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date: 24 August 2019

Wills, Boblocked

(06 March 1905–13 May 1975)
  • Michael H. Hoffheimer


Wills, Bob (06 March 1905–13 May 1975), fiddler and band leader, was born James Robert Wills near Kosse, Limestone County, Texas, the son of John Tompkins Wills, a migrant farmworker and farmer, and Emmaline Foley. When Wills was age eight, the family moved to Hall County in West Texas. The eldest son in a family that eventually included ten children, Wills worked in cotton fields to help support the family, attending school only through the seventh grade. Impressed by the African-American music that he heard in migrant farm camps, Wills later incorporated some of its features into his own work. He had begun to play professionally at an early age, providing mandolin accompaniment for his father, an accomplished fiddler who supplemented the family income by playing at dances....

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