Bill joined the Alexanders Daybreakers trio performing at early-morning radio shows. Together with Jim, he appeared on radio in Greenville, Texas and at WRR in Dallas Meanwhile, Jim formed the "Rhythm Aces." In February 1932, Boyd recorded with the "Blue yodeler" Jimmie Rodgers. The same year, he formed the pioneering western swing band "The Cowboy Ramblers". His band consisted of himself on guitar, Jim Boyd on bass, Walter Kirkes on tenor banjo and Art Davis on fiddle.
During the band's history, many of the members also worked simultaneously with the Light Crust Doughboys and Roy Newman's Boys. The Cowboys Ramblers made more than 225 recordings between 1934-1951. The band had their own popular radio show, "The Bill Boyd Ranch House." They made their recording debut for Bluebird Records on August 7, 1934. In 1935, the Cowboy Ramblers had a huge hit with their recording of "Under the Double Eagle" which later became a western swing standard and remained in print for twenty five years.
Other classics of the 1930s include "I've Got Those Oklahoma Blues", "Fan It", "Wah Hoo", "Beaumont Rag" and "New Steel Guitar Rag". The Cowboy Ramblers became major stars on radio and were offered work in Hollywood films and Boyd eventually appeared in six Western films during the 1940s. One of his other hits was "If You'll Come Back", No. 4, Jan. 1941. After the outbreak of World War II, Boyd joined "The Western Minute Men" promoting the sale of war bonds.
During the 1940s, Jim Boyd often led the Cowboy Ramblers when his brother was indisposed. Eventually, Jim formed his own band, the "Men of the West." In the 1950s, the brothers terminated their radio show and became DJs. In the early 1970s, Bill Boyd retired from the music business. His brother Jim Boyd died in 1993. For his contribution to radio, Bill 'Cowboy Rambler' Boyd has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6101 Hollywood Blvd. Bill Boyd was born on the family's cattle ranch at Ladonia, Texas.
He also had three brothers who were also later well-known in the field of music and radio entertainment. He grew up in a typical cowboy sense on a ranch with the chores and all. But when chores got light, the brothers took to learning music of the western kind. Bill first learned to play the harmonica. As time went by, neighbors near and far were coming by to hear the Boyd brothers play their home-style tunes of the west. When he was 19, Bill was pretty good at the guitar and piano and got himself an offer from a radio station.
Along the way, Bill Boyd and his Cowboy Ramblers were formed around 1930. They began recording on the Victor and Bluebird record labels and were one of the more popular acts then. While performing, Bill also managed to open and run a school of music in Dallas, Texas which ran for at least ten years and gave instruction to thousands of youths who wanted to learn the elements of the guitar and other popular instruments. Around 1939, they were being heard over WRR on a one hour daily program in Dallas that was part of the Texas state network. In addition to their performances and recordings, Bill also wrote some tunes. Read more on Last.fm.
User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
show me more