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South Plains Playboys, Dixie Dewdrops to celebrate 25th anniversary on March 23
LEVELLAND – On March 23, South Plains College will celebrate the silver anniversary of the South Plains Playboys and the Dixie Dewdrops. It is a milestone worth noting.
Under the direction of Professor Joe Carr, the band has been a staple of the Commercial Music program at South Plains College since Carr started the group in spring 1987. The anniversary event will begin with registration followed by a concert at 2 p.m. in the Tom T. Hall Production Studio.
The group has performed at many venues throughout its 25-year tenure. However, Carr is most proud of the group’s many performances in Bob Wills’ hometown of Turkey, Texas.
“Bob Wills Day in late April is the premier event on the Western Swing calendar,” Carr said. Fans of this music come from all over the world to hear Will’s style music on one weekend.”
Wills was the founder of western swing’s best known group, Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. The Playboys were popular in Texas, Oklahoma and California from the 1930s until Wills stopped touring in the 1950s. A resurgence of Wills’ music was started by country singer Merle Haggard in the 1970s. Today, there are western swing festivals all over the country and young bands are introducing the sound of western swing and Bob Wills to new generations of fans.
“I started a Facebook page for former members of the band in May 2012,” Carr said. “There are already 89 members.”
Carr is compiling a master list of former members and currently has 135. “This list will grow as I watch old videos and check class records,” Carr added.
The old videos will be edited into a special documentary and concert DVD featuring music from all the groups over the years and interviews with some of the performers. Copies of the DVD will be available at the reunion on March 23.
“The grand finale will feature all the former band members on stage and spilling out into the audience, playing Bob Wills’ classic ‘Faded Love,’” Carr said. “It will be an unforgettable experience!”