Just about a month before the annual Legends of Western Swing Festival opens in Wichita Falls, a bona fide legend of western swing himself has passed away at age 91.
According to the Bob Wills Day Facebook page, Leon Rausch, the voice of The Texas Playboys, died Tuesday morning in Fort Worth.
Rausch was known as the voice of the legendary band for over 60 years. After band founder Bob Wills died in 1975, Rausch and the original Playboys continued to tour and play the band’s classics. He performed with The Playboys II and Rausch and fellow band member Tommy Allsup played many times at the Legends of Western Swing Festival.
Rausch performed for the Playboys final concert to a sold-out crowd in Fort Worth in 1986, but he returned almost every year after that to sing at the annual Bob Wills Day in Turkey, Texas.
He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Vonda.