Still the King
Bob Wills: The Man. The Music.

Help fund this documentary feature from the OKPOP.


Who was Bob Wills?

Bob Wills was a music superstar for four decades from the 1930s to the 1970s. Together with his band, The Texas Playboys, he recorded hundreds of songs, including six number one hits. Bob Wills had an Elvis-like, global following of crazed fans who faithfully devoured his music on radio, through live performances, from recordings, and in Hollywood movies. The power and reach of Bob Wills’ music has spanned generations and is still very much alive today. Beyond being one of the greatest fiddle players of his generation, Bob Wills was an innovative bandleader whose music has influenced some of the greatest names in the entertainment business today, including Carrie Underwood, Vince Gill, Toby Keith, Garth Brooks, Merle Haggard, and Willie Nelson. Bob has been inducted into the Rock and Roll, Country Music, and Songwriter’s Halls of Fame. He also received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to music.

Still the King

Still the King is a thought-provoking, powerful, and inspiring documentary feature that will examine the life and legacy of Bob Wills, the man and the musician. Rising from humble beginnings picking cotton, Bob lived in cellars, rode rails, nearly starved, and overcame obstacles and personal tragedy to become one of the most powerful band leaders of all time. From West Texas to Tulsa to Tinseltown, Bob pioneered a musical sound all his own that combined Western, Blues, Folk and Jazz styles and came to be known as Western Swing.  At one point his records were outselling nearly every other artist in America. Bob’s confidence on stage and command of his band led thousands to crowd into dance halls to hear him in person and millions more to buy his records.  Bob Wills was the King of Western Swing. This project is being produced in cooperation with the Bob Wills Heritage Foundation and the Estate of Bob Wills, Inc., that have donated their collections to the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture (OKPOP). Hundreds of Bob Wills’ personal photos, artifacts, recordings, and documents from the OKPOP Museum collections will enhance the filmmaking process. The filmmakers are also working with Dr. Charles Townsend, the official biographer of Bob Wills, to further enrich the film and add authenticity. This feature documentary will be released on DVD, be available for national distribution on television, and screened at film festivals including Sundance and South by Southwest. It will be shown in perpetuity at the OKPOP Museum.

How you can help

Your tax-deductible investment in Still the King will be in the Tulsa Community Foundation, a nonprofit corporation. Every dollar counts as you help to share the life and preserve the legacy of Bob Wills for future generations.

Find out more

About the Project Team | Q&A with the Director

A project of the Oklahoma Historical Society
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