The Light Crust Doughboys Are on the Air: Celebrating Seventy Years of Texas Music

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Contributor: Foreword by Art Greenhaw.
Hardcover Price: $29.95

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Hardcover ISBN-13: 9781574411515
Hardcover ISBN-10: 1574411519
Physical Description: 6 x 9. 320 pages. 31 photos. Discography. Notes. Bib. Index.
Publication Date: September 2002
Read excerpt: PDF
Series: Evelyn Oppenheimer Series | Volume: 2

Millions of Texans and Southwesterners have been touched over the years by the Light Crust Doughboys. From 1930 to 1952, fans faithfully tuned in to their early-morning and, later, noontime radio program, and turned out in droves to hear them play live. The Doughboys embodied the very essence of the “golden era” of radio—live performances and the dominance of programming by advertising agencies. Their radio program began as a way to sell Light Crust Flour. Their early impresario, W. Lee “Pappy” O'Daniel, quickly learned how to exploit the power of radio to influence voters, and he put that lesson to good use to become a two-time Texas governor and the model for Pappy O'Daniel in the movie, Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? But the group was more than a way to push flour; the talented musicians associated with them included Bob Wills and Milton Brown, each of whom receive credit for founding western swing.

With the demise of their regular radio program, the Light Crust Doughboys had to remake themselves. Trailblazers in western swing, the Doughboys explored many other musical genres, including gospel, for which they were nominated for Grammys in 1998, 1999, 2001, and 2002. They continue to play together with versatility and wide-ranging talent—“official music ambassadors of the Lone Star State” as declared by the state legislature in 1995. Their legendary banjo player, Smokey Montgomery, was with the group for sixty-six years before his death in 2001.

For the first time, here is the story of the Doughboys phenomenon, from their debut broadcast to their contemporary live performances. This is a rich slice of Texas musical and broadcasting history. Included inside is a bonus CD containing seventy-two minutes of Doughboys music, from early studio recordings to contemporary tunes.

"This is the most definitive work on the beginning and evolution of Western Swing music and the history of the Light Crust Doughboys that I have seen.”—James Blackwood, nine-time Grammy winner

“This book will rank highly with Texas music fans, music historians, and most country and western music lovers.”—Phil York, producer

About Author:

JOHN MARK DEMPSEY is a native Texan and long-time admirer of the Light Crust Doughboys. His involvement in radio is also long-standing. He currently works as a newscaster for the Texas State Network and as an assistant professor of broadcast journalism at the University of North Texas. Dempsey is the editor of The Jack Ruby Trial Revisited: The Diary of Jury Foreman Max E. Causey by UNT Press. Dempsey holds degrees from East Texas State University and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M. He lives in Denton, Texas.

ART GREENHAW is the bassist for the Light Crust Doughboys, their manager, and a respected producer with multiple Grammy and Dove nominations. He lives in Mesquite, Texas.

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