Deep within my heart lies a melody
A song of old San Antone
"New San Antonio Rose" was the signature song of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.
The Texas Playboys are synonymous with Western swing -- an agglomeration of country-and-western, Dixieland-style jazz, "rowdy city blues" (a term Wills used to describe the music of Bessie Smith), and a few other musical styles -- which was usually played by a stringed band augmented with drums, a piano, and sometimes horns.
Western swing is first and foremost dance music. It swings, boys and girls -- in fact, it swings like nothing else ever did.
Wills recorded a Western-swing-meets-mariachi-music instrumental called "San Antonio Rose" in 1938. Some of his band members wrote lyrics for the song, and it was retitled "New San Antonio Rose."
The new version became a huge hit for the Texas Playboys in 1940, and an even bigger hit for Bing Crosby the following year. It's been covered by a whole host of country-music superstars -- including Ernest Tubb, Patsy Cline, Ray Price, Willie Nelson, and Merle Haggard.
I didn't see any roses on my trip to San Antonio earlier this summer, but I did see a lot of wildflowers as I walked and biked along the San Antonio River Walk (or Paseo del Rio).
There were common sunflowers (Helianthis annuus) in great profusion:
Here's a closeup of one of those sunflowers:
There were Indian blankets, which are also called firewheels (Gaillardia pulchella):
I saw the standing cypress, also known at the Texas plume (Ipomopsis rubra):
And I saw the pink evening primrose, which some call the Mexican evening primrose (Oenothera speciosa):
Last but not least, I saw the Texas lantana (Lantana urticoides):
Here's the original 1940 recording of "New San Antonio Rose":
C'mon now . . . everybody sing!
Click below to buy the song from Amazon: