Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

Texas Troubadours: Backup Band Extraordinaire

Perhaps it’s not fair to single out a backing band in country music, since there are so many outstanding ones — The Texas Playboys, The Cherokee Cowboys, The Drifting Cowboys, The Golden West Cowboys, The Brazos Valley Boys, The Western Caravan, The Buckaroos, The Strangers, The String Dusters/Pleasant Valley Boys — and yet I am unable to stop myself from nominating Ernest Tubb’s 1960s incarnation of The Texas Troubadours as one of the all-time great backing bands in country music.

This live rendition of “Rhodes-Bud Boogie” knocks me out every time:

For extra fun, click here to enjoy Willie Nelson backed by The Texas Troubadours, with help from fiddler, Wade Ray, and a beehived chorus on “My Window Faces the South (Blues).”


Texas Troubadours Discography

– LP Stereo Albums –

Songs of the Open Range [1957]

(Rhonda Fleming on horseback)

Ernest Tubb’s Fabulous Texas Troubadours  [1963]

Ernest Tubb Presents the Texas Troubadours  [1964]

Country Dance Time  [1965]

The Terrific Texas Troubadours  [1966]


– 45 RPM Singles –

Decca 31699  “New Panhandle Rag”/“Rhodes-Bud Boogie”  [1964]

Decca 31770  “Honky Tonks and You”/“Cains Corner”  [1965]

Decca 31837  “Highway Man”/“Leon’s Guitar Boogie”  [1965]

Decca 32065  “Walking the Floor Over You”/“E.T. Blues”  [1966]

Decca 32121  “Gardenia Waltz”/“Honey Fingers”  [1966]

Decca 32185  “Almost to Tulsa”/“Oklahoma Hills”  [196?]

Decca 32587 “Jamming With C And C”/“Ridgetop Stomp” [1969]

Charlton & Chapman, presumably


Texas Troubadours Personnel Over the Years

[tip of the hat to the source of this information whose link, sadly, eludes my grasp]

Bill Drake (circa 1947)

Billy Byrd (lead guitar, circa 1949-1959)

Buddy Charleton (steel guitar, 1962-1967)

Buddy Emmons (steel, 1960-1961)

Cal Smith (rhythm guitar, 1961-1967

Dickie Harris (circa 1956)

Hal Smith (circa 1947)

Jack Drake (bass guitar, circa 1945-1967)

Jack Greene (drums, 1962-1965)

Jimmie Short (guitar, circa 1943-1948)

JohnnyBoySapp (circa 1945)

Leon Rhodes (lead guitar, 1960-1967)

Leon Short (guitar, circa 1945)

RayKemoHead (first steel player, circa 1945)

Rusty Gabbard (rhythm guitar, circa 1956)

Steve Chapman (lead guitar, mid-1960s)

TommyButterballPaige (bass/guitar, circa 1947)

Wayne Fleming (steel guitar, circa mid-1940s)

2 Responses

  1. my second cousin is wayne fleming,he was a member of ernest tubbs band in the late forties.would like to fing out any information about his playing days

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