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Anthology 1935-1973

4.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 2, 1991
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Building on the sacred tradition of the Texas fiddle band, Wills's Western swing became country music's answer to big-band jazz. Wills gave his Playboys ample room for advanced improvisation, adding instruments (drums, horns, piano, electric guitar) that were not associated with country music. He drew on a variety of styles--not just fiddle tunes and jazz standards, but also polka, blues, mariachi, and Dixieland--punctuating the music with his light-hearted exhortations. This 2 CD compilation provides an overview of his career: from his early Columbia hits with steel guitarist Leon McAuliffe and rhythm guitarist Eldon Shamblin to his final 1973 session, which he conducted from a wheelchair. For those wanting to delve deeper, Columbia's box set and Rhino's nine-volume Tiffany Transcriptions focus more thoroughly on Wills's prime. --Marc Greilsamer

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Maiden's Prayer
  2. Steel Guitar Rag
  3. Right Or Wrong
  4. Time Changes Everything
  5. Corrine, Corrina
  6. Big Beaver
  7. New San Antonio Rose
  8. Take Me Back To Tulsa
  9. Cherokee Maiden
  10. Home In San Antone
  11. Miss Molly
  12. My Confession
  13. Texas Playboy Rag
  14. Roly-Poly
  15. Stay A little Longer
  16. Basin Street Blues

Disc: 2

  1. My Window Faces The South
  2. Fat Boy Rag
  3. Three Guitar Special
  4. Deep Water
  5. Bubbles In My Beer
  6. Blues For Dixie
  7. South
  8. Cotton Patch Blues
  9. Boot Heel Drag
  10. Faded Love
  11. St. Louis Blues
  12. Cadillac In Model 'A'
  13. Heart To Heart Talk
  14. The Jobob Rag
  15. Blue Bonnet Lane
  16. What Makes Bob Holler


Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 2, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B0000032MM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,441 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I agree with all the reviewers who rave about the music of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. This is irresistable western swing that has to leave you smiling. When the Anthology was released, it was by far the most complete collection available on disc and was worth the price for that reason. Now, however, more recent discs offer nearly as complete a sampling at a single-disc price, basically omitting only the very late works which, while of historical interest, simply aren't as good as during the peak of Bob's career. I now consider this collection to be only for the fan who wants to own it all and certainly not the best introduction for new fans. Indeed, neither disc in the set is as good as the two better (in my opinion) single-disc collections: "King of Lonestar Swing" and "The Essential Bob Wills", the first one of which has 28 tracks, versus 32 on the two-disc Anthology.
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Format: Audio CD
If you like the hot club of Cowtown, you will like this. This is the period of Wills' band that their work is founded on, listen to the Devilish Mary on here that they made the title of an album. Listen to the great masterful Sally Gooden, so good to be believed. This is great and hot and sometimes just so good you cannot believe it. This is more a guitar and steel guitar and mandolin players record than a fiddling record. It is also significant that while most of the Western Swingers went into the Hollywood Cowboy, mellow singing, buisnessman's bounce phase typified by Spade Cooley and Hank Penny, Will's band here in the postwar years stays red hot jazzy, bluesy, and fiddlin it all the way out!\
Without getting into the history: this is just good music suitable for anyone at any time with ears.
This is the real deal in regard to Western Swing. The Tiffany recordings were done for the Tiffany Furniture Company of Oakland in the period after WWII. They were sold to radio stations as music to play over the air along with or without commercials for the furniture company. This was done when playing normal commercial records on the radio was a rare and new thing.
If you look on the discography you will find there were more than 200 recordings done by Wills over the years for this operation. So even if Rounder has put out ten volumes of this music, they are still just offering the best of the collection. These were rare treats among the collectors. I remember first hearing about them around 1977 when a friend of mine who lived in NYC mentioned he knew someone in Indiana who had taped copies of these records. I remember how I treated the tape he made me like a golden jewel, carrying it with myself personally when I moved.
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By A Customer on August 24, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This music is so great, so full of life, so musically excellent and also so much fun. I just wish that it was a 10 CD set and more of a complete collection of Wills' earlier music. Wills is a towering giant of the 20th century and some of his best moments are collected here. You would have to be remarkably morose not to feel happy with this music. Many of the musicians play brilliantly on several selections--this was an all star band of virtuosos. Like Duke Ellington's band, they did not get to stretch out for very long but they made every note count. Bob himself is such a joyful personality. This set is a treasure.
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Format: Audio CD
Bob Wills (1905-1978) is known for the distinctive style of music called western swing. This two-volume CD has him at his best. All of the good ones are here, and the quality is surprisingly good for music that was originally recorded mostly in the 1940's. "Faded Love", "Deep Water", "San Antonio Rose," this is music from the heart. The heart of Texas and the hearts of all of us that love Western Music! Man, I think you will ove this one and buy extra ones for your kids, or you'll be missing this one when they leave home!
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Format: Audio CD
This collection is bursting at the seams with ideas! Just listen to the guitar on 'Fat Boy Rag' - "ugly, ugly" and I'm sure you'll agree it is without parallel. If you don't move around to this one - you're probably dead! I too wish it were longer - just cain't get enuf of the Playboys and 'ol Bob! Wonderful, wonderful!
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Format: Audio CD
My late father was a Playboy, all sixteen years and hundred pounds of him working the tenor guitar [that's the one with only four strings in the many documentary photo's in this package]. They all learned their craft in the honky-tonks and on the roads of the dust bowl, playing the Depression into the past half the night and driving to a live morning radio show the other half. The fusion of eclectic musical styles and instumentation [a saxophone in a hillbilly band!] is matched only by the expertise with which these 'boys' could play. The sound quality is impressive as well. Many a party was graced with these old songs that everyone 'round here who 'picked up' an instrument seemed to know after a few bars were played, I'll swear to it. These CD's are an impressive and important collection of American music before cookie cutters were even invented. Fun, yes, but historic and bold too. What an anthology, and about the only place you'll ever hear a tenor guitar!
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