Today in History, May 13, 1975: James had been born in 1905 on a farm near Kosse, Texas. His father was an accomplished fiddle player and taught his son early…James mastered the instrument by age 10.
Like many of his generation, James Robert Wills left home at 16 and began working odd jobs around the region. He got together with fellow musicians and made money playing at parties and dance clubs.
By the 1930’s he had formed his now famous group, Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. He incorporated a combination of jazz and swing into his country music during the big band era. With the exposure from playing in several Hollywood movies, the fast moving music he created gained national popularity, crossing genres. Some of his most popular hits were used in movies.
In the late sixties Bob Wills was admitted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in recognition of how he had influenced the music industry.
He passed on this day in 1975 after suffering a series of strokes.