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Jimmy Wyble

Jimmy Wyble is one of the few guitarists who made a mark in both country & western and jazz, his discography naturally crashing through a few supposedly fenced-in genre boundaries to get him from Benny Goodman to Bob Wills. The latter artist's so-called radical style of Western swing was no surprise to Wyble, since he was playing his own style of Western swing music in 1942 with guitarist Cameron Hill when Wills got a chance to hear the guitarists playing live.

Up until this time, Wyble was a staff musician on a Houston radio station, but he had been steadily toiling at bringing a jazz element into country music, sometimes against great pressure. He was one of a group of musicians tormented by bandleader Foreman Phillips, who ironically was the dude who actually coined the term “Western swing” to begin with.

He might have liked a swing rhythm, but Phillips detested jazz improvisation and was said to have placed a sign reading “Where's the melody?” at Wyble's feet. Wills promptly hired both Wyble and Hill as “twin guitars” for his Texas Playboys. The bandleader had a fondness for combining hot players on identical instruments into musically dynamic duos and in the case of Wyble, the results can be heard to great advantage on the classic Wills' tribute to a fatso, “Roly Poly.” Wyble kept up his picking with Western swing bands well into the '50s, interrupted by a stint in the Army from 1942 through 1946.

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Album The Jimmy Wyble Quartet by Jimmy Wyble

The Jimmy Wyble...

RCA Records




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