Celebrating 50 years of the King of Western Swing

Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 11:56 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 25, 2022 at 12:51 PM CDT
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TURKEY, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) - For 50 years, the official music of Texas Western Swing has been filling the air in Turkey, Texas on the last Saturday in April in honor of the King of Western Swing, Bob Wills.

This year the Bob Wills Foundation in Turkey, Texas will present the 50th Annual Bob Wills Day with an all-star line up of musicians, dances, concerts and events for people of all ages to enjoy. Beginning Thursday, April 28 through Sunday, April 30, this small town in the Panhandle will be filled with dancers and fiddlers and families ready to enjoy what Texas Monthly called a must attend event for any Texan.

The all-star dance line up includes Asleep At the Wheel, also celebrating their 50th anniversary. Bob Wills Texas Playboys under the direction of Jason Roberts, Jake Hooker and the Outsiders, Jody Nix and the Texas Cowboys, Billy Mata and the Texas Tradition and the South Plains College Western Swing band. Each dance boasts two bands for a $30 ticket fee and happens daily beginning Thursday. The Historic Free Outdoor Concert will take place on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. with Master of Ceremonies Dr. Charles Townsend leading us through the storied history of Bob Wills. The music of Bob Wills Day is presented by the generosity of the King of Western Swing Music Partner Michelob Ultra.

The Fiddler’s Contest at Bob Wills Day is one of the preeminent fiddle contests in the state and is presented this year by Joey Yates Construction. Categories include youth, adult, twin an an open category that draws in fiddlers from across the country. Prized belt buckles are awarded to the winners in each category and the bragging rights last for a lifetime. Contest is at 11:30 a.m. Saturday and the next Bob Wills might just be in competition.

With plenty of activities for the family, the place to be on Sunday is the Parade on Main presented by Turkey Creek HDD. Classic cars, floats, the Founder of Bob Wills Day, the Texas Playboys, tractors and so much more. Families will come from miles around to enjoy the Parade presented by Turkey Creek HDD. The Bob Wills Museum will be open and host an Open Jam for players of all skill levels. The Museum will be open to visitors throughout the week thanks to the Texas Music Office.

Do not miss the unveiling of our newest addition to Turkey, Texas. An educational and cultural installation dedicated to Bob Wills and Turkey which is generously funded by Happy State Bank. Taking place at the Bob Wills Monument before the parade, this newest addition to Turkey will serve to greet and educate visitors for years to come of the legacy of Bob Wills and his historic impact on music and American culture.

All while this all seems like more than you could pack into three days in a small Texas town, there is even so much more going on! A BBQ Lunch, the Arts and Crafts Fair, BBQ Cook Off, a film screening of The Birth and History of Western Swing at the Gem Theatre and music happening all around town! Throughout the week so many of the businesses in Turkey, Texas will be open and ready to offer a slice of classic Americana to visitors. Lacy Dry Goods, Hotel Turkey Bar & Restaurant, Tona’s Mexican Kitchen, Galvans Mexican Restaurant, Tukey Creek Winery, Tony’s Ice Cream Shop, This and That Antiques. Radna’s on Main, Turkey Pottery and Painting and so many more!

To learn more, visit our Facebook page Bob Wills Day or our website bobwillsday.com. Media passes are available upon request along with access to the Green Room for media personnel. The Bob Wills Foundation is a 501c3 operating to remember the legacy of Bob Wills and benefit the community of Turkey, Texas. If you have questions, please call 806.336.1471 and get ready to TAKE ME BACK TO TURKEY, TEXAS.

For 50 years, the official music of Texas Western Swing has been filling the air in Turkey,...
For 50 years, the official music of Texas Western Swing has been filling the air in Turkey, Texas on the last Saturday in April in honor of the King of Western Swing, Bob Wills.(KCBD)

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