Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Swing High, Lonesome

Once again, thanks for all your drinking suggestions. I'm overwhelmed, but in a very good way. I'll be taking submissions until the bitter(s) end, so keep 'em coming if you've got 'em. The panel of judges is selected, including a very special guest, so thanks to all those who volunteered.


It's the other Tex.

Tex Williams was probably best known for the classic "Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette", written with (by?) Merle Travis, and featuring the rather retrospectively interesting lyric "It ain't cuz I don't smoke myself/And I don't reckon that it'll harm your health/Smoked all my life and I ain't dead yet." He can also be spotted in the occasional singing cowboy of the time.

Like his better-known contemporary, Bob Wills, Williams was a pioneer in the Western Swing tradition, melding a traditional and pedestrian style of localized popular music with a more "dance" and "citified" one. Fiddles gone crazy.

Williams' style was more conversational than Wills, and this may have led folks to dismiss him, in retrospect, as more of a novelty act than a serious purveyor of the origins of Western Swing. Which is too bad, because Williams is a hoot. And he's no slouch when it comes to getting bodies on the dance floor.

It's common, of course, to focus on the legends, such as Mr. Wills, and forget about the fringes that circled and helped influence the larger stars.

None of which is to lessen Williams' impact or talent. He's damn good, and worthy of the attention of any lover of Western Swing, or just great party music.

"That's What I Like About The West" is a swell response to "That's What I Like About the South".

Swing your partner.

Tex Williams: That's What I Like About the West (mp3)

Tex Williams: Western Jamboree (mp3)

Tex Williams: I Got Texas In My Soul (mp3)

Please support your local Swingers Club. Erm....


Greg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greg said...

Thanks, Big Rock, for sending some great Texas swing down to us flatlanders. As a Texan in exile in DC I can't get enough of that good old-time Texas music. Yee-haw!

Esteban said...

And let's not forget the positively irresistible THEY WERE DOIN' THE MAMBO.

Andy said...

Big Rock,

I don't know if this has been there awhile, but you are the blog of the month for the great Licorice Tree Records, home of South Filthy, The Stepbrothers, The Raunch Hands' Bigg Topp (very cool new album) and others.




Anonymous said...

This is not really in keeping with rest of the blog, but Poison Idea had some cool drinking songs: AA, What happened to Sunday? etc...
atb, Chris_C

Samantha said...

I know I'm late to the game here on recommending drinking songs, so my guess is that you've gotten these already, BUT...Here goes, off the top of my head:

1. One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer ~ John Lee Hooker
2. The Piano Has Been Drinking ~ Tom Waits
3. Jockey Full of Bourbon ~ Tom Waits