Personalities | Bill Boyd | Cowboys & Playboys | Country
(Vocals, guitar, bandleader, 1910–77)
Bill Boyd led one of the most prolific and important western-swing groups, The Cowboy Ramblers. A guitarist, Boyd and brother Jim (1914–93), a bassist and guitarist who also became an important figure, were reared in Greenville, Texas and began their careers in nearby Dallas in the early 1930s. Boyd signed to Victor’s Bluebird label in 1934. He recorded more than 200 sides for the label through 1951 and such hits as ‘Under The Double Eagle’, ‘New Steel Guitar Rag’ and ‘Spanish Fandango’ earned him the nickname ‘the king of the instrumentals’. More musically conservative than most of his contemporaries – a fact that might have contributed to his longevity – Boyd’s career waned from the mid-1950s. Jim remained active into the 1990s, working with The Light Crust Doughboys, with whom he had first worked in 1938–39; he recorded for RCA Victor during 1949–51.
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