This Week in Texas Music History: Al Stricklin
This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll celebrate a jazz musician who gained fame playing country music.
Al Stricklin was born in Antioch, Texas, on January 29, 1908. Stricklin always considered himself a jazz pianist and played in a variety of jazz bands during the 1920s. In 1930, he was working at Fort Worth’s KFJZ radio when a young fiddler named Bob Wills stopped by and asked to perform. Although Stricklin was skeptical, he allowed Wills to play live on the air. The audience loved the music, and Bob Wills soon had one of the most popular western swing bands in North Texas. Stricklin ended up playing piano with Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys from 1935 to 1941, appearing on many of the group’s most popular recordings.
In 1973, Al Stricklin reunited with his former band mates to record the GRAMMY-award winning album, Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys: For the Last Time, which helped reinvigorate western swing and make it popular worldwide.
Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll pay tribute to Texas music royalty.