Museum In Quitman Honors Originators Of Western Swing Music - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Museum In Quitman Honors Originators Of Western Swing Music

A museum honoring the Light Crust Doughboys, originators of Western swing music, was introduced this week during Quitman's Old Settler's Reunion.

"The Light Crust Doughboys are on the air." For more than 70 years, those words and that music have introduced the legendary Light Crust Doughboys. Bob Wills founded the band as the Wills Fiddle Band, which later took the name of the sponsor of their daily radio broadcasts, Light Crust Flour.

The Light Crust Doughboys are not only the official "music ambassadors of the state of Texas," they are the originators of western swing, a music form still popular today. The Light Crust Doughboys Hall of Fame and Museum, initiated by the Quitman Heritage Foundation, is a tribute to the Doughboys and their importance to Texas music and culture.

The group was officially founded in 1931 and now they have become country music's longest performing band. The Doughboys' music has spanned five generations, and as Doughboy, Art Greenhaw puts it, "The band started something that people really love, western swing music. This was the lab band for western swing music. It's the band that was given credit for starting western swing and that's a real indigenous Southwestern music. It's happy music, it's exciting music. Texas is known all over the world for it. We're proud to keep flying the flag of western swing."

Western swing is really an umbrella for a variety of music and sounds including western, rockabilly, rock-n-roll, jazz, and big band. Although none of the original Doughboys is still alive, Jerry Elliot has been with the band over 40 years and each member is dedicated to the Doughboys' legacy. They feel the museum is a way of keeping that heritage alive and well.

"People will be coming here to study our music. We hope eventually to have a repository for music, sheet music, an academy training other musicians in our style of music, interactive , multimedia displays, just a complete learning and fun experience in Quitman," says Greenhaw.

The Light Crust Doughboys Hall of Fame and Museum is located in the Governor Jim Hogg Park on Highway 37 in Quitman. The museum will officially open in October.

Oralia Ortega, reporting.


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