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Don Walser

Even in Texas folk and country music circles, singer and guitarist Don Walser is regarded as unique. The songs Walser specializes in aren't exactly current; he sings classic old Western swing tunes. In a sense, he's a man on a mission: keeping the old Texas country songs alive. Songs like "Cowpoke," "Tumbling Tumbleweeds," and "Mexicali Rose" are signature tunes for Walser, who is also one of the country's premier yodelers. Songs penned and popularized by Bob Wills, the Sons of the Pioneers, Hank Williams, Faron Young, Merle Travis, and Johnny Horton are all part and parcel of what you're likely to hear in the course of a typical Walser show.

Walser's mother died when he was 12 and his father worked nights, so to keep himself company, he listened to the radio in his childhood home of LaMesa in West Texas. He formed his first band at 16, and a year later, he was playing the few clubs and roadhouses around LaMesa. At the same time Walser was playing country music, a west Texas neighbor of his, Buddy Holly, was raising the roofs at local roadhouses playing rock & roll. As rock & roll came into fashion in the late '50s, Walser and other country musicians were nearly run out of business.

With the rise of rock & roll, Walser put his budding music career on hold in 1957 and joined the National Guard. Through a procession of day jobs with the National Guard, Walser's musical adventures remained an avocation. Most recently, he worked as an internal auditor for the state Adjutant General's office in Austin. But through the 39 years with the National Guard, he always played music with various bands, mostly as a hobby. He retired in 1994 and picked up where he'd left off in his youth, taking his act on the road full-time.

Walser's albums for Watermelon Records include a few of his originals, like "Rolling Stone from Texas." Many fans are awestruck upon first hearing Walser's unique voice. His albums for Watermelon include Texas Top Hand, Rolling Stone from Texas, and Down at the Sky-Vue Drive-In. Walser tours around Texas and the U.S. with a group called the Pure Country Band, and he's also quick to credit Ray Benson's group, Asleep at the Wheel, with helping to keep old, often obscure Western swing tunes alive. Now in his late sixties, Walser has lived in Austin since 1984, where he's found legions of supportive fans who believe in and understand the "real country" music he performs.~ Richard Skelly, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Love this guy !! Just wish my generation was more into swing
I was lucky enough to hear Don Walser twice in Columbus, Ohio - - once in a small venue (where they charged extra for my two small sons because they didn't drink) and once outdoors. I would love to see him again -- maybe in the great concert in the sky!
The Mercury Roar video on youtube is pretty cool.
I think he died in September 2010
jimkiki1
DID DON WALSER PASS AWAY?
I saw him live at a small venue and the big man was magic! Performers like him always give you the feeling right off the bat that they're the real deal.
We should hold a Don Walser festival to honor and enjoy this great singer. We could play all his great recordings and have a really great time. I just discovered Don Walser for the first time through Pandora after moving to Texas in 2008! Wish I had known of him earlier.
What a good voice this man had. I wish I would have found him earlier.
East Texans love Don Wasler
wfseck
The man sure could yodel sweet!
mllambb
didnt know he existed....p r e t t y good
Singer, songwriter, father, soldier and yodeler extraordinai r e , Don Walser was one of the last great Country & Western singers. True to his art and loyal to his idols, Don sang and yodeled his way into the hearts of thousands of devoted fans. In the tradition of Hank Williams, Jimmy Rodgers and Bob Wills Don played traditional Country music, because as Don used to say "Without the roots, the whole tree dies".

Don passed away on September 20, 2006 just 6 days after his 72nd birthday.
Kind of makes you have a saddle sore...
GREAT MUSIC AND VOICE

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