Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys: Take Me Back to Tulsa


Take Me Back to Tulsa


Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys


The Essential Bob Wills: 1935-1947 (Columbia Legacy 48958)

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Bob Wills (fiddle), Tommy Duncan (vocals), Eldon Shamblin (electric guitar),

Son Lansford (bass), Leon McAuliffe (steel guitar), Al Stricklin (piano), Louis Tierney (fiddle), Gene Tomlins (drums)


Composed by Bob Wills


Recorded: Dallas, February 25, 1941


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

This song had been a part of Bob Wills's repertoire for quite some time before this session—he had performed it as "Take Me Back to Texas" when he was with the Light Crust Doughboys. But after Wills changed his home base to Oklahoma, the song got a new name. When Wills beefed up his Playboys with jazzy reeds and brass, this downhome song not only stayed in his book but became one of his most popular songs—Wills's performance of it in the 1940 movie Take Me Back to Oklahoma certainly helped. Here the band dispenses with horns and shows off its guitar talent. But the real star is vocalist Tommy Duncan, who puts his stamp on this song with his confident, affable delivery. At a time when thousands of people from Tulsa, and elsewhere in Oklahoma, had moved to other parts of the U.S. in search of stable employment, this song must have reminded many of them of the life they left behind. You can still pick up those sweet longings in this music today.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys: Twin Guitar Special
Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys: New San Antonio Rose
Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys: Take the ‘A’ Train


  • 1 Dear Oakie // Jan 25, 2009 at 02:27 PM
    You are correct since Bob Wills found a whole new audience in California in the early 1940s made up of former fans from his home stomping grounds. That exodus grew during the war. That's why he later moved out west. He had a home grown audience out there. Louis Tierney's swinging fiddle solo rates a mention as well.