- BOB WILLS AND HIS TEXAS PLAYBOYS: BOOT HEEL DRAG: THE MGM YEARS 1947-54: 2001: COUNTRY: GRADE: A+: APPLE. The earlier years at Columbia are considered Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys at their peak- but if there is a downgrade here it is very slight- still sounds great to me. Their popularity started to slip during this period but the quality of the work is still there. Wills played fiddle, Tommy Duncan on piano and vocals, Leon McAuliffe on steel guitar were the headliners- but he had a huge band of superb musicians. My favorite tunes of theirs during their career- “New San Antonio Rose.”, “Stay A Little Longer”, Take Me Back To Tulsa”, “Time Changes Everything”, “Smoke On The Water”, “Cherokee Maiden”, “Faded Love”, “Ida Red” to name a few- really about everything I have heard sounds great. I can see why Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys were so popular and influential. This double album has 50 cuts. I will be listening to more Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys.
- KRIS KRISTOFFERSON: AUSTIN SESSIONS: 1999: COUNTRY: GRADE: A-. IPOD: Kristofferson re-recording some of his greatest songs-a dozen songs in total and he gets help from stars from Americana music from the late 20th Century- Steve Earle, Allison Krauss, Vince Gill etc. May not sounds as good as the originals but the songs are great.
- BOB WILLS AND HIS TEXAS PLAYBOYS: THE ESSENTIAL BOB WILLS 1935-47: 1992: GRADE A+. APPLE: From the Columbia Country Classics series- 20 songs/ 54 minutes- a lot of these were on the Essential Bob Wills I listened to yesterday but what they heck it’s great music. I can’t imagine what it was like seeing them live! As Merle Haggard said in the Ken Burns special- if you don’t like Bob Wills you are kind of suspect.