Friday, October 18, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-W. Lee O'Daniel & His Hillbilly Boys

Artist:W. Lee O'Daniel & His Hillbilly Boys
Song:There'll Be Some Changes Made
Album:Southern Style Western Swing

W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel was a very important figure in the early days of Western Swing. He went on to be Governor of Texas and a US Senator. He was born Mar. 11, 1890 in Malta, OH and grew up on a cattle ranch in Kansas. He worked in flour milling and in 1925 he went to work for Burris Mills in Fort Worth, TX. O'Daniel was put in charge of the company's radio advertising and he thought music was a good way to promote the company's products. The band was called The Light Crust Doughboys after the company's Light Crust Flour. Milton Brown and Bob Wills were among the original members of the band in 1931. a lot of great Western Swing musicians went through that band but O'Daniel is the guy who started it. In 1935, O'Daniel left Burris and started his own company W. Lee O'Daniel Flour Co. The brand was Hillbilly Flour. And he started the band W. Lee O'Daniel & His Hillbilly Boys. The band was led by his son Pat O'Daniel and his other son Mike was in it too. Leon McAuliffe was among the musicians who went through the band. They had a very popular 15 minute radio show which included Pappy O'Daniel's preaching the Bible. They recorded for Okeh and There'll Be Some Changes Made is on this various artists CD from the Dutch label Southern Style. The singer is one time Bob Wills vocalist Leon Huff. Other members when this was recorded in June 1937 were Pat O'Daniel on banjo, Mike O'Daniel and Caroll Hubbard on fiddle, Curly Perrin on guitar and Wallace Griffin on bass. W. Lee O'Daniel is credited as leader but he wasn't a musician so he never played on any of the records. In 1938, O'Daniel used his radio fame to become Governor of Texas. In 1941, he beat Lyndon Johnson to become a US Senator. Apparently he wasn't all that effective and he quit in 1948. Attempts to run for Governor of Texas in the 50s were unsuccessful. W. Lee O'Daniel died on May 11, 1969 at age 79. Fans of the 2000 Coen Brothers film O Brother, Where Art Thou will know that Charles Durning played a character based on O'Daniel. Here's a video for There'll Be Some Changes Made by W. Lee O'Daniel & His Hillbilly Boys.

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