The Accidental Texan: How Johnny Cuviello Became a Texas Playboy
The Center for Texas Music History
Drummer Johnny Cuviello had never been to Texas when he became one of Bob Willis's Texas Playboys in 1946. Neverthless, when Cuviello worked up a drum-oriented song for the band, Wills insisted on titling it "The Texas Drummer Boy." After the tune became a hit, Cuviello himself would come to be known as The Texas Drummer Boy, a nickname belying the fact that he had visited the Lone Star State only briefly while on tour with Wills. Cuviello never identified as Texan, but during his time with the Texas Playboys, the patina of a fabricated Texas cowboy image tinted his role in the band, and thus his professional identity. Ironically, the fact that he was not a true Texan, unlike many of the other band members, also may have played a role in the abrupt end of his tenure as a Texas Playboy.
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