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1941 picture of Bob Wills, Jamie McIntosh, Tubby Lewis and Everett Stover

    Walter Earle "Tubby" Lewis, Jr.  was a great jazz trumpeter best known for his ferocious  jazz solos on "Big Beaver." Tubby played with the Texas Playboys in 1940 and 1941. Bob Wills thought he was among the best trumpet players he had ever heard.

   Tubby got his nickname because, as Al Stricklin said "Tubby weighed about 350 pounds."

    After Big Beaver was released, other big bands from New York tried to hire Lewis, who stayed with the Texas Playboys. Listen as well to the versions during this period of Lyla Lou, Wait 'Til You See,  Liebestraum, La Paloma, Oh! You Pretty Woman,  I Found A Dream, The Girl I Left Behind Me, and others.

     Many Wills enthusiasts think this was Bob's best era, with the big band sound. The "in your face" fiery jazz of Tubby Lewis was a key part of this great sound.

    Following a tour that took the band through Texas, Tubby became seriously ill. Tubby Lewis died of pneumonia June 23, 1941 at the age of 24. He is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Tulsa.

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