly important to the development of Western Swing music as one of the true innovators of the electric guitar. Charlie Christian was the Oklahoma guitarist who single-handedly defined electric jazz guitar in the early 1940s. Several thousand dancers would turn out on Saturday night to swing and hop. The music that they played in the dance halls was different than that which they played on the radio as the Light Crust Doughboys because the sponsor, W. Lee O’Daniel, picked the songs that the Doughboys played. Note the four note rhythm chords and the use of dominant 9th and 13th voicings. [28] Prince Albert Hunt's Texas Ramblers out of Terrell in East Texas, and the East Texas Serenaders in Lindale, Texas, both added jazz elements to traditional music in the later half of the 1920s through the early 1930s. It wasn't all out boogie woogie; it was 'swingier'—more smooth and subdued. The new style combined the jazz sounds of radio, records and the big dance halls of the central and northeastern United States with fiddle tunes, square dance music, blues, and other rural folk music. His long-time guitarist Roy Nichols was heavily influenced by Wills music. Lead Guitar Style of Roy Nichols. Wills was creating a new sound and these recordings were the first steps toward the new genre. I’ll show you how to play a few jazz runs by targeting the notes within the chord. Wills’ group made their first recordings in 1935 for the Brunswick label. This book includes 25 swingin' classics, including the solos of the best guitarists from yesterday and today, such as Chet Atkins, Ray Benson, Vince Gill, Roy Lanham, Marty Stuart and more. I never knew this black musician's name but both Bob and Avis talked to me about him often. It is dance music, often with an up-tempo beat. Influences on Western swing style guitar came from many sources. Swing rhythm features steady four-to-the-bar strums with chords typically changing every two beats. "They were pretty simple couples dances, two steps and the Lindy Hop with a few Western twirls added for good measure. According to Merle Travis, "Western swing is nothing more than a group of talented country boys, unschooled in music, but playing the music they feel, beating a solid two-four rhythm to the harmonies that buzz around their brains. Wills’ post-war groups featured string musicians who played harmonized section choruses much like a horn group. This gives you a much more melodic sounding lead, and you’ll find it’s really not that difficult to do! [11] Later incarnations have also included overtones of bebop. Green’s great rhythm sound featured three-note chords formed mostly on the sixth, fourth, and third strings of the guitar. An in depth video course on the guitarist who's blues, jazz, and swing stylings helped create the Western Swing guitar sound! [41] The "front line" of Wills' orchestra consisted of either fiddles or guitars after 1944. His 1930s recordings with the Quintet of the Hot Club of France featuring swing violinist Stéphane Grappelli were studied closely by scores of Texas fiddlers and guitarists. On mid-1930s sessions, two guitars and a banjo were often listed on the track listings, although the guitars were hard to hear in the rhythm section. The crowds of dancers loved the arrangement and eagerly anticipated the change in tempo. Speaking of Milton Brown and himself—working with popular songs done by Jimmie Davis, the Skillet Lickers, Jimmie Rodgers, songs he had learned from his father and others—Wills said, "We'd...pull these tunes down an set 'em in a dance category. We also liked Red Nichols and Bix Beiderbecke. Western Swing Monthly,[65] based in Austin, is a newsletter for musicians and fans. It was so-called because it was used as a lead instrument in the then-popular American tango bands. Additionally, although popular horn bands tended to arrange and score their music, most Western bands improvised freely, either by soloists or collectively.[12]. Johnson is shown with a small mahogany-topped Martin in photographs. Haggard later added both Moore and Shamblin to his band, the Strangers. Junior’s wild bluesy sound was in stark contrast to Shamblin’s more controlled jazz inspired approach. [32], When Brown left the Doughboys later in 1932, he took his brother to play rhythm guitar in what became The Musical Brownies. That winter, influential LA-area jazz and swing disc jockey Al Jarvis held a radio contest for top popular band leaders. page 119, Popular Music in America: The Beat Goes On. 5 minutes ago. The second acoustic guitarist on these recordings was often either Johnson or Leon McAuliffe, who would become best known as an electric steel guitarist. "Western jazz" brought it its initial popularity. His influence on swing guitar was immense. "[13], Western swing in its beginnings was just dance music. For some, it is specifically the rhythm guitar style developed by the great Eldon Shamblin while he was a member of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. In Clint Eastwood's 1982 movie Honkytonk Man, his character meets Bob Wills (played by Johnny Gimble, an original Texas Playboy), who is recording in a studio with other former band members. Eldon left the band to serve in the armed forces during World War II. Shamblin’s first recorded guitar work with Wills was on the acoustic. Many Wills fans feel this material is among the best the band ever made. [21][22] The first known use of the term Western swing in a national periodical was the June 10, 1944 issue of The Billboard: "...what with the trend to Western music in this section, Cooley's Western swing band is a natural. In Western bands, even fully orchestrated bands, vocals, and other instruments followed the fiddle's lead. [38] Waltzes and ballads were interspersed among faster songs if the dancers, who would dance two-step or round dances, became tired after faster numbers. Club owners and promoters couldn't afford the combined city, state government taxes. 187k members in the Jazz community. Idk, does it matter that much? Early players such as Jimmy Wyble, Charlie Aldrich, Jimmy Bryant, Roy Regular shows continued until 1958 with Johnnie Lee Wills as the bandleader. Bob Wills was heard on every jukebox with this "San Antonio Rose". Handy's "St. Louis Blues" (Decca 5070) using a shortened arrangement of what they played at dances at the Crystal Springs Dance Pavilion outside Fort Worth, Texas. It was so-called because it was used as a lead instrument in the then-popular American tango bands. 50,000-watt radio station KVOO broadcast daily programs. Recording rosters show that beginning in September 1935, Wills utilized two fiddles, two guitars, and Leon McAuliffe playing steel guitar, banjo, drums and other instruments during recording sessions. When it escapes in all its musical glory, my friend, you have Western swing. The guitarists on the Tiffany recordings were Lester “Junior” Barnard (1946 sessions) and Eldon Shamblin (1947 sessions). Haggard’s 1970 Capital recording A Tribute To The Best Damn Fiddler Ever: My Tribute To Bob Wills featured many former Texas Playboys including mandolinist Tiny Moore and Eldon Shamblin. The genre developed in Oklahoma, Texas, and California, and thrived in dance halls throughout the Southwest during the ’30s and ’40s. Photos from 1933 show three guitar players in the Doughboys. Leon McAuliffe and Tommy Duncan both had solo careers after their stints with Wills. A 1941 Metronome Magazine article said of Shamblin, “[he] comes closer than any other white plectrist to getting the solidity and swing and steady flow of ideas of Charlie Christian.” Although these men were both from Oklahoma, it seems unlikely that Shamblin heard Christian play before Christian’s first landmark recordings with Goodman in 1939. These recordings featured the smaller “post-war band” and are available today in the multi-volume “Tiffany Transcriptions” series. Wills had bought two Super 400s in 1936 and gave one to Herman Arnspiger and the other to vocalist Tommy Duncan. And they were shipped with flatwounds. Wills’ call of “Herbie, Tiny, Eldon” during harmonized solos helped establish solo careers for Herb Remington (steel) Tiny Moore (electric mandolin) and Eldon Shamblin. Leon Rhodes guitar work on this project is memorable. “When it comes to that whole Western Swing style of picking, you’re doing the basslines and melody lines at the same time. 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