Originally Posted by N2XBW
We're new here too. We are picking up our 84 Excella 270 in Austin THIS COMING TUESDAY [!] and will be heading your way. Do you have any insights about parking downtown with a 27' rig as we visit the Alamo and Riverwalk? I'm sure they must get their share of motorhomes.
We are retired from teaching [me] and the USPS [wife] and lifelong residents of St. Lawrence County in far-northern NY. This will be our first REAL Texas visit. We did pass through the panhandle in '77.
I am a working musician with a tremendous affinity for Western Swing ala Bob Wills [ah-ha!] You can check out my music on my website THE LIME HOLLOW BOYS
Good luck finding your tow-behind.
John & Lorna Wolfe
You need to plan for a trip to the Panhandle last weekend of April for Bob Wills Festival at Turkey, TX.
Especially on this day, Bob Wills still reigns king of country - Life & Arts
Especially on this day, Bob Wills still reigns king of country
Country musician revered by small Texas town in weekend music, arts festival
By Melanie Bujnoch
In the tiny town of Turkey, Texas (population: 507), the last Saturday in April marks a holiday true Texas country fans will appreciate. Bob Wills Day is a celebration of the man that added soul and jazz to country. For those of you that are not familiar with him, Wills was a musician, but above all else, a performer.
Wills made his debut in 1931 in the "Light Crust Doughboys," a tribute to his sponsor, Burrus' Light Crust Flour. The band broke up in 1933 over disputes that, surprisingly enough, had nothing to do with the reprehensible name. Will's drinking habits caused tension from the inside while Burrus' only allowed them to do radio spots, not live performances.
From there Wills formed a new band: Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. Wills was quite proficient at the fiddle, but his charm and magnetic stage presence really elevated him to star status among the grass-roots crowd. This also explains his six marriages and numerous children.
The band pioneered a type of music known as "Western Swing," a mix of country and pop with a blues influence similar to big band music. They were also one of the first country bands to incorporate drums. Wills' stubborn refusal to remove the drums during a show at Grand Old Opry ensured that he was never asked back. Their first big hit in 1940, "New San Antonio Rose," a lyrically poetic ballad, received renewed interest in 1969 as the Apollo 12 crew sang it while orbiting the moon.
There was no room for glittery costumes or elaborate props during his shows. Dressed simply with a cowboy hat and boots, the stage appeal came directly from Wills' unbridled charisma. This is not to say that there was no decadence behind the scenes. Wills' drinking, coupled with his excessive generosity, caused him many financial problems and strained relationships. This also forced him to tour long after it was advisable. After two heart attacks and two strokes, he passed away in 1975.
Wills was in the recording studio for the album aptly titled For the Last Time the day he suffered that massive stroke. He had spent 58 years in show business and 44 of those recording music. After Wills' death, the Texas Playboys reunited. They will perform at this year's Bob Wills Day celebration Friday night.
Bob Wills Day is a celebration of pure, unadulterated Texas country music. Plans include a craft bazar, street dancing and plenty of music. With the current gas prices you may not want to drive the eight hours to Turkey, Texas, but go ahead and raise your glass to Bob Wills. The king would most certainly approve.
Bob Wills Day
Texas Playboys concert Friday night, parade and family activities Saturday
Bob Wills Center, one block west of Highway 70 (P.O. Box 67; Turkey, TX 79261)
Friday's concert $10
Saturday night dance and concert $10