The Light Crust Doughboys are one of the most long-lived and musically
versatile bands in America. Formed in the early 1930s under the sponsorship
of Burrus Mill and Elevator Company of Fort Worth, Texas, with Bob Wills
and Milton Brown (the originator of western swing) at the musical
helm and future Texas governor W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel
as band manager and emcee, the Doughboys are still going strong in the twenty-first
century. Arguably the quintessential Texas band, the Doughboys have performed all the
varieties of music that Texans love, including folk and fiddle tunes, cowboy songs,
gospel and hymns, commercial country songs and popular ballads, honky-tonk, ragtime and
blues, western swing and jazz, minstrel songs, movie hits, and rock 'n' roll.
In this book, Jean Boyd draws on the memories of Marvin "Smokey" Montgomery
and other longtime band members and supporters to tell the Light Crust Doughboys story
from the band's founding in 1931 through the year 2000. She follows the band's musical
evolution and personnel over seven decades, showing how band members and sponsors
responded to changes in Texas culture and musical tastes during the Great Depression,
World War II, and the postwar years. Boyd concludes that the Doughboys'
willingness to change with changing times and to try new sounds and
fresh musical approaches is the source of their enduring vitality. Historical
photographs of the band, an annotated discography of their pre-World War II work,
and histories of some of the band's songs round out the volume.
About the Author
Jean A. Boyd is Professor of Music History at Baylor University in Waco,
Texas. She has researched and written on western swing since the early 1990s.