Personalities | Cliff Bruner | Cowboys & Playboys | Country
(Fiddle, bandleader, 1915–2000)
Cliff Bruner was one of the most influential western-swing fiddlers and bandleaders of the late 1930s–40s era. Born in Texas City, Texas, the self-taught Bruner was playing professionally by his mid-teens and joined the music’s pioneering ensemble, Milton Brown’s Musical Brownies, in 1935. His stint with Brown made him a name, and following Brown’s death, Bruner formed his own Texas Wanderers, which included such important figures as steel guitarist Bob Dunn, pianist Moon Mullican and vocalist Dickie McBride. He recorded for Decca and was instrumental in introducing the songs of both Floyd Tillman (‘It Makes No Difference Now’) and Ted Daffan (‘Truck Driver’s Blues’) to a wider public. Based along Texas’s Gulf Coast, Bruner continued to lead popular regional bands through the 1940s before giving up full-time music in 1950. He continued to play on a part-time basis until his death.
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