Lonesome Onry and Mean: R.I.P. Western Swing Guitar God Jimmy Wyble

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It went without much notice, but jazz/western swing guitar great Jimmy Wyble passed away Jan. 16. Wyble, born Jan. 25, 1922 in Port Arthur, was a popular guitarist on Houston radio during the 1940s. He had a show with Cameron Hill, another noted local guitarist.

Wyble and Hill moved to Los Angeles, and pianist Millard Kelso was so impressed with them he brought his boss Bob Wills to the Santa Monica Ballroom to see them. The two guitarists so turned on the crowd of 5,000 that Wills hired them on the spot. There's a great photo of Wyble and Hill in Wills' band here.

After leaving Wills and completing a hitch in the Army, Wyble turned to jazz and released The Jimmy Wyble Quintet in 1953. He went on to a career in session work as well as touring with jazz greats Benny Goodman and Red Norvo. As part of Norvo's band, Wyble toured briefly with Frank Sinatra.

Wyble also worked in television and was a regular on The Flip Wilson Show and the Kraft Music Hall program. He played guitar on the soundtracks for The Wild Bunch and Ocean's Eleven.

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