11th Street Cowboy Bar - The Biggest Little Bar In Texas, serving up beer and country western swing music in Bandera, Texas

Leon Rausch
Photo courtesy of www.leonrausch.net.
Photo courtesy of www.leonrausch.net.

Leon Rausch
Courtesy of www.leonrausch.net.

Born and raised in the state of Missouri, it took Leon Rausch many years to become one of the greatest in the Western Swing field. He played with a number of bands during the lean years of his career. And the fifties saw him with a band in Oklahoma that would eventually travel the United States playing the music he loved.

In 1956, Leon was in Tulsa following his deep love and considerable talent for Western Swing music. One of the many breaks to Leon when he met Mr. Bob Wills. Bob asked Leon to become a Texas Playboy as lead vocalist. Leon quickly accepted and joined Bob’s band on St. Patrick’s Day in 1958. From that point, big things started happening for the Missouri native.

A few years ago, after Bob passed on, Betty Wills, his widow, decided to put together some dates for the playboys. The band was called “Bob Wills’ Original Texas Playboys” and their collective mission was to keep Bob's music alive! The members of this great band are some of Bob's greatest and most liked musicians. Yes, you guessed it…Leon was named the lead vocalist.

Leon performed with the playboys for the group's final concert. A sellout at Will Rogers auditorium in Ft. Worth, Texas, on November 16. 1986. He still performs each year at Turkey, Texas, the hometown of Bob Wills. Bob Wills Day is the last weekend in April. This huge event attracts Bob Wills fans from all over the world.

Having worked with the legends of our time in country music. Leon Rausch is a first-class strictly country artist. His smooth, solid voice and western swing delivery make him one of the more popular artists in the country. Leon has appeared with such artists as Glenn Campbell, Roy Clark. Loretta Lynn, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, George Strait, Jim Reeves, the son's of the pioneers, Ernest Tubb, Patsy Cline, Mel Tillis, Roy Acuff, and many more. He has been featured on the TV shows, "Austin City Limits,"

"Nashville Now," and “Texas Connection" several times, and was featured with the Playboys in a film for the Smithsonian Institute on country music history. Leon has traveled all over the world playing Bob Wills’ music including the Wembley Festival in London, reportedly the largest package concert in the world. Also overseas dates include several trips promoting Texas for the Texas Tourist Bureau.

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