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The Best Of The Cowboy Ramblers

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Album Review

This two-LP set gives one a definitive look at the many versions of Bill Boyd's Cowboy Ramblers, one of the top Western swing groups of the 1930s. Boyd's band was a bit unusual in that it rarely ever travelled, mostly performing in the recording studio and frequently on radio shows. The 32 selections on this two-fer date from 1934-38 (with the exception of three later pieces) and help to define the Western swing sound, emphasizing the jazzier side of Boyd's music; 17 of the performances are instrumentals. Among the sidemen are the fiddles of Jesse Ashlock and Cecil Brower and pianist Knocky Parker. Highlights include "Under the Double Eagle," "Barn Dance Rag," "Goofus," "Fan It," "Beaumont Rag," "New Steel Guitar Rag," "Boyd's Tin Roof Blues," "New Spanish Two Step" and 1950's "Domino Rag." Well worth searching for.


Born: 29 September 1910 in Fannin County, TX

Genre: Traditional Pop

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s

For true fans of Western swing music, Bill Boyd rates with his contemporary, Bob Wills, even though the two utilized very different styles; whereas Wills & His Playboys often used horns and recorded songs from a variety of genres, Boyd remained true to his western roots, using only a string band, the Cowboy Ramblers. Born on a ranch near Ladonia, TX, Boyd grew up as a working cowboy, learning the traditional songs from the impromptu campfire jam sessions of the ranch hands. Both he and his younger...
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The Best Of The Cowboy Ramblers, Bill Boyd
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