CHARLEY PRIDE, ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL HEADLINE
2nd BOB WILLS FEST
Texas Playboy Leon Rausch — a living link to Bob Wills
To Perform During Community’s Oct. 15-18 Fiddle Festival
Last year’s inaugural Bob Wills Fiddle
Festival & Contest was such a hit, the second annual celebration
of Texas’ famed western swing king and music-loving
culture will be even bigger. The extravaganza in downtown
Greenville has been expanded to four days, Oct. 15-18, 2015,
with many free, family-friendly events, from the lively fiddle
competition to dancing and screenings of films featuring Wills
and his music.
Presented by L-3 Mission Integration, the festival
includes a seven-category, all-ages fiddle contest awarding
$8,500 in cash and prizes, a Friday-night concert by nine-time
Grammy winners Asleep at the Wheel with opening act Hot Club
of Cowtown and a Saturday-night performance by Country Music
Hall of Fame legend Charley Pride, with the Western Flyers
featuring Leon Rausch. Rausch, of Fort Worth, was known as
the voice of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys in the late
1950s and early ’60s.
Tickets for Pride’s concert are $35 to
$75; tickets for Asleep at the Wheel, a Kenneth Threadgill
Concert Series presentation, are $31 to $51. Tickets may be
purchased at showtimeatthegma.com, by calling the Greenville
Municipal Auditorium box office at 903.457.2994 or by visiting
the box office at 2821 Washington St. Showtime is 7 p.m. both
Saturday at 10 a.m., film expert Rob Stone will
present a free screening of Bob Wills films and rare, music
video-like “Snader telescriptions” from the early
1950s. The films, courtesy of the Library of Congress, will
air at the Texan Theater, 2712 Lee St., and loop in the theater
lobby as part of the “Aw-Haww!” exhibit of Wills
and Audie Murphy movie and music memorabilia.
Fiddle contest preliminaries take place Saturday
from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the historic Central Christian Church,
2611 Wesley St. A western-swing concert featuring Carolyn
Martin Swing Band, Shoot Low Sheriff, Ginny Mac and Louise
Rowe and the Texan Playboys takes place Saturday from 11:30
a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the outdoor stage downtown. (Rowe was
the only female instrumentalist Wills ever hired.) Sunday
fiddle finals will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the municipal
auditorium (built in 1939 by the federal Works Project Administration).
Admission is free to all three events.
Following Pride’s show, the Carolyn Martin
Swing Band will headline the free Saturday Night Dance. That
takes place from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at the Emerald Ballroom
at the Landon Winery on the courthouse square. (Martin played
with Vince Gill as a member of the Time Jumpers prior to their
headlining appearance at the 2014 festival.)
The festival kicks off at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct.
15, with a sponsor appreciation/VIP event at the Texan Theater.
Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson and guests will discuss
“Tales of the Texas Playboys” and making ASTW’s
third Wills tribute — the March 2015 release, Still
the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas
Playboys, which reached No. 11 on Billboard’s Top Country
“Last year’s festival was magical,”
said Wills’ daughter, Carolyn Wills. “And now,
with an added day, 2015 is prepared to swing."
The no-entry-fee contest is directed by Fort
Worth educators Joey and Sherry McKenzie, both award-winning
fiddlers. Last year’s contest drew 65 participants from
10 states; even more are expected this year. Categories are:
Junior Junior (age 12 and under), Junior (13-17), Adult (18-59),
Senior (60 & up), Accompanist, Bob Wills and Open. For
rules and entry, go to twinfiddleproductions.com.
“Wills did so much to further fiddle music
and expose people to western swing,” said Joey McKenzie.
“He also played in fiddle contests as a young man. So
combining a world-class contest with a festival honoring him
is long overdue.”
The event also honors Wills’ legacy by
promoting his craft, according to festival chairman Larry
Green Jr. “We are so appreciative of the Wills family
and the Bob Wills Heritage Foundation for their faith in Greenville,
which helped us gain so much community support to expand this
For information about the Bob Wills Fiddle Festival
& Contest, including lodging, go to bobwillsfiddlefest.com.
Find festival news at:
Festival contact: Kevin Banks, email@example.com
Media contacts: Jill McGuckin, 512.217.9404, firstname.lastname@example.org
Heidi Labensart, 512.698.2621, email@example.com
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