Willis Brothers, The

James "Guy" Willis, Charles "Skeeter" Willis, John "Vic" Willis, Joe Willis

Also known as Country Boys, The, Oklahoma Wranglers, The, Willis Bros, Willis Bros., Willis Bros. The, Willis Bros., The, Willis Brothers
Members of Willis Brothers, The: Guy Willis, Skeeter Willis, Vic Willis
This performer (group) in the Internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Willis_Brothers, http://www.the9513.com/forgotten-artists-the-willis-brothersoklahoma-wranglersvic-willis-trio/

Discography of Willis Brothers, The:

# Release title Total tracks Type of release is Imprint date Label
1 Calling You / Never Again (Will I Knock On Your Door) 4 Audio 1947-01-14 Sterling Records
2 Wealth Won't Save Your Soul / When God Comes And Gathers His Jewels 4 Audio 1947-02-00 Sterling Records
3 I Can't Go On This Way / You Don't Have To Worry 4 Audio 1947-01-14 Sterling Records
4 Warm Beer, And A Cold Cold Woman / If I Should Need You 4 Audio 1951 RCA Victor
5 Further And Further Apart / I'm Sorry If That's The Way You Feel 4 Audio 1947-01-14 Sterling Records
6 Somebody Knows My Dog / The End Of The Road 4 Audio 1963 Starday Records
7 Give Me 40 Acres (To Turn This Rig Around) 12 Audio 1965 Starday Records
8 Hey Mister Truck Driver! 12 Audio 1968 Starday Records
9 Just One Souvenier / I Learned A Lot From You 2 Audio Rimrock Records
10 Love Thy Neighbor / Swing Til My Rope Breaks 4 Audio Starday Records
11 Give Me 40 Acres (To Turn This Rig Around) / Gonna Buy Me A Juke Box 2 Audio 1964 Starday Records
12 Give Me 40 Acres 2 Audio 1975 Starday Records
13 Travelin' & Truck Driver Hits 10 Audio 1967 Nashville
14 Sally's Bangs 2 Audio Starday Records
15 Buyin' Popcorn 2 Audio Starday Records
16 Cocaine Blues / Tattooed Lady 2 Audio Starday Records
17 Blazing Smokestack / Too Early To Get Up 2 Audio Starday Records
18 Women's Liberation / For The Good Times 2 Audio Starday Records
19 Moonlight Ride In A Diesel / Diesel Drivin' Donut Dunkin' Dan 2 Audio 1968 Starday Records
20 The Singing Cowboy Rides Again! 12 Audio 1977 CMH Records
21 Show Her Lots Of Gold 2 Audio Starday Records
22 Ain't It Funny 2 Audio 1966 Starday Records
23 Pinball Anonymous / When I Come Driving Thru 2 Audio 1965 Starday Records
24 Blazing Smokestack / Too Early To Get Up 2 Audio Starday Records
25 Moonlight Ride In A Diesel / Diesel Drivin' Donut Dunkin' Dan 2 Audio 1968 Starday Records
26 Goin' To Town 12 Audio 1966 Starday Records
27 Everlovin' Dixieland 2 Audio 1961 Starday Records
28 Gypsy Rose And Me 2 Audio Starday Records
29 Three Sheets In The Wind 4 Audio Starday Records
30 Pvt. Lee 2 Audio 1963 Starday Records
31 Show Her Lots Of Gold 2 Audio 1967 Starday Records

James "Guy" Willis(July 5, 1915 – April 13, 1981),

Charles "Skeeter" Willis (December 20, 1917 – January 28, 1976), and

John "Vic" Willis (May 31, 1922 – January 15, 1995)

started playing music on their family farm as kids.

As teenagers in 1932, Guy and Skeeter Willis formed "The Oklahoma Wranglers", playing a blend of Western swing and cowboy music.

Skeeter Willis sang and fiddled; Guy sang lead and played guitar; and, eldest brother Joe played guitar, as well.

All three brothers sang leads and harmony.

The Willis Brothers / The Oklahoma Wranglers played on Shawnee, OK's KGEF throughout the '30s. In 1939, Joe married and left, and Vic, who played accordion, piano, and sang, joined as his replacement.

Shortly after Vic joined the group, The brothers moved to Kansas City to appear on Brush Street Follies.

A favorite of Follies audiences, the Oklahoma Wranglers appeared on several KMBC programs, including the original "Brush Creek Follies," and the "Dinner Bell Roundup" with singing cowgirl twins Kit and Kay.

They continued to perform until 1942, when they disbanded to fight in World War 2.

Reunited in 1946, they joined the Grand Ole Opry and signed to Sterling Records, where they recorded as the Oklahoma Wranglers and served as the backing band for Hank Williams–performing first, under the name of "The Country Boys" and then "The Drifting Cowboys."

At some point, Hank put together a permanent group of Drifting Cowboys while the Willis Brothers continued to perform as a solo act, often augmented by fellow Oklahoman Chuck Wright who played upright bass and wore Indian feathers and was billed as the “Silent Old Indian.”

After leaving the Opry in 1949, the Willis Brothers toured with Eddy Arnold until 1957 and appeared in the films Feuding Rhythm and Hoe Down.

Also, in 1957, in an attempt to play to an audience beyond just Western fans, the Oklahoma Wranglers name was dropped for the Willis Brothers.

The band recorded steadily with Mercury, RCA, and Coral before signing with Starday and finally charting with the truck-driving country hit "Give Me 40 Acres (To Turn This Rig Around)" in 1964, after 25 years of performing.

It became the group’s first (and only) Top 10 recording.

The group continued appearing at the Opry until Skeeter’s death in 1976. Guy and Vic soldiered on after that, augmented by additional musicians. Illness eventually took Guy out of the picture in 1979.

He was replaced by legendary session vocalist Curtis “Mr. Harmony” Young, while Vic formed a new group, The Vic Willis Trio.

The Vic Willis Trio went off in new musical directions, featuring both more modern material and folk-country material totally unlike the music produced by the Willis Brothers. Although not a huge hit record, “Colorado” was a heavily requested song for the Trio until Vic died at 73, in a 1995 car crash.


* James "Guy" Willis - vocals, guitar

* Charles "Skeeter" Willis - fiddle, vocals

* John "Vic" Willis - accordion, piano, vocals

Former Member

* Joe Willis - guitar

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