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Billie "Tiny" Moore (May 12, 1920 – December 15, 1987) was a Western swing musician who played the electric mandolin and fiddle with Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys in the 1940s. He played with The Strangers and Merle Haggard during the 1970s and 1980s.
Moore was born in the Gulf Coast town of Port Arthur, Texas, in 1920. His primary instrument was electric mandolin.While a member of the Texas Playboys from 1946 to 1950, he played Gibson electric mandolins: at first an EM-125, and sometime after 1948, an EM-150. Although these are 8-string mandolins, Moore used four single strings instead of pairs. This made his mandolin sound like an electric guitar. In 1952, he commissioned a five-string electric mandolin from Paul Bigsby. Moore was playing in a band led by Bob Wills' brother, Billy Jack. The Bigsby 5-string mandolin had single courses of strings (rather than the paired courses on a standard mandolin) and added a low C string to the standard G, D, A and E. This tuning actually gives the instrument a wider range of notes than a guitar.
Western swing is a hybrid of country, blues, and jazz; Moore's style of playing draws from all of these sources. Moore and his Bigsby mandolin were identified with each other for the remainder of his career.
In the mid-1960s he taught group guitar lessons at the local YMCA in Sacramento, California. He taught every style of music. He operated Tiny Moore Music, a music store in Sacramento, and sold copies of the Bigsby mandolin built by Jay Roberts of Yuba City. In the 1970s he made two albums with for Kaleidoscope Records: Tiny Moore Music and Back to Back, a duet album with Jethro Burns. In 1999, Moore was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in as a member of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys.
James Robert Wills was an American Western swing musician, songwriter, and bandleader. Considered by music authorities as the founder of Western swing, he was known widely as the King of Western Swing. He was also noted for punctuating his music with his trademark "ah-haa" calls.
An electric guitar is a guitar that requires external amplification in order to be heard at typical performance volumes, unlike a standard acoustic guitar. It uses one or more pickups to convert the vibration of its strings into electrical signals, which ultimately are reproduced as sound by loudspeakers. The sound is sometimes shaped or electronically altered to achieve different timbres or tonal qualities from that of an acoustic guitar via amplifier settings or knobs on the guitar. Often, this is done through the use of effects such as reverb, distortion and "overdrive"; the latter is considered to be a key element of electric blues guitar music and jazz and rock guitar playing. Designs also exist combining attributes of the electric and acoustic guitars: the semi-acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars.
A steel guitar is any guitar played while moving a steel bar or similar hard object against plucked strings. The bar itself is called a "steel" and is the source of the name "steel guitar". The instrument differs from a conventional guitar in that it is played without using frets; conceptually, it is somewhat akin to playing a guitar with one finger. Known for its portamento capabilities, gliding smoothly over every pitch between notes, the instrument can produce a sinuous crying sound and deep vibrato emulating the human singing voice. Typically, the strings are plucked by the fingers of the dominant hand, while the steel tone bar is pressed lightly against the strings and moved by the opposite hand.
The pedal steel guitar is a console-type of steel guitar with pedals and knee levers that change the pitch of certain strings to enable playing more varied and complex music than other steel guitar designs. Like all steel guitars, it can play unlimited glissandi and deep vibrati—characteristics it shares with the human voice. Pedal steel is most commonly associated with American country music and Hawaiian music.
The lap steel guitar, also known as a Hawaiian guitar, is a type of steel guitar without pedals that is typically played with the instrument in a horizontal position across the performer's lap. Unlike the usual manner of playing a traditional acoustic guitar, in which the performer's fingertips press the strings against frets, the pitch of a steel guitar is changed by pressing a polished steel bar against plucked strings. Though the instrument does not have frets, it displays markers that resemble them. Lap steels may differ markedly from one another in external appearance, depending on whether they are acoustic or electric, but in either case, do not have pedals, distinguishing them from pedal steel guitars.
Western swing music is a subgenre of American country music that originated in the late 1920s in the West and South among the region's Western string bands. It is dance music, often with an up-tempo beat, which attracted huge crowds to dance halls and clubs in Texas, Oklahoma and California during the 1930s and 1940s until a federal war-time nightclub tax in 1944 contributed to the genre's decline.
An archtop guitar is a hollow acoustic or semi-acoustic guitar with a full body and a distinctive arched top, whose sound is particularly popular with jazz, blues, and rockabilly players.
