Hill College Performing Arts Series hosts Light Crust Doughboys Sept. 12
HILLSBORO, TEXAS—The Hill College Performing Arts Series kicks off the 2017-2018 season with the “good times” music of the Light Crust Doughboys on Tuesday, Sept.12, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.
In their original incarnation under the leadership of Bob Wills, the Light Crust Doughboys actually worked in the Burrus Mill that made Light Crust Flour. This was a compromise with the owner of the mill who was paying for them to play on the radio but didn’t like their “hillbilly music.” This same owner later became such a big fan of their music that he formed the broadcast company that played their music on the radio in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and beyond. This included WBAP and WFAA, which are still major broadcasters in the North Texas area today. Central Texas residents may be interested to know that when the Clark family’s grocery store opened in Hillsboro, the Light Crust Doughboys agreed to play for the grand opening. Most important to popular music history, the band pioneered the “western swing” style that joined early country music with the big band ethos so popular in Kansas City and New York City and a little blues, pop and gospel thrown in for good measure. Not long after the formation of the group, the original group members went on to form or perform in other bands but the Light Crust Doughboys moniker stuck through the band’s various incarnations.
The current group is led by Grammy Award-Winning musician and producer Art Greenhaw on piano, bass, guitar and vocals. Greenhaw started working professionally with the band in 1983. By 1993, he had become the youngest official member and co-bandleader of The Light Crust Doughboys. Upon the death of perhaps the greatest four-string banjo player in history, Smokey Montgomery, Greenhaw became the bandleader. In 2003, he produced and won the Grammy Award for "Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album of the Year" for the album “We Called Him Mr. Gospel Music: The James Blackwood Tribute Album” This album featured The Light Crust Doughboys, the Jordanaires and Larry Ford.
In 2012, Dion Pride became the first African American Doughboy, another first in a family heritage that produced the most famous African American country music pioneer, Dion’s father, Charley Pride. Greenhaw selected the young Pride for his extraordinary mastery of guitars, keyboards and vocals, and his electrifying stage presence. A year later, classically trained violin virtuoso, Marek Eneti, surprised the world by joining The Light Crust Doughboys. His magnificent showmanship highlights his artistry of playing electric lighted violins and his ability to embrace Western Swing music. Finally, in 2015, guitar and western swing sensation Kristyn Harris joined The Light Crust Doughboys becoming the youngest member of the band since the days of rockabilly Ronnie Dawson in the early 1960s. In every personal appearance by The Light Crust Doughboys, the band pays tribute to its legacy by honoring the musical contributions of Bob Wills, Milton Brown, and especially, Marvin "Smokey" Montgomery, a Light Crust Doughboy from 1935 until his passing in 2001.
The Light Crust Doughboys performance will take place in the Governor Bill Daniels Auditorium of the Vara Martin Daniel Performing Arts Center. The concert is free and open to the public. A reception will be held immediately afterward in the lower level of the W. R. Auvenshine Library which houses the archives for the Light Crust Doughboys. The reception is provided by the Hillsboro Retired Teachers Association.