Bob Wills

Stay a Little Longer: The Original Columbia Recordings, Vol. 2

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Containing 16 cuts from the mid-'30s to the mid-'40s, this compilation of Wills' Columbia sides is a little quirky in that it doesn't present itself as a best-of or a thematic anthology. It's just a dip into his massive body of 1930s and 1940s recordings, including some of his better-known tracks -- "Steel Guitar Rag" (described in the liner notes as "the less familiar take, in which Bob doesn't holler 'Domino!' at the end"), "Stay a Little Longer," "Home in San Antone" -- but by no means the ones that many Wills fans would select. So it's more useful for someone who's not collecting Wills systematically, rather than the specialized Wills or Western swing fan. What's here is a decent enough cross-section of the territory Wills ploughed in his early recording career, from all-out hoedowns and bluesy tunes to waltzes and vaudeville-influenced numbers, the latest recording (1945's "Stay a Little Longer") showing a bop jazz influence.

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