This is a such a wonderful clip! Please don’t let my overly-verbose introduction get in the way of watching Western Swing great Tex Williams in action!
I have mentioned that people often confuse Soundies with other musical shorts. Snader Telescriptions is one such example. These three-minute musical pieces, which in many ways resemble Soundies, were produced in Los Angeles in the early 1950s. Unlike Soundies, they were largely live (that is, not pre-recorded) performances and were intended, for distribution to television stations nationwide. As musical shorts they deserve mention on this site, and at least one example for your viewing pleasure.
Tex Williams was an important star of Western swing. He got his start as band vocalist with Spade Cooley, then moved on to form a band of his own, the Western Caravan. Tex and the group recorded for Capitol Records, appeared in a number of shorts for Universal-International, and were favorites on stage and at dances.
The backstory here is wonderful, one shared with me by Merlene Travis, daughter of guitarist Merle Travis. Back in 1947 Merle was in the front yard, painting his front fence. Along came his buddy Tex Williams with a problem. He had a recording date set up with Capitol in the immediate future and needed one more title to fill out the four-song session. He was wondering if Merle might have something special back in his trunk of compositions? Here I paraphrase: “I might have something for you Tex, but hold on a second. First, gotta have another cigarette.”
And thus (so the story goes) was born this Western Swing classic that was an enormous best-selling hit for Tex. Here were share a film version, not a Soundie but, as a change of pace, a Snader Telescription.