This page will contain all the info I could find on John T. Wills and his band "The Sons Of Swing", as well as the "Wills family musical history, and links to many Western Swing sites.It is currently under construction, however, I do have a contact number for ordering CD's and cassettes of John T.'s music!!!
Spanning five generations the Wills name is synonymous with Western Swing music.
Western Swing has its roots in many various forms, brought together to create a happy, joyful dance rhythm. Its sounds are a celebration of life, that raises the spirit even when there is little to celebrate. It has endured for over 60 years with its durability in the people who continue to listen, make, and play it, and though it may never be as commercially successful as other forms of music, its longevity reflects the character of the music and the people who make it. Mostly it sounds good and I like it.
John T. Wills is the son of the late western swing song writer and band leader, Johnnie Lee Wills. John T.'s uncles were Bob, Luke, and Billy Jack Wills. Each of the Wills brothers at various times, had their own western swing bands. they made hundreds of recordings and, of course, traveled the country performing before thousands of fans. And while Bob Wills name may be the most recognized of the Wills brothers, they all were great western swing artists. John T.'s father was an icon of western swing in his own right. For a quarter of a century, Johnnie Lee Wills brought us a daily live radio show on KVOO in Tulsa, Oklahoma. To my knowledge it was the longest running live radio show in history.
John T. and his band "The Sons Of Swing" continue the tradition of making, playing, and performing great western swing songs, both old and new. His new album contains a great compilation of western swing songs as well as a virtual who's who of western swing musicians.Also, John T.'s daughter Amy Lee Wills does a beautiful rendition of "Faded Love". If you have never listened to western swing music before this album is great place to start, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
This year the "Academy of Western Artists" have nominated John T.Wills and the Sons of Swing for 4 awards
Tulsa World's Spot Music Awards have listed their album as one of the best local albums of the year. Although Tulsa may not be Nashville it has and continues to produce some very great musical talent, and being listed as one of the best local bands is a pretty big honor.
Making up The "Sons of Swing" are the following musicians
And AMY LEE WILLS performing on "Faded Love"
Music-savvy fans will find some familiar names here, from Bob Kiser, who played guitar with western-swing legend Leon McAuliff in the 40's to Tommy Tripplehorn, whose musical talents helped launch many top40 rock hits as a member of Gary Lewis and the Playboys.
There are also some bona-fide "Sons of Swing" here too. Besides John T., bassist Jon Cummins is the son of Shirl Cummins, who lead a busy Tulsa-based western swing band for many years. Fiddler Amos Hedrick Jr., dad played fiddle for many bands and recorded with Hank Thompson, among others. And guitarist Doug Simpson is the stepson of steel guitarist Buster Magness, a Johnnie Lee Wills sideman. Also of important note, Shelby Eicher, who was with Roy Clark for fifteen years and played with Mel McDaniel and on the Grand Ole Opry with Jimmy C. Newman, plays fiddle on the album. Steve Bagby, who played with the Texas Playboys and many other great swing musicians lends his talents on steel guitar. As well as, Mike "Hood" Bennett, who played with both Johnnie Lee Wills and the Texas Playboys. Other than John T., I have only personally met two of these fine musicians Mike Chittom and Steve "Hambone" Ham, and if the others are anything like these guys it must be a a lot of fun when they get together to play
One final note I would also like to thank John Wooley, who is the country-western writer for the Tulsa World and co-host, with Billy Parker, of the "Wooley Wednesday" western swing radio show on KVOO in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is the Announcer on John T.'s album and the person I plagiarized for most of the material on this site, thanks John.
Get your autographed copy of THE KING OF WESTERN SWING: BOB WILLS REMEMBERED, by Rosetta Wills, Bob Wills' daughter, before there are no more left. This book is no longer in print and can only be purchased from Rosetta. To get your copy email firstname.lastname@example.org or send $15 plus $3 S&H to P.O. Box 173, Turkey, TX 79261
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