Previously Unreleased Recording of Bob Wills Discovered

An unknown recording of Western Swing legend Bob Wills has been discovered that has never been released to the public.  Austin resident Dwight Adair, owner of learned of the recording’s existence through an email message sent to him by a Bob Wills fan and former musician Gary Frietag of Florida.  Mr. Frietag revealed to Mr. Adair that the recording was made on a reel-to-reel tape deck by a musician friend, Ray Riggs, also of Florida.  Mr. Riggs made the recording in a hotel in Fresno, California, in 1949/50 when Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys were appearing there.  Mr. Riggs has kept the tape recording, for all these years, hoping to find the appropriate person(s) or organization to which he could entrust the recording for posterity. 

Mr. Riggs states, “I tried to contact the Wills estate but never heard back from them.  So I just kept it, hoping that someday it would see the light of day.”

It’s been over fifty years since the recording was made.

“I was dumbfounded when I learned of the recording,” Mr. Adair says.  “To think this recording has existed all these years and has never been released is absolutely amazing.”

Mr. Adair, who possesses a large collection of Bob Wills’s recordings and memorabilia, immediately began negotiating with Mr. Riggs for the right to release the recording on

“I knew there were thousands of Bob Wills fans all over the world that would want to listen to the recording and would be as excited as I am about the find,” he says.  “The recording is of Bob Wills telling his life story, in his own words, of how his career developed.  It’s about half an hour long and it is certainly Bob Wills’s voice, answering questions asked by Ray Riggs and elaborating about his feelings for the music he created.” The rare recording is available for downloading off the website, Adair says.

“I asked Bob if anyone had ever recorded him telling his life story and he said, ‘no, no one had ever asked him before’” Mr. Riggs says.  “And he agreed to let me to bring my tape recorder to a hotel room later that night. I still can’t believe he was kind enough to let me record him.  I can remember it like it was yesterday.” 

2 Responses to “Previously Unreleased Recording of Bob Wills Discovered”

  1. […] previously unreleased and unknown recording of Bob Wills has been discovered and is available for purchase on “The recording is of Bob Wills telling his life […]

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