Bob Wills 2011


Bob Wills
Inducted 2011

Bob Wills (1905-1975) was born near Kosse, Texas. Fiddler, songwriter, bandleader and
consummate showman, he was a uniquely talented and charismatic individual. His musical
influence, especially in the late 1930’s and 40’s, ignited fans across the country and, to this day,
his legacy ~spires musicians around the world. Wills rose to stardom in the mid-1930’s and
performed well into the 60′ s. From a family of champion fiddlers, he grew up to the sounds of
old time fiddle tunes, jazz, blu~s, country, mariachi and gospel to ultimately perform the
American music form known as Western Swing. His unconventional “holler” and
animated presence thrilled audiences in dance halls, on the radio and in Western movies.
His music lifted spirits and brought people to their feet and his innovative and
improvisational talents kept the music fresh. Wills’ famous Texas Playboys band
resulted from his admiration for and ability to attract and promote gifted musicians.
Known as the “King of Western Swing,” Bob Wills is recognized as a major
influence on music and musicians who followed him. He and his music remain
“deep within the heart” of America.
“He loved music more than money and wanted to play the style that best expressed his feeling
and soul. Music was not a means to an end; music was an end in itself. Music was not a way ef
life to him; music was life. It was while he was playing that he was coefident and secure, that
he enjoyed some his happiest moments. To the end, the frontier fiddling, the blues, the New
Orleans jazz were all blended into a music that was called western swing, but was really Bob
Wills.” – Dr. Charles R. Townsend “San Antonio Rose, The Life and Music if Bob Wills”