Western Swing Music Society

Vancouver, BC Canada

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Newsletter: Spring 2009, Volume 17 No 1 & 2

President's Report
- John York

      WSMS members Ed and Lou Bischoff of Everett, WA.  are retiring from their official duties with the Seattle Western Swing Music Society. Over the years as president, Lou has done an exemplary job in every capacity with the assistance of her husband Ed, her  'right arm'. She has demonstrated her abilities as a gracious hostess, interesting writer, excellent photographer as well as sender of good wishes. A multi-tasking person very much valued. Both Ed and Lou have represented their society at showcases in Oregon, California, Texas, Oklahoma and Canada. 

       As president, Lou has always demonstrated motive -  (goal),  passion-(enthusiasm) and spontaneity- (self-acting).  In all, she has maintained a high level of  fellowship and sincerity in whatever 'hat' she wore.

      I know that Ed and Lou will enjoy their time away from all their duties.

    The Western Swing Music Society wishes good health to you both as you now have the opportunity to sit back and enjoy listening to the music and enjoying the friendship of the western swing showcases.

                      John and Shirley York and the Western Swing Music Society. (Canada)


Note:  The Seattle Western Swing Music Society has had a name change: 

            It is now: Northwest Western Swing Music Society.


      I feel that a number of you must  have heard of  vocalist, Suzy Bogguss who has been singing Country tunes for many years – WOW ! ....WHAT A SURPRISE  when I purchased her CD,  Suzy Bogguss SWING. A great piece of work!

Suzy Bogguss    This album was produced by Ray Benson, of Asleep At The Wheel and the musicians are:

Ray Benson-guitar, Floyd Domino-piano, David Sanger-drums, Jason Roberts-fiddle/guitar, Spencer Starnes-bass, John Mills-sax/clarinet and  Dave Biller-guitar.

      A few of the tunes are: Nat Cole's,  Straighten Up and Fly Right, Lew Brown's, Come Love, Duke Ellington's, Do Nothing 'Till You Hear From Me,  and original compositions by April Barrows and  Paul Kramer and another by Suzy Bogguss,  Doug Crider and Paul Kramer.  

      Not only are the musicians and the arrangements great,  but Suzy's vocalizing is outstanding and she proves that she's quite comfortable with any singing style.   (Strange.....no steel guitar), however, for you guitar enthusiasts, Ray Benson does some fine picking and strumming. 

      I liked all the tunes and in particular, Dave Biller on guitar accompanying Suzy along with the rest of  the musicians as they do a superb job on the up-tempo tune,  It's All About You.

      A quote from Suzy's Swing liner notes reveals when music came into her life, “....On Saturday mornings my Mom would put on Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald records while she was cleaning the house.   The music got into me and has always been a part of who I am...”

      This CD can be purchased from:



      Compadre Records
      101 Crawford Street  # 21
      Houston, TX
      USA    77002


       C  o  n  g  r  a  t  u  l  a  t  i  o  n  s

to the three WSMS members who were inducted into the Seattle Western Swing Music Society's Pioneers of Western Swing in Auburn Washington in August 2008. -  Len Knutson-bass/lead guitar/vocals, Frankie Rodgers-fiddle, and Hank Rodgers-pedal steel guitar – all of Surrey, B.C.

      Shirley and I had the pleasure of hearing them perform at the 25th Anniversary celebration of the Seattle Western Swing Music Society and  the 18th Annual Pioneers of Western Swing Awards. Accompanying them on stage were, Lorraine Smith- keyboard, and WSMS member-Jerry Adamus on drums.

      More Congratulations to WSMS members, Len Knutson-bass/guitar/vocals as well as Denny Slaght-lead guitar, and the late Roy Hatchard-violin/ bass/ guitar/vocals who were inducted into the The 32nd Country Music Association Awards Show held at the Red Robinson Theatre, in Coquitlam, B.C. 

      A short while ago we sent a complimentary  issue of our last newsletter to Kenny Sears, leader/ violinist of  The Time Jumpers.    Recently I received a telephone call from him thanking us for the  review I did on their DVD, Jumpin' Time.