A vibrato system on a guitar is a mechanical device used to temporarily change the pitch of the strings. They add vibrato to the sound by changing the tension of the strings, typically at the bridge or tailpiece of an electric guitar using a controlling lever, which is alternately referred to as a whammy bar, vibrato bar, or incorrectly as a tremolo arm. The lever enables the player to quickly and temporarily vary the tension and sometimes length of the strings, changing the pitch to create a vibrato, portamento, or pitch bend effect. Instruments without a vibrato have other bridge and tailpiece systems.
Paul Adelburt Bigsby (1899–1968) was an American inventor, designer, and pioneer of the solid body electric guitar. Bigsby is best known for having been the designer of the Bigsby vibrato tailpiece and proprietor of Bigsby Electric Guitars.
A Tribute to the Best Damn Fiddle Player in the World is the eleventh studio album by Merle Haggard backed by The Strangers, released in 1970.
The tenor guitar or four-string guitar is a slightly smaller, four-string relative of the steel-string acoustic guitar or electric guitar. The instrument was initially developed in its acoustic form by Gibson and C.F. Martin so that players of the four-string tenor banjo could double on guitar.
The electric mandolin is an instrument tuned and played as the mandolin and amplified in similar fashion to an electric guitar. As with electric guitars, electric mandolins take many forms. Most common is a carved-top eight-string instrument fitted with an electric pickup in similar fashion to many archtop semi-acoustic guitars. Solid body mandolins are common in 4-, 5-, and 8-string forms. Acoustic electric mandolins also exist in many forms.
Lester Robert Barnard, known as Junior Barnard, was an American Western swing guitarist who was a member of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. He was among the first electric guitarists to create a guitar effect that anticipated fuzz tone, which is usually associated with later guitarists.
Eldon Shamblin was an American guitarist and arranger, particularly important to the development of Western swing music as one of the first electric guitarists in a popular dance band. He was a member of the Strangers during the 1970s and 1980s and was the last surviving member of Bob Wills' band the Texas Playboys.
William Leon McAuliffe was an American Western swing guitarist who was a member of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys during the 1930s. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of that band, and was a member of the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame.
"Cherokee Maiden" is a Western swing love song written by Cindy Walker. "Cherokee Maiden" was one of Walker's first hits when it was recorded by Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys in 1941.
The mandolin has had a place in North American culture since the 1880s, when a "mandolin craze" began. The continent was a land of immigrants, including Italian immigrants, some of whom brought their mandolins with them. In spite of the mandolin having arrived in America, it was not in the cultural consciousness until after 1880 when the Spanish Students arrived on their international performing tour. Afterwards, a "mandolin craze" swept the United States, with large numbers of young people taking up the instrument and teachers such as Samuel Siegel touring the United States. The fad died out after World War I, but enough had learned the instrument that it remained. The mandolin found a new surge with the music of Bill Monroe; the Gibson F-5 mandolin he played, as well as other archtop instruments, became the American standard for mandolins. Bowlback mandolins were displaced. The instrument has been taken up in blues, bluegrass, jug-band music, country, rock, punk and other genres of music. While not as popular as the guitar, it is widespread across the country.
Tribute to the Music of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys is the 12th studio album and first tribute album by American country band Asleep at the Wheel. Recorded at studios in Austin, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee, it was produced by the band's frontman Ray Benson and released on October 25, 1993 by Liberty Records. The collection features recordings of songs made popular by Western swing group Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, a major influence on Asleep at the Wheel.
Noel Edwin Boggs (1917–1974) was an American musician who was a virtuoso on the lap steel guitar and a member of the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame. He was one of the pioneers in electric steel guitar who helped popularize the instrument beyond its native Hawaiian music into other genres of American popular music, specifically Western Swing. Boggs played and recorded with almost every major artist in the genre including Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys (1944-1945) and Spade Cooley's Dance Band. Bob Wills' band helped define the guitar's role in western swing; Wills discovered and coached innovative guitarists who deeply influenced country, rock and jazz music. Boggs appeared on some 2000 recordings as a soloist and his playing was prominent on several of Wills’ hits that became Western swing standards, including "Roly Poly" and "Stay a Little Longer".
Herbert Leroy Remington (1926–2018) was an American lap steel guitarist who played Western swing music with Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys from 1946 to 1949. A member of the International Steel Guitar Hall of Fame (1979), Remington is known for his Hawaiian style playing combined with swing-based jazz soloing. One of his signature recordings was Bob Wills' "Boot Heel Drag", which appeared on the B-side of Wills' classic hit, "Faded Love". He is also known for "Remington's Ride", a song that became a standard for steel players. Indiana-born Remington studied Hawaiian steel guitar as a youth, but serendipitously got into Western swing music in his teens and became one of the genres most renowned steel guitarists.