Tuesday, June 10, 2014

San Antonio Rose

Bob Will and the Texas Playboys on tour
When Texas fiddler/singer/bandleader Bob Wills was a young man living in New Mexico, he performed at dances that were attended primarily by the Hispanic population. During this period, he was inspired to write a tune for his Mexican fans that he named Spanish Two-Step. It was recorded by Columbia Records in 1935. Recognizing the potential main­stream appeal of this type of music, Art Satherly (Columbia Records’ A & R man) asked Wills to write another composition similar to Spanish Two-Step for a recording session in 1938. Wills wrote San Antonio Rose patterned after the earlier tune and it was released as an instrumental. In 1940, lyrics were added to the melody prompting the title change to New San Antonio Rose. The song rapidly became a million-seller and established its place as an anthem of Western Swing music. The version presented here includes several measures (towards the end) from the original Spanish Two-Step illus­trating how seamlessly the two tunes are creatively connected.

Bob Wills

Deep within my heart lies a melody
A song of old San Antone
Where in dreams I live with a memory
Beneath the stars all alone

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