Date of this Version
Great Plains Quarterly 33:4 (Fall 2013).
The patrons of Saturday-night Texas dance halls still two-step to the music of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, more than thirty-five years after Wills's death. Jean Boyd is one of the Texas music authors who has mythologized Wills in her previous "We're the Light Crust Doughboys from Burrus Mills": An Oral History (2003) and The Jazz of the Southwest: An Oral History of Western Swing (1998). In her newest book, Dance All Night: Those Other Southwestern Swing Bands, Past and Present, Boyd puts the spotlight on less well known practitioners of the music that Wills pioneered along with his Light Crust Doughboys' partner Milton Brown in the early 1930s. But such performers will forever remain in the shadow of Wills. The book's title borrows a line from one of Wills's most famous songs, "Stay All Night, Stay a Little Longer." Indeed, such is Wills's stature that a section of this book focuses on the various incarnations of the Texas Playboys that have continued to perform after his death in 1975.