Thu, Aug 24|
The Birth & History of Western Swing Documentary AND Western Swing RULES Band
Brandon Chase Goldsmith, executive director of the Fort Smith International Film Festival says, "When this movie was submitted it was a natural choice to partner with the Fort Smith Museum of History and Robert Huston's band to create a memorable evening of music, dancing, and film!"
Time & Location
Aug 24, 2023, 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Fort Smith, 320 Rogers Ave, Fort Smith, AR 72901, USA
About The Event
Film: The Birth & History of Western Swing
Entertainment: Western Swing RULES Band
Thursday, August 24, 2023
Film Screening: 5:00 pm
Western Swing RULES band: 7:30
(Doors open at 4:30)
Suggested $10.00 (per person) Donation
a: 320 Rogers Avenue
Light refreshments available
What Blues is to eastern Arkansas, Western Swing is to Western Arkansas.
America’s most unique music style will be the star of a multifaceted public kickoff event for the upcoming Fort Smith International Film Festival. "For the first time the film festival is having pre-events," explains Brandon Chase Goldsmith, executive director of the Fort Smith International Film Festival. "When this movie was submitted it was a natural choice to partner with the Fort Smith Museum of History and Robert Huston's band to create a memorable evening of music, dancing, and film!" The Fort Smith International Film Festival runs August 25 and 26, 2023 at TempleLive in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
On August 24, the Fort Smith Museum of History will host a special evening featuring the Arkansas premier of the documentary, “The Birth and History of Western Swing” followed by a dance featuring Arkansas’ ONLY Western Swing band, Western Swing RULES.
Four years in the making, the documentary chronicles the origins and immense popularity of Western Swing. It features stars from Hollywood and the music world and is an entry in the Fort Smith International Film Festival. Fort Smith’s own Robert Huston, Western Swing historian and Associate Producer of the film, and Executive Producer Mike Markwardt of Fort Worth will take questions post screening.
Created during the depths of the Dustbowl and the Great Depression, Western Swing was born in Fort Worth but it moved north, grew up and met the rest of world from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Thanks to daily broadcasts over radio powerhouse KVOO, this joyous new and exciting hybrid sound rocketed into America’s collective consciousness, propelled by the meteoric popularity of its biggest and most famous star, Bob Wills and his band, the Texas Playboys.
Considered the foundation of Rock-a-Billy, Honky Tonk, Rock and Roll and the Bakersfield sound, Western Swing truly IS America’s music because it has it all. In the film, a music scholar says, “Trying to define Western Swing is like trying to nail Jell-O to a tree. You just can’t put your finger on it because it has elements of everything in it.”
The many interesting connections of this music to Fort Smith will be disclosed by local Western Swing historian Robert Huston prior to the screening to give the audience some perspective on its local significance.
Exposing or reminding Arkansans of this incredible American music style is the mission of the Western Swing RULES Band based in Northwest Arkansas. The group was a top five finalist for “Western Swing Band of the Year” by the Academy of Western Artists 2021.
Support for Western Swing RULES is provided, in part, by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The program begins at 5pm August 24th at the Fort Smith Museum of History; doors open for the event at 4:30 pm. A suggested donation of $10 per person benefits the Fort Smith Museum of History (FSHS) and the Fort Smith International Film Festival (FSIFF). Refreshments will be available.