Clay Walker Headlines the 4th Annual Bob Wills Fiddle Festival and Contest
The Jason Roberts Band, Original Texas Playboy Leon Rausch, Original Texas Playboy Billy Briggs
2821 Washington St
Greenville, TX, 75401
Doors 6:30 PM / Show 7:30 PM (event ends at 10:30 PM)
Multi-Platinum country music artist and East Texas native, Clay Walker, rocked the country scene in 1993 with his debut album that included the smash hit “What’s It To You.” He continued to make a splash, releasing a string of number one hits including "If I Could Make A Living," "This Woman and This Man" and "Rumor Has It." In 1996 he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis but Clay did not let that set him back. He has continued touring and recording steadily since the diagnosis and is well known for his high-energy concerts and performance style. He later founded the Band Against MS foundation after realizing the impact the disease has on others. Since its formation in 2003, Clay has helped Band Against MS raise upwards of $5,000,000 through charity performances, golf tournaments, bike rides, auctions, etc. Clay has had 4 RIAA Platinum albums, 2 Certified Gold albums, and 11 #1 singles to date. After “She Won’t Be Lonely Long” reached top 5 on the radio, Clay began working on new music with a fresh sound. He recently released his single “Right Now" on Sirius XM this past fall, teasing an impending album release. The full album is expected to debut later this year.
The Jason Roberts Band
Grammy Award-winning, fiddle player Jason Roberts brings his signature style the Jason Roberts Band, delighting fans the world over.
Building on a lifetime blessed by musical genes and work alongside Western Swing giants, Jason Roberts leads world-class talents as front man of the Jason Roberts Band.
Having spent his childhood among legends in Texas honky-tonks -- and then nearly 20 years with the world-famous band Asleep at the Wheel -- Jason has soaked up the very best of Western Swing and brings his own signature style to this traditional American genre. Two Grammy Awards and four individual Hall of Fame inductions later, Jason and his Jason Roberts Band delight fans around the world.
For most of his life, Jason has delighted audiences around the world. From the White House to The David Letterman Show and the Kennedy Center to Bob Wills’ hometown of Turkey, Texas, Jason has helped keep the spirit of Western Swing alive across generations. His fiddle magic and endearing personality make him a fan favorite everywhere he plays.
Original Texas Playboy Leon Rausch
In 1956, Leon was in Tulsa following his deep love and considerable talent for Western Swing music. One of his biggest breaks came when he met Mr. Bob Wills. Bob asked Leon to become a Texas Playboy as lead vocalist. Leon quickly accepted and joined Bob’s band on St. Patrick’s Day in 1958. From that point, big things started happening for the Missouri native.
Years later after Bob passed on, Bob’s widow, Betty Wills, decided to put together some dates for the playboys. The band was called “Bob Wills’ Original Texas Playboys” and their collective mission was to keep Bob's music alive! The members of this great band are some of Bob's greatest and most liked musicians. Yes, you guessed it…Leon was named the lead vocalist.
Leon performed several shows with the playboys, including the group's final concert - a sellout at Will Rogers auditorium in Ft. Worth, Texas, on November 16. 1986. He still performs each year at Turkey, Texas, the hometown of Bob Wills. Bob Wills Day is the last weekend in April. This huge event attracts Bob Wills fans from all over the world.
Having worked with the legends of our time in country music. Leon Rausch is a first-class strictly country artist. His smooth, solid voice and western swing delivery make him one of the more popular artists in the country. Leon has appeared with such artists as Glenn Campbell, Roy Clark. Loretta Lynn, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, George Strait, Jim Reeves, the son's of the pioneers, Ernest Tubb, Patsy Cline, Mel Tillis, Roy Acuff, and many more. He has been featured on the TV shows, "Austin City Limits," "Nashville Now," and “Texas Connection" several times, and was featured with the Playboys in a film for the Smithsonian Institute on country music history. Leon has traveled all over the world playing Bob Wills’ music including the Wembley Festival in London, reportedly the largest package concert in the world. Also overseas dates include several trips promoting Texas for the Texas Tourist Bureau
Original Texas Playboy Billy Briggs
Saxophonist, Billy Briggs, has been playing professionally since the age of 14. After being a part of the Air Force Band, for a little over 3 years, and traveling around the United States with the Regis Trio, Billy had the opportunity to sit in with Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. One month after that appearance, Johnny Gimble phoned him and said “Bob wants you”. Billy was thrilled and joined the Playboys in the fall of 1950. Billy had much respect for Mr. Wills and says that the biggest compliment he ever received came from Bob. When Billy decided to leave the Playboys to attend school, Bob told him that he was one of the best horn players he had ever had in his band. This was the upmost compliment and one that Billy treasures to this day.
After leaving the Playboys, Billy worked at the Big D Jamboree, played at the Aragon Ballroom with former Will’s singer, Joe Andrews and performed with other local bands. He has continued to entertain audiences through the years and has had the opportunity to record and play with such greats as Asleep at the Wheel, Johnny Gimble, Leon Rausch, Billy Mize, and Red Steagall. He appeared in 2 episodes of Austin City Limits with Asleep at the Wheel - one in 1988 and the other in 2015, worked the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for several years with Dave Alexander’s band and has made appearances at western swing festivals including those in Turkey, San Marcos, Greenville and Wichita Falls, Texas. He still performs every June with Dave Alexander and His Big Texas Swing Band at the Legends of Western Swing Festival in Wichita Falls.
Billy Briggs has been recognized over the years for his dedication to Western Swing music. In August of 1985 he was acknowledged as a Pioneer of Western Swing Music from the Western Swing Society of Seattle, Washington. On May 18, 1996, Billy was inducted into the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame. He also received the Living Legend of Western Swing Award in May of 2016 from the Living Legend Cowboy Society of Western Music and Backforty Bunkhouse.
Billy’s sound has been known for bringing energy and drive to any band. Part of his unique sound has come from the tenor sax he acquired while in the service in 1943. It is still the same horn that he plays today. At age 94, Billy Briggs continues to bring joy to Western Swing music and it’s audiences.