Ole Rasmussen

Ole Rasmussen & his Nebraska Cornhuskers were one of the most popular western swing bands of the late '40s and early '50s, thriving in a period when other such bands had begun to fade. A California-based group that eschewed the usual ultra-smooth ensembles associated with West Coast bands for an earthier, but still sophisticated sound that owed more to Bob Wills than it did to Spade Cooley or Tex Williams. The Cornhuskers were, at their leader's insistence, an accessible and infectious band that played for the people, not for other musicians.

Ole Rasmussen (1914-1978) was no musician himself, but he was an astute businessman and band leader who built one of the finest bands around; it featured the mellow vocals of the Tommy Duncan-inspired Teddy Wilds (and later the Ernest Tubb- influenced Virgil Lee), and such excellent musicians as fiddlers Tex Atchison and Rocky Stone, steel guitarist Billy Tonnesen and electric guitarist Earl Finley. On the Bear Family CD are all 28 sides from the band's remarkably consistent two year stint at Capitol from 1950-52, including classics like "Sleepy-Eyed John," "Rockaway," "C Jam Blues," and others.

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