Wills, Bob

Wills, (James Robert) Bob

(1905–75) country music fiddler, singer, bandleader, songwriter; born in Kosse, Texas. He played in bands in the late-1920s. In 1934 he formed the Texas Playboys, a band popular in the Southwest, before moving to California in 1942 to perform in movies and dance halls. Although he was a traditional hoedown fiddler, his band helped popularize western swing in the 1950s and 1960s with an eclectic repertory of country, jazz, blues, and pop. His own best-known compositions include "Faded Love," "Maiden's Prayer," and "San Antonio Rose."
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.