Feb 092012

Semifinals, Legacy Conference: The Crickets vs The Texas Playboys

Finally, we enter the Semifinals round of our tournament to determine—once and for all—rock’s greatest backing band ever! The first three rounds have been completed. The attached grid shows where we stand entering the Semifinals: backingband-tournament-64_SEMIS

The final two backing bands in the Legacy Conference battling to move forward are The Crickets and The Texas Playboys. The winner of this match will play the winner of the upcoming Expansion Conference match.

Through the long, painstaking course of this tournament adequate arguments have been made on behalf of all the semifinalists. That doesn’t mean you’re not encouraged to continue arguing for your selection in this round, but you are welcome to cast your vote now. Voting in this match will run through 11:59 pm on Friday, February February 10, 2012.

Semifinals, Legacy Conference: The Crickets vs The Texas Playboys

  • The Crickets (57%, 16 Votes)
  • The Texas Playboys (43%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 28

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  21 Responses to “Semifinals, Legacy Conference: Rock’s Greatest Backing Band Tournament Pits The Crickets vs The Texas Playboys!”

  1. Although this tournament has opened my eyes to the wonders of Bob Willis and The Texas Playboys (really, country-phobic me has even purchased a few of their songs) I voted for The Crickets. You know why? 1) They are a rock ‘n roll backing band. I’m a little fed up with all the extra-rock bouquets that have been tossed around, including some I’ve tossed in earlier rounds. 2) More importantly, the Crickets broadened the foundation of the rock ‘n roll vocabulary. They used guitars in different ways, opening the doors to a whole range of ’60s bands and beyond. The Texas Playboys are probably the *better* backing band, but with my limited knowledge they seem to be the peak of a certain style of music, “country swing” I think they call it. Go Crickets, but I won’t whine if the Texas Playboys move forward.

  2. This is a slam dunk for me.

    There’s no denying that the Crickets were fantastic at supporting their leader’s vision. And unless I’m mistaken, aren’t they often credited with codifying, if not outright inventing, the classic 2 guitars, bass, drums lineup for rock bands?

    That said, the Texas Playboys effortlessly smoke those guys. Each player seems to be a virtuoso when called upon to step into the spotlight, but until they get the call, they could seamlessly melt into the background. They are ground breaking because they are the first country band to use a drummer, and they also codified, if not outright invented a genre which included such disparate elements as country, jazz, big band, and blues.

    Here’s the band playing Roly Poly. This song is chock full of great playing but if you want to cut to the chase, just skip Eldon Shamblin’s lead at 1:12.

  3. Roly Poly is one of my favorite old-time music songs but, I voted for The Crickets.

    Somebody recently sent me this link to photos from one of Holly’s final shows in Duluth, MN, during the Winter Dance Party Tour.

    When you explore the site further, you find out that The Crickets finished the tour with Ronnie Smith as lead singer! I know those were different times — but still — that must have taken some balls to go out there and do those songs a few days after Holly died.

  4. Yeah — I fogot my Buddy Holly Story timeline and these guys are Waylon Jenning Crickets, but my vote stands! As punishment, I am going to listen to the new Van Halen album.

  5. I’m tremendously disappointed in you, funoka. I’ve come to expect that kind of questionable judgment from the Mod but I hold you to a higher standard.

  6. Sadly, I would expect nothing other than this sort if bullying. Lay off funoka, man. W need to get down to DC to hang with the man.

  7. Bullying? I thought I was complimenting him.

  8. There has been a lot of tension in this tournament between backing bands who stay more in the background and who get more room in the foreground. Despite their name, the Playboys aren’t really a backing band; they’re part of an ensemble through and through.

    They’re getting my vote both because they can all flat out play and are very original, but also because they were able to showcase themselves more.

    But I think this vote, more than others, really highlights some of the apples and oranges questions of this fun tournament. The Crickets are fantastic, but they’re asked to do less, and that’s the major difference for me.

  9. As soon I posted it, I remembered the scene from the movie, where are heroes returned to Lubbock to get away from the big city.

  10. cdm, your Playboys link isn’t on your post.

  11. I am having big trouble today — I typed weaks for weeks today at work, posted the misguided defense of the faux Crickets with Waylon Jenning(s), and “are” for “our” above. Good night!

  12. I didn’t remove it!


  13. Ah geez, that’s really poor form on my part. Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhB-P820HP0

  14. BigSteve

    Amazing photos. Even more amazing when you realize that this is the concert that a teenaged Bob Dylan saw. The Big Bopper’s jacket is awesome.

  15. Happiness Stan

    Too right, and demonstrates that if certain bands had gone out as “Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones” or “John Lennon and the Beatles” or “Roger Daltrey and the Who” or “Ray Davies and the Kinks” this contest would have taken on an entirely different complexion.

    I’ve voted for the Crickets precisely for the reason you’ve given, actually, in that they were (are) a backing band, and not an integral part of the entity in its entirety. I know little of the Texas Playboys other than the clip I saw on TV over Christmas and the clips posted here, so can’t really make a judgement which would stand up in the Hall let alone in court, but the question for me in this tournament has been whether the band has supported the leader’s vision or if they would have been a democracy if the leader hadn’t been egotistical enough to insist that their name rose to the top.

  16. Voted for the Crickets on similar grounds to many here; Buddy Holly and the Crickets are in my Rn’R vocabulary and the Texas Swing guys aren’t. I’ve been impressed by what folks have posted here but I I’m also impressed with jazz combos (Coltrane+Parker+???) that I wouldn’t really enjoy.

  17. Jesus H. Lukaker! I can’t believe that the Texas Playboys are losing this thing to the Crickets! Those of you who have not yet voted, I urge you to spend three minutes listening to the sheer talent of the individual band members and then consider how despite that, they come across as team players.


  18. The choice is clear indeed. They look like they’re all dressed up for Halloween. This is obviously their first time on motorcycles. I’m not sure if mopeds were around back then but I imagine the Crickets would be much more comfortable on a couple of Motobecanes rather than some flaccid attempt to butch it up for a photo op.

    Here’s a photo of the Texas Playboys showing how a photo op should be done. Note: those are real horses, not the iron kind.


  19. Interesting! It’s time we get used to the fact that Life Imitates Rock Town Hall.

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