29¢ Bob Wills
Country Music Legends
Issue Date: September 25, 1993
City: Nashville, TN
Printed By: American Bank Note Company
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: 11 horizontally
Born into a family of old-time fiddlers, it was only natural that music would play an important role in Bob Wills’ life. Although he pursued various occupations including farming, barbering, and preaching, Wills eventually went on to become a full-time musician.
Hired to fiddle with the Fort Worth Doughboys, Wills made his first recording with the group in 1932 for RCAVictor. The following year he split from the Doughboys with his banjo-playing brother Johnnie Lee and vocalist Tommie Duncan to form his own group that became known as the Texas Playboys. For eight years they performed on a Tulsa, Oklahoma radio station, eventually gaining national popularity.
Combining the sounds of fiddling, blues, pop, big-band swing, and Mexican folk music he created a new pop-country style known as western swing. His recordings for American Record Company and Columbia, such as “San Antonio Rose”, “Take Me Back to Tulsa”, “Faded Love”, and the “Spanish Two Step”, appealed to a far broader audience than old-time fiddling attracted. And as western swing gained popularity, Wills’ name became a household word. Despite his failing health throughout much of the 1960’s he appeared for his induction into the Country Hall of Music in 1968.