Bob Wills was born in Kosse, Texas in 1905. In 1929 he started the Wills Fiddle Boys in Ft. Worth, then came to the attention of perennial Texas Gubernatorial candidate Pappy Lee O'Daniel who ran the Light Crust Flour Mills in Saginaw, Texas just north of Ft. Worth. Wills lept to fame playing as the Light Crust Doughboys but after several years the band tired of the gig as they were also expected to load flour trucks during the day. In '34 the band moved to Tulsa to get away from Pappy Lee and formed the Texas Playboys. They invented western music with a jazz beat known as Western Swing. Some of his music was dead-on jazz while other songs were straight western-his genre was hard to pin down. On clear channel 50,000 watt KVOO in Tulsa The Playboys broadcast from Cain's Ballroom on North Main and they played it all. In 1968 Wills was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame as the King of Western Swing- and as Willie Nelson crooned-he's still the King. Wills died in Tulsa in 1975.
Leon McAuliffe, his steel guitar player featured on this record, was born in Houston, Texas in 1917. He played with Bob Wills band until WWII and after the war formed his own group in Tulsa. Steel Guitar Rag was recorded in Chicago at the Furniture Mart Building, 666 Lakeshore Drive on September 29, 1936 on the Vocalion and Okeh subsidiary labels of Columbia.