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(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Russell Hayden, Shirley Patterson (later, Shawn Smith) and Bob Wills of Texas Playboys fame, in a scene from THE VIGILANTES RIDE (Columbia, 1944). In the Hayden starrer RIDERS OF THE NORTHWEST MOUNTED (Columbia, 1943), Wills and the Texas Playboys are singing Mounties. In addition to Hayden, Wills also did singing duty with Tex Ritter, Ken Curtis and Charles Starrett ... and he also appeared in several musical films on his own. In his film appearances, Wills used either the full Texas Playboys contingent, or a stripped down version.  Band members included Leon McAuliffe (steel guitar) and Tommy Duncan (vocals).

I originally thought that Wills' mount in the above photo was the famous overo paint horse Dice (real name: Pair O'Dice) that was owned and trained by Ralph McCutcheon. But after viewing many photos, films and TV programs, this paint appears to be Ralph McCutcheon's Diablo, which in later years, became the mount used by Duncan Renaldo in his Cisco Kid films at United Artists as well as the CK TV program.

The official Bob Wills website is at: http://www.bobwills.com/

Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website has a photo of the marker for James Robert 'Bob' Wills (1905-1975) at the Memorial Park Cemetery, Tulsa, Oklahoma: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=1479

There's a bio on Wills at the Famous Texans website:
http://www.famoustexans.com/bobwills.htm


Bob Wills Filmography
Filmography provided by Les Adams

Release
Date
Film Title Company Star
11/11/40 Take Me Back To Oklahoma Monogram Tex Ritter
11/15/40 Melody Ranch Republic Gene Autry
11/27/41 Go West, Young Lady Columbia Penny Singleton
10/15/42 The Lone Prairie Columbia Russell Hayden
12/15/42 A Tornado in the Saddle Columbia Russell Hayden
2/15/43 Riders of the Northwest Mounted Columbia Russell Hayden
4/27/43 Saddle and Sagebrush Columbia Russell Hayden
9/10/43 Silver City Raiders Columbia Russell Hayden
12/23/43 The Vigilantes Ride Columbia Russell Hayden
4/20/44 Wyoming Hurricane Columbia Russell Hayden
6/22/44 The Last Horseman Columbia Russell Hayden
10/7/44 Bob Willis and His Texas Playboys Warners Bob Wills
9/7/45 Rhythm Round-Up Columbia Ken Curtis
9/18/45 Blazing the Western Trail Columbia Charles Starrett
11/15/45 Lawless Empire Columbia Charles Starrett
8/14/46 Frontier Frolics Universal Bob Wills



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)




(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above - Ken Curtis with pretty Cheryl Walker in a title lobby card from RHYTHM ROUND-UP (Columbia, 1945) which featured the Hoosier Hotshots and Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys.




(From Old Corral image collection)

Above, Tex Ritter, and on the far right is his sidekick, Lloyd 'Arkansas Slim' Andrews in a lobby card from RIDIN' THE CHEROKEE TRAIL (Monogram, 1941).  The singing group is The Tennessee Ramblers from radio station WBT in Charlotte, North Carolina.  They appeared in a few other B westerns including the Gene Autry YODELIN' KID FROM PINE RIDGE (Republic, 1937) and SUNDOWN VALLEY (1944 Columbia) which starred Charles Starrett.


Kevin Coffey was able to identify the members of the Tennessee Ramblers in the above lobby card. From L-to-R are: Tex Martin (Martin Schopp - later a deejay and recording artist under the name Marty Roberts), Harry Blair, Jack Gillette, Lelland 'Kid' Clark. Seated is Cecil 'Curly' Campbell.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above - Tex Ritter, 'Arkansas Slim' Andrews, and the Tennessee Ramblers in a tuneful moment outside the Texas Rangers' office in another lobby card from RIDIN' THE CHEROKEE TRAIL (Monogram, 1941).






(From Old Corral image collection)

Above is the title lobby card from one of Jimmy Wakely's early starring films, WEST OF THE ALAMO (Monogram, 1946).  On the right, Jimmy is ridin' his paint horse 'Lucky'.  Sidekick Lee 'Lasses' White is shown on the left side.  Note the photo insert showing Wakely strummin' a guitar.  The lobby card credits Arthur Smith and His Trio as the musical support.  Fiddlin' Arthur Smith worked in many of the Jimmy Wakely oaters including RIDERS OF THE DAWN (Monogram, 1945), LONESOME TRAIL (Monogram, 1945), OKLAHOMA BLUES (Monogram, 1948), RANGERS RIDE (Monogram, 1948) and PARTNERS OF THE SUNSET (Monogram, 1948).

Not to be confused with Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith and his "Crackerjacks" who were members of the radio station WBT, Charlotte, North Carolina lineup in the 1940s. That Arthur Smith's most famous composition was "Guitar Boogie".



Above is a blowup of the above lobby card inset. Kevin Coffey was able to identify the musicians. Front row from L-to-R are: Jimmie Widener, guitar; Jack Rivers, guitar; Wakely; Pete Martinez, steel guitar; the accordion player is an on-screen sub, name unknown, for the soundtrack accordion, who was Stan Ellison, Wakely's regular accordion player during this period. L-to-R in the back row are: Jesse Ashlock, fiddle; Harold Hensley, fiddle; Arthur Smith, fiddle; probably Art West, bass.



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