Louise was the only female instrumentalist Wills ever hired. After working with him, she sang and played bass with two Grand Ole Opry tours and toured with other country music stars. She is now recog- nized in eight Western swing halls of fame. Courtesy of Cowtown Birthplace of Western Swing

Music

The Bass-Beating Queen of Western Swing

How Louise Rowe found her way into the pages of D Magazine.

It’s funny sometimes how things work out. Bill Sanderson didn’t set out to profile Louise Rowe. Bill had come across a handwritten history of the Longhorn Ballroom that Dewey Groom had given him back in 1977. As Bill put it, the pages were sitting in his “piling system.” Groom owned a record label and was a recording artist. He also owned and ran the Longhorn. So Bill got the idea to track down some of the folks who’d played the iconic joint and put together an oral history. Which is how he found Rowe, who he pretty quickly decided deserved her own treatment. She’s 89 now and lives in Hurst. How she got discovered as a teenager by Bob Wills and became one of the few Texas Playboys ever to wear a dress — well, I agreed with Bill’s assessment. His story appears in the October issue of D Magazine, and it went online today.

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