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June 19, 2021


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Wes Oliver

I love this song. I first heard Bob Wills' version of it. I think Wills is an under-appreciated pioneer. Elvis and Ray Charles are both (rightly and) frequently credited with music and musical styles that crossed racial lines. Ray Charles' Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music is, for my money, one of the best albums of all time. But the sounds of Bob Wills in the 1930s and 1940s were a true melting pot of musical styles of race and cultures at a time when there was much less of an appetite for cross-pollination -- country/western meets jazz, blues, and big band. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I knew Basin Street Blues as a Bob Wills tune before I learned it was first done by Louis Armstrong.

Steve L.

Thanks, Wes. I added a Bob Wills clip to the post, right before Willie McTell.

I have posted some other Bob Wills music over the years, including this full post on San Antonio Rose: .

You are right about Wills's melting pot of musical styles. The same goes for Jimmie Rodgers, who melded old time country, African American blues, gospel, jazz, and I even think I've detected a hint of klezmer in some clarinet riffs.

Walter Effross

And the immortal Big Joe Turner:

Steve L.

Thanks, Walter. Added it above.

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