Updated: Jul 26
Entertainer - Spirit of Texas Award
The New York Times obituary called him “a super-giant before there were super-giants.” Bob Wills, that boy from the Texas cotton-fields, is remembered today as the “King of Western Swing.” Inducted by the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1968, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, honored with a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007, and featured in Ken Burns’ ‘Country Music’ documentary in 2019, his presence thrilled audiences in dance halls, parades, rodeos, on the radio, and in Hollywood’s western movies from the 1930s through the 1960’s. He admired and attracted great musicians who proudly performed as the Texas Playboys, and he also loved ‘all things cowboy.’ Famed as his tour bus, Texas Playboys, cigar, fiddle, hat and ‘ah haa’s’ were, so became his beloved stallion ‘Punkin.’ An era ended with Bob Wills’ passing in 1975. His influence, music, story, and pride in being ‘Western,’ all now part of our great American history, were born in Texas.