Bob Wills’ Texas Playboys perform Sept. 16 at Jimmy Dean Music Festival

PLAINVIEW – It’s going to be a night steeped deep in Western swing tradition on Sept. 16 as Bob Wills’ Texas Playboys under the direction of Jason Roberts open for Asleep at the Wheel at the annual Jimmy Dean Festival.

The concert closes out the festival. Bob Wills’ Texas Playboys kick off the music at 7 p.m. at Harral Memorial Auditorium on Wayland Baptist University’s Plainview campus, and Asleep at the Wheel wraps up the event. It’s two great bands for one price. General admission tickets are on sale at

“There is such a connection between these two legendary bands,” said Amber McCloud, who represents Wayland as the event co-chair. “Jason Roberts spent nearly two decades with Asleep at the Wheel, including an eight-year stint playing Bob Wills in the Wheel’s nationally touring musical-theater production, A Ride with Bob. Fans are going to love it, and I think Jimmy Dean would be proud of how we have brought these two bands together for one fantastic show.”

The Western swing tradition stretches back to 1933, when Bob Wills and several other musicians in the Light Crust Doughboys broke away from Fort Worth’s Burris Mills to form their own band. The Playboys became one of the most popular touring and recording acts in the nation. Following Wills’ death in 1975, a group of former Playboys led by steel-guitarist Leon McAuliffe came together to keep the Bob Wills sound alive. That group dissolved in 1986, following the death of piano player “Brother” Al Stricklin. With the blessing of the Bob Wills estate, guitarist-producer Tommy Allsup, a longtime Wills collaborator, and Leon Rausch, the Playboys’ last great vocalist, took over Bob Wills’ Texas Playboys. They continued the Wills style, delighting old fans and making new ones until 2018, following the death of Allsup and the retirement of Rausch.

With two-time Grammy winner Roberts hand-picked by the Wills estate and Rausch, the Bob Wills sound continues today. It’s as big and bright and brassy as ever with top-notch swing musicians from Oklahoma and Texas. Under the direction of Roberts, these Playboys craft some of the finest examples of western swing anyone could hear.

“And then there is the finale — Asleep at the Wheel,” said Mike Melcher, who represents the community as another event co-chair. “Our headliner represents an important cornerstone of American roots music. The tradition lives with Ray Benson and the Wheel.”

Go to to purchase tickets for Asleep at the Wheel with their special guests, Bob Wills’ Texas Playboys under the direction of Jason Roberts.