Saturday, January 14, 2012
AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Tune Wranglers
Song:El Rancho Grande
You have probably heard the song El Rancho Grande in movies over the years. But I'm sure you have no idea of the origin of the song. The Tune Wranglers were pioneers in what would be called Western Swing music and they were also pioneers in what would become Tex-Mex music. The group was from San Antonio, TX and recorded in English and Spanish. The Tune Wranglers were formed in 1935 by guitarist and singer Buster Coward, banjoist Eddie Fielding and fiddler and singer Charlie Gregg. Fielding was soon replaced by Joe Barnes who used the stage name Red Brown. Supposedly they were real cowboys who played music on the side. They signed with RCA's Bluebird label and became popular on both sides of the US/Mexico border through radio broadcasts on WOAI in San Antonio. El Rancho Grande became so popular south of the border that Blurbird had them record in Spanish as Tono Hombres. Steel guitarist Tommy Duncan joined the band in 1936. They also recorded Hawaiian music. El Rancho Grande and Texas Sand were their two biggest hits and you can get them on this comp from the New Mexico based label Krazy Kat Records. The Tune Wranglers split up in 1938. The problem was there were several bands in the area playing similar music and guys would bounce back and forth between bands. That instability killed the Tune Wranglers. The value of the Tune Wranglers today is mostly historical. They were important in the formative years of Western Swing. Tommy Duncan went on to be lead singer of Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys. It looks like the others went on to playing sessions. Here's a video for El Rancho Grande by the Tune Wranglers.