This Day in Texas History: Future Member of the Country Music Hall of Fame Born in Texas
This Day in Texas History:
(from the Texas State Historical Association archives)
Future Member of the Country Music Hall of Fame Born in Texas
January 29, 1908
On this day in 1908, Alton Stricklin, County Music Hall of Fame musician, was born in Antioch, Texas. He joined Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys in 1935, after Bob heard him play piano at the Cinderella Roof in Fort Worth.
Stricklin was a jazz pianist whose idioms were basic to dance music. For him, Wills’s dance music, which was to define Western Swing. was like the jazz he was familiar with. He set the piano style for all the swing bands that followed and the style for all of Wills’s other piano players.
Stricklin played with the Wills band in its first recording for Columbia Records and in all the other recordings Wills made through 1941, a total of more than 200. Capitol Records encouraged the musicians to form a group called Bob Wills’ Original Texas Playboys, which had nearly ten years of remarkable success.