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1 March – birthday of influential western swing slide steel maestro Leon McAuliffe (Mar 1 1917 – Aug 20, 1988), revered by Western Swing fans and best remembered for his steel guitar solos with Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys and for song writing credits for classics Steel Guitar Rag and San Antonio Rose etc. One of the pioneers of steel guitar in Western Swing, he took up the instrument in 1931 playing in a Hawaiian style group. Joined Milton Brown’s Light Crust Doughboys a couple of years later before joining the trend-setting Texas Playboys in 1935. In countless Playboys recordings his solos are intro’d by Bob Will’s “Take it away Leon”!
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