Asleep at the Wheel with Huey Lewis: Hubbin‘ It
I couldn’t let this week’s theme go by without sharing some western swing with y’all. And I can’t think of a better way to do that than to feature Asleep at the Wheel paying tribute to Bob Wills. Huey Lewis, (Really? That Huey Lewis? Really!) is just a bonus.
Western swing is a hybrid of country music and big band swing. It arose in the 1930s and 40s. Milton Brown and his Musical Brownies are the pioneers of the style, but Bob Wills was the man who popularized it. Western swing was almost a fad and nothing more. By the 1950s, a song or two might show up in the repertoire of a Texas country artist, but nobody played it full time. I first heard of the style growing up. My father grew up in Oklahoma, and he would fondly reminisce at times about hearing Brown, Wills, and the Light Crust Dough Boys on the radio during his childhood. Then, in the 1970s, Asleep at the Wheel emerged. They were a band that was committed to reviving western swing, and they succeeded to the extent possible. The style is still not massively popular, but new bands have emerged, and country artists such as George Strait have had hits with western swing songs.
Hubbin’ It was written by Cindy Walker, and was a standard for Bob Wills and his band. Huey Lewis used to play the song with his band Clover before he became famous. In Clover, someone else sang the song, so this is the only recording of Huey Lewis singing it.