1936-1938

by: The Tune Wranglers

One of the earliest and most entertaining Western swing groups, the Tune Wranglers specialized in both cowboy music and raucous, 1920s-style jazz and blues. Concerning the latter, they were among the greatest groups of their day, turning out exciting, swinging material that was the equal of Bob Wills in daring if not quality. The group's rowdy banter and call-and-response harmonizing are immensely entertaining, reminiscent of the Maddox Brothers & Rose and early Bill Monroe. This is especially true of the sides featuring pianist Eddie Whitley, a master of barrelhouse jazz who could turn any old song into a hard-swinging good time. All told, this is a fairly astonishing listen featuring the group's only hit, "Texas Sand," and other splendid moments such as "El Rancho Grande," "Red's Tight Like That," and the twisted novelty "Sarah Jane." ~ Jim Smith

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