Western Swing Chronicles, Volume 2- Leon Chappelear/Leon’s Lone Star Cowboys


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Leon Chappelear was one of the most promising bandleaders and songwriters in western swing’s early years. Beginning as a Jimmie Rodgers inspired singing cowboy, Chappelear formed Leon’s Lone Star Cowboys in 1934, a hot string band that became a sensation in Shreveport, Louisiana. But tragedy made Chappelear a footnote in western swing history. This is the first collection devoted to his pre-WWII recordings.

The CD contains 27 tracks, including two rare solo selections recorded by Chappelear in 1932 for Gennett. These titles show his affinity for the music and style of Jimmie Rodgers. Six titles come from the August 1933 sessions with the Shelton Brothers (nee Attlesey), including the landmark recordings of “Just Because” and “Deep Elm Blues.” In 1934, Chappelear caught the western swing bug and formed Leon’s Lone Star Cowboys. With the hot fiddle of Lonnie Hall and a succession of jazz clarinetists, Chappelear created a new sound based on that of Milton Brown’s Musical Brownies, but unique in its use of Chappelear’s original compositions and a fiddle/clarinet lead. Chappelear was also heavily influenced by blues and New Orleans jazz.

The Lone Star Cowboys’ recordings between 1935 and 1937 utilized the talents of instrumentalists such as guitarist Gene Sullivan (of Wiley and Gene), bassist Slim Harbert, amplified steel guitarist Carl Rainwater, fiddler J.R. Chatwell, and banjoist Howard Oliver.

Liner notes and discography by Cary Ginell

Track List

1)         Triflin’ Mama Blues (1932)

2)         Just Because (1933)

3)         Who Walks In When I Walk Out (1937)

4)         No Mama Blues (1935)

5)         Bugle Call Rag (1935)

6)         Too Good to be True (1937)

7)         Wonderful Child (1933)

8)         Texas Plains (1936)

9)         Baby Won’t You Come Along (1937)

10)         Ben Wheeler Stomp (1935)

11)         Angry (1937)

12)         Red Hot Mama from Way Out West (1937)

13)         Hang Out the Front Door Key(1933)

14)         Kansas City Blues (1935)

15)         Milenburg Joys (1935)

16)         I Never Knew (1937)

17)         It’s All Coming Home to You (Jimmie Davis, vocal) (1933)

18)         China Boy (1936)

19)         Trouble in Mind (1937)

20)         Crawdad Song (1933)

21)         She’s Got Me Worried (1937)

22)         Mr. and Mrs. is the Name (1936)

23)         Deep Elm Blues(1933)

24)         White River Stomp (1935)

25)         You’re in My Heart to Stay (1937)

26)         I’m a Do Right Papa (1935)

27)         Too Good to be True (1932)

Additional information

Weight .3125 lbs




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