An ingredient that became prevalent in many of the B-westerns was a band or singing group that would add some musical sequences to the film or provide backup to the singing or non-singing hero. In retrospect, there are several reasons for the addition of these bands and groups:
1. Major audiences of the B-western were located in the Southern and Western portions of the U.S., and the addition of 'country' and/or 'western' music added to the saleability of the films in those areas (bigger theater audiences and more ticket sales).
An interesting tidbit is that when westerns were edited down to about 54 minutes for release to TV, some (or a lot) of the musical interludes were the first things on the cutting room floor.
(Courtesy of Jack Jones)
Above - Ken Maynard with his fiddle. And in the background from left to right are Johnny Luther (Arkansas Johnny Luther), Chuck Baldra, Al Haskell (accordian) and Jack Jones (banjo). Publicity still from Maynard's HONOR OF THE RANGE (Universal, 1934).
(Courtesy of Minard Coons)
Above - Max Terhune as Lullaby Joslin warms up the bunkhouse trio during the wedding sequence in COME ON, COWBOYS ! (Republic, 1937), one of the Three Mesquiteers films. Playing the fiddle is a hatless Oscar Gahan and the accordion player is Harley Luse, a regular musician in many of the Tex Ritter films for Grand National. The guitar player is Charlie/Charley Sargent. This is one of the countless impromptu groups that are seen in the ol' B western.
(Courtesy of the Hoag Family via Kevin Coffey)
L-to-R are 'Curly' Hoag (Jack Hogg), Smiley Burnette and Rudy Sooter. Kevin Coffey adds some info on Hoag and Sooter: "Guitarist/banjo player Curly Hoag worked with the Texas Outlaws, Jimmy Lefevre's Saddle Pals, Tex Ritter, Autry, Whitley, Smiley Burnette and others. Rudy Sooter, who played guitar and bass, did tunes with just about everybody, either as a member of other groups or leading his own groups (such as "His Californians"). Future Sons of the Pioneers members Bob Nolan, Len Slye (Roy Rogers) and Tim Spencer worked with Sooter in Jack Lefevre's Texas Outlaws. Hoag and Sooter even did sidemen duties at some Gene Autry Columbia recording sessions in the late 1930s. Jack Hogg ('Curly Hoag') has often been confused with the fiddle player Robert 'Pappy' Hoag, who played with Cal and Walt Shrum. I think I've seen their names mixed up at least a dozen or so times on IMDB and other places. Two different guys."