Original Okie: Bob Wills

by Howard Hopkins


Bob Wills parades through downtown Tulsa on a September day in 1956. The King of Western Swing celebrates his birthday on March 6; he’d be 109 today. This photo, by Howard Hopkins, is among those in the private collection of Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr. and used with his permission.

LISTEN: Folklorist Guy Logsdon tells us about Bob Wills, the Texas cotton picker who came to Tulsa and became the father of Western Swing.

Originally published in This Land , Volume 5, Issue 5, March 1, 2014.