“Bob Wills is Still the King”

Travis D. Stimeling

in Cosmic Cowboys and New Hicks

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199747474
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199896981 | DOI:
                   “Bob Wills is Still the King”

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The members of Asleep at the Wheel and fiddler Alvin Crow undertook systematic studies of western swing music, collecting original recordings and anthologies, transcribing solos, recording cover versions of western swing classics, and apprenticing with pioneering western swing musicians. Building on recent research on tradition and folk music revivals as cultural practices, this chapter examines how the efforts of Austin's progressive country musicians and fans transformed western swing music from a living musical practice that flourished in Texan and Oklahoman dance halls into a relatively stable folk music with a core canon of repertoire and performance practice. This chapter further examines the cultural value of such a revival for the scene participants and suggests that the “revival” of western swing music permitted participants to bridge the gap between their primarily white, middle‐class upbringing and the working‐class roots of Texan vernacular culture.

Keywords: folk revivalism; western swing; Asleep at the Wheel; Alvin Crow; Jesse Ashlock

Chapter.  9344 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Popular Music ; American Music

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