'In what was clearly a labor of love, Townsend has produced a thoroughly entertaining book, which is important both as a biography and as a study of popular culture. Townsend interviewed over 200 people, including Wills himself, listened to every known recording and transcription of Wills's music, and seems to have examined just about every piece of written material that i'In what was clearly a labor of love, Townsend has produced a thoroughly entertaining book, which is important both as a biography and as a study of popular culture. Townsend interviewed over 200 people, including Wills himself, listened to every known recording and transcription of Wills's music, and seems to have examined just about every piece of written material that is available on the subject. It is doubtful that anyone will ever write a more complete or more accurate account of Wills and his music.' -- Bill C. Malone, Journal of American History...
|Title||:||San Antonio Rose: THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF BOB WILLS|
|Number of Pages||:||498 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
San Antonio Rose: THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF BOB WILLS Reviews
Lovers of western swing owe a debt of gratitude to musicologist Charles Townsend, who spent many years collecting material for this wonderful biography of Bob Wills. In addition to many interviews with Bob and Betty Wills in the years (1971-73) before his death, Townsend talked at length to scores of people who worked with Wills and remembered him.The great achievement of the book is its warm appreciation of Wills and his Texas Playboys and its evocation of a swath of 20th century social history, while standing also as a sound work of research. Each chapter is followed by pages of footnotes that cite his sources; there are 200+ photographs of Bob and the many bands, right up to the final reunion; and the book ends with a 30+ page discography, with details of every recording session from 1929-1973. The 19-page index also makes it an excellent reference book.Townsend argues that Wills created a unique form of popular music by mixing instruments associated with both country music and jazz - strings on the one hand and drums, brass, and reeds on the other. He notes how Wills' distinctive style was a blend of frontier fiddle music, New Orleans Dixieland, and blues learned as a boy picking cotton with black field laborers. Not exactly country, and certainly not hillbilly - though he was often identified as such by recording marketers who seemed seldom to understand him - Wills often emulated the big swing bands of the 1930s and 40s. So his music acquired the label "western swing," and its popularity went from regional to national. Finally, with his best-loved hit "New San Antonio Rose" (1940) he entered the mainstream of American popular music.While following the rise of Wills' career as a bandleader, Townsend focuses also on his personal problems, his many marriages, his financial difficulties, his insecurities, and his alcoholism. Also, the post-war years were never to match the satisfaction Wills had in his first band. But even while popular music evolved and left swing behind, Wills maintained a huge audience of devoted fans, and younger bands today (Asleep at the Wheel, Hot Club of Cowtown) continue the legacy. This book is for everybody whose love affair with Bob Wills and his music lives on.
One of the best music biographies I have read. This book captures everything you could want: Wills' personality, his times, his innovations, the achievements of his band, the truth of his personal life, his widespread influence, his great personality traits, etc. While many other books get sidetracked on their subject, Townsend firmly understands he is writing a book on Bob Wills. Not Bob Wills and huge sections devoted to things somewhat related to Wills. This might be the most perfect singular music biography I have yet read. It's both fun and informative.