Jim Boyd was born in Ladonia, Texas. His brother was the legendary Bill Boyd, who led a band called the
Cowboy Ramblers. He recorded with is brother's band from 1934 5o 1951. The Cowboy Ramblers
recorded over 300 tunes. Jim was a humble person, he gave his borther credit for any
success he found in the music business.
Jim Boyd's career led him to induction into the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame on April 21, 1990.
The Hall was formed to recognize, preserve and expand Western Swing music. THere were plans to build a museum
in Austin to store the memorabilia. The members of the organization also hoped to establish a grant
or scholarship fun dfor deserving students of music.
The Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame honored those perofrmers who made significant contributions
to Western Swing Music. Some of the early inductees included Bob WIlls, Laura Lee McBride,
Marvin (Smokey) Montgomery, Cliff Bruner, Sons of the Pioneers, Milton Brown and his Musical
Brownies and the Light Crust Doughboys.
Around 1926, Jim and bhis brother Bill came to Dallas from their hometown of Ladonia. Their efforts
paid off and they found work on radio station WFAA in 1932.
Later, Jim would find work with Roy Newman and his boys on a noon hour variety show that aired
over WRR. It was during his stint with Roy Newman that Jim recorded the first real example
of an amplified guitar instrumental number Hot Dog Stomp in September 1935.
Jim found work on many stations in the Dallas area during this era. His brother Bill went
to Hollywood to appear in several B-western movies in the early 1940s.
Jim also worked for a time with the legendary Light Crust Doughboys band, starting in 1938. He played
with the group for a couple of years, then joined forces with W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel when he ran
for governor and senator of Texas. His first stint with the group lasted until 1941.
When he came back to Dallas, he formed his own group, the Men of the West. One of the early members
of that group was fiddler Johnny Gimble. His group made appearances on the WFAA Saturday Night
Shindig, The KRLD Big D Jamboree and WFAA's Early Birds show. The group also provided the
background music for several shows on KRLD and other artists who appeared on that station including
James Cagney, Bob Hope, Gary Cooper, BIll Elliott, Tex Ritter and Justin Wilson.
Jim and his group also appeared on shows such as the Louisiana Hayride, The Grand Ole Opry.
He also worked with the Sons of the Pioneers at the 1936 Texas Centennial in Dallas.
Jim Boyd and the Sons of the West made recordings for the RCA label in Chicago and Dallas.
Jim died of lung cancer at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas in March of 1993.
But let's take a step back and look at Jim's career from its beginning.
Credits & Sources
- Hillbilly-Music.com wishes to express its appreciation to Jerry West for his patience
and for providing us with various articles and recollections of his friend Jim Boyd.
- Country Song Roundup No. 22; February 1953; American Folk Publications, Inc.;
- The Dallas Morning News; March 13, 1993; Copy of article provided by Jerry West