Western Swing Chronicles, Vol. 2

Western Swing Chronicles, Vol. 2

by Leon Chappel



For a time during 1932-1935, Leon Chappelear (an appealing singer and guitarist) was one of the top bandleaders in Western swing, combining together early country music with jazz. Chappelear's Lone Star Cowboys were popular in the south, growing to be a sextet with two guitars, fiddle, clarinet, banjo, and bass. But a car accident on September 13, 1935, caused Chappelear some brain damage and, although he survived, he tired easily and a spark was lost in his performances. He continued on until 1938 and then spent the rest of his life until his death in 1962 working odd jobs and hoping against hope to make a comeback in music. Long forgotten, Leon Chappelear has now had his best recordings reissued on this single CD. Consisting of 27 performances from 1932-1938, the set features such numbers as "Just Because," "Who Walks in When I Walk Out," "Bugle Call Rag," "Ben Wheeler Stomp," "Angry," "Milenburg Joys," and "Deep Elm Blues." Although some of the clarinet solos in the later recordings are erratic, the music overall is quite enjoyable and reminiscent of Bob Wills' Texas Playboys. Highly recommended to Western swing collectors.

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