Various Artists

Doughboys, Playboys and Cowboys: The Golden Years of Western Swing

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This four-disc box chronicles the development of Western swing from the Fort Worth Doughboys' 1932 recordings through its heyday in the late '40s. Along the way, the collection covers every major artist, from Bob Wills and Spade Cooley to pioneers like Milton Brown and Bill Boyd, who have been under-represented almost to the point of extinction in the CD era. It also includes Patsy Montana's groundbreaking hit single, "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart," and other fascinating tracks such as the Tex-Mex stomper "El Rancho Grande" by the Tune Wranglers, "Bring It on Down to My House" by Derwood Brown & His Musical Brownies, and dozens of others. The accompanying 43-page booklet features bios on all the artists as well as song notes and rare photographs. Unfortunately, this doesn't include anything after 1947, but such is the nature of Proper boxes. Besides, this doesn't claim to be an exhaustive chronology -- the subtitle, "The Golden Years of Western Swing," states the intent and, as such, this is magnificent stuff. Considering what's been included, it's hard to squabble over what's been left out ("Take Me Back to Tulsa," "Milk Cow Blues," and "Steel Guitar Rag" are notable examples), but pretend you don't know that and this set is perfect, containing every artist, every development, and every song that made Western swing a national phenomenon.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:04
2 3:12
3
2:45
4 2:57
5 3:02
6 2:52
7 2:39
8 3:07
9
2:49
10 3:00
11
2:50
12 2:50
13 2:54
14 2:36
15
3:01
16
3:08
17 3:23
18
2:52
19 2:32
20
3:00
21
2:40
22
2:29
23 3:00
24 2:57
25 2:35

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:42
2 3:05
3
2:50
4 3:17
5 2:42
6 2:27
7 2:52
8 2:20
9 2:26
10
3:01
11 3:10
12
2:27
13
2:40
14 2:42
15
2:20
16
3:19
17
2:38
18 2:38
19
2:42
20 2:44
21
2:44
22
2:16
23 2:54
24
2:21
25
2:17

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:53
2
2:24
3
2:37
4
2:24
5
2:32
6
2:28
7 2:39
8 2:20
9 2:54
10
2:40
11 2:40
12
2:38
13 2:39
14 2:27
15 2:49
16 2:51
17 2:47
18 2:51
19 2:44
20 2:37
21 2:36
22 2:32
23 2:46
24 2:36

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:37
2
2:41
3 2:30
4
2:46
5 2:44
6 2:38
7 2:47
8 2:45
9 2:51
10 2:51
11 3:02
12 3:03
13 2:49
14 2:39
15 2:50
16
2:38
17 2:10
18 2:58
19
2:38
20 2:39
21
2:41
22 2:15
23 2:54
24
2:33
25 2:26
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