The music of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys is getting renewed attention with the release this month of a new tribute CD by Asleep at the Wheel, which features guest appearances by many of the most revered names in country music.
Wills was considered co-founder of western swing and had an immense influence through his recordings, radio appearances and live performances.
He formed Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys in 1934. Shortly afterward he recruited Al Stricklin to play piano. Stricklin stayed with the band until 1942, but would continue to periodically perform with Wills in the following decades.
Stricklin’s son David Stricklin is today manager of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, which is part of the Central Arkansas Library System. David joined KUAR’s Michael Hibblen to share stories about his dad’s experiences with Bob Wills. You can hear the interview above.