18 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Unless you fancy yourself the ardent fan or completist collector, this near perfect, 18 song deep collection could be all the Bob Wills that you will ever need. Compiling Wills and his Texas Playboys' best recordings from 1935 to 1950, was a great idea, if only for the fact that the endearingly dated production delivers listening experience akin to hearing these songs piped from the antiquated speakers of an old wooden radio. (His later recordings are also good, but hardly as indicative of the time.) Just try for instance not to smile after hearing Leon McAuliffe pick and slide his lap steel alongside a swinging saxophone on "Steel Guitar Rag." And "Red Hot Gal Of Mine" recalls the kind of animated music that often accompanied prewar Disney cartoons where both people and animals alike danced with one hand on their hip and the other shaking an index finger in the air to the rhythm. "Bubbles In My Beer" bounces with such youthful exuberance, that Wills and company make the beverage sound like something appropriate for the whole family to drink.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Unless you fancy yourself the ardent fan or completist collector, this near perfect, 18 song deep collection could be all the Bob Wills that you will ever need. Compiling Wills and his Texas Playboys' best recordings from 1935 to 1950, was a great idea, if only for the fact that the endearingly dated production delivers listening experience akin to hearing these songs piped from the antiquated speakers of an old wooden radio. (His later recordings are also good, but hardly as indicative of the time.) Just try for instance not to smile after hearing Leon McAuliffe pick and slide his lap steel alongside a swinging saxophone on "Steel Guitar Rag." And "Red Hot Gal Of Mine" recalls the kind of animated music that often accompanied prewar Disney cartoons where both people and animals alike danced with one hand on their hip and the other shaking an index finger in the air to the rhythm. "Bubbles In My Beer" bounces with such youthful exuberance, that Wills and company make the beverage sound like something appropriate for the whole family to drink.

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