      For those WSM members who haven't as yet ordered The Time Jumpers CD s or their outstanding DVD...they can be ordered through the Internet or:

      The Time Jumpers
      PO Box 120816
      Nashville, TN
      USA     37212

      If you are a true fan and lover of western swing....you ( we) have an obligation to support the musicians of today who are recording this fine music.   I absolutely recommend the Time Jumpers CD and their DVD.


      I recently heard that a  2- DVD set is now available of  Andy Parker and the Plainsmen, Call of the Rollin' Plains distributed by World's Records.

      The great Joaquin Murphey plays on a number of the tracks.

                  *****  WSMSmember, “Catfish” Willie

from Madoc, Ontario dropped us a note to say, “ Hi to all on the West Coast...”     Willie operates a coffee house where monthly Folk-acts come in from Montreal and  Toronto and from as far away as Kentucky and British Columbia. 

      He also hosts a monthly jam session...and performs with his band, Catfish Willie and the Bigwood Band -  with 'Tequila'  Ken Grant – bass/Rickenbacker electric/ b.g. vocals, “Catfish” - acoustic rhythm guitar/harmonica, kazoo/vocals, Rick “Big Dick” Bauer – acoustic lead guitar/ mandolin/ fiddle/ accordion/ b.g. vocals. 

      His band, plus solo musicians are busy doing a couple gigs a month (local, so not much traveling involved). 

      Willie visited with acoustic bassist, “Farmer Mic” in New Brunswick and said it was good to spend time with old friends again and while there they played a couple of gigs .

      After a short break, he's gonna' be back at radio C.K.O.L..  -  Western Swing/ Canadian Swingbilly.

      Willie says that Steve Briggs of  (BeBop Cowboys) played at the coffee house back in May (2008) with songwriter Cris Cuddy and says it was an honour to meet Mr. Briggs and hear him pick as he sure does like the BeBop Cowboys.

      “...although I can't be there (Vancouver) in person – the spirit of the music lives on...I want to support that....

      ...with love and peace, your friend,

                        “Catfish Willie”. 


FYI: :  “Catfish Willie” sent us three l/2 hour C D s  that he taped of his radio show featuring western swing music.  He does a great job, not only playing western swing music from the '30 s  '40's  50's etc. but, gives the history of the music as well.  It is this dedication to western swing music that is required by all of us to ensure its longevity.    Thanks Willie.

      And to our members:  if you are ever visiting in Madoc, Ontario, drop in to see Willie at his coffee house.  


      Congratulations to WSMS member Jay Riley of Sacramento, CA., on his induction into the 11th Annual Cowtown Society of Western Music's Swing Fest in Mineral Wells, TX – May 2nd, 2009 honouring Western Swing music heroes.

      In view of Jay's recent induction, it was most fitting that we received a letter from his friend WSMS member Charlie Hull of Citrus Heights CA. -  re  Jay and  the profile we did  in our last WSMS newsletter.

      The following is an excerpt from Charlie's letter:

      “...thank you for the profile you ran on Jay Riley in a recent issue.   I want to point out that in addition to his fine musicianship and performance over the years in various western swing bands, Jay deserves recognition for his role in establishing and maintaining the Western Swing Hall of Fame (Sacramento, CA.).  Jay set up the roster in inductions and has maintained it steadfastly over two-and-a-half decades, and continues to serve as the Western Swing Hall of Fame Archivist.

      ....Jay has also been a regular attendee of Board of Directors' meetings and never hesitated to offer his experienced point of view and advice on important issues.

      My point is that Jay is much more than just another handsome steel guitar player, and western swing is richer for Jay's involvement.

      I thank you for the part you are playing in the preservation of our kind of music.  Your newsletter is great, and I look forward to each issue.   Keep up the good work and keep on western swinging.”                         Charlie Hull


      To western swing fans:  In our limited way we endeavour to review CD s and  DVD s that we feel are excellent examples of western swing bands and featured artists from the past to the present.  By purchasing their albums we will be supporting the musicians and thereby keeping  western swing music alive.

V5K 1M3                

Contact – John York  email or phone: 604-299-2301