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Western Swing

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What is Western Swing Music

Western Swing Music is a sub genre of country music which originated in America during the 1920’s. Described by Merle Travis, a guitarist of legendary proportions, “Western swing is nothing more than a group of talented country boys, unschooled in music, but playing the music they feel, beating a solid two-four rhythm to the harmonies that buzz around their brains. When it escapes in all its musical glory, my friend, you have Western swing.” That about sums it up really. It’s fun, it’s upbeat and it’s what got all the guys and their pretty gals moving in the dance halls in the 1930’s and 40’s. Unfortunately a war-time night club tax pretty much lead to its decline in 1944 – there’s always some killjoy isn’t there? Western swing music is a fantastic mixture of cowboy, rural, folk, polka, blues and Dixieland Jazz, no wonder you couldn’t sit still.  The steel guitar adds a very distinctive flavor to western swing music.

Representative Western Swing Musicians

Western Swing Music was played in dance halls up and down Oklahoma, Texas and California for as long as they could get away with it. Notable western swing groups include The Light Crust Doughboys, Milton Brown and His Musical Brownies, The Hot Club of Cowtown and Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys as well as the western swing band leader Spade Cooley. You can just imagine the music from the names of the bands can’t you.

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