Monday, February 03, 2014

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1198

Its Swingin' Monday on Ranch Radio and here's Brother Al Stricklin pounding out Live Bait.  Here's some info on Stricklin:  Artist Biography by Linda Seida

Al Stricklin was a jazz pianist whose lively playing helped give Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys the band's unique western swing flavor. Ironically, when Stricklin first heard Wills play the fiddle during an audition at a radio station where Stricklin was in charge of hiring, he thought Wills' routine was more of a comedy act than any serious musical offering. It wasn't long before Stricklin's opinion changed and he became a key part of the Texas Playboys' lineup, staying with the band from 1935 through 1942. He played piano on several hundred of the group's recordings, including Wills' nationwide hit in 1940, "New San Antonio Rose."  The piano player was born Alton Meeks Stricklin in 1908 in Antioch, TX. He never had the benefit of music lessons, and has said that his major inspiration was jazz great Earl "Fatha" Hines. When he was about four or five years old, Stricklin started teaching himself how to play with his father, who was a fiddler. By the time he left high school and headed to Weatherford Junior College in 1927, and later Baylor University, the self-taught pianist was teaching others how to play to help pay for his schooling...To help support his family, he took work in 1930 at Fort Worth's KFJZ radio station, where he later auditioned Wills. Before joining the Texas Playboys, Stricklin also was employed as an elementary school teacher and principal in Island Grove, TX, and later he played with the Hi Flyers dance band back in Fort Worth. When Wills heard him play at a club called the Cinderella Roof in 1935, he lured Stricklin to the Texas Playboys with a job that paid $30 weekly.

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