Texas Playboy “Smoky” Dacus Dies

William E. “Smoky” Dacus, the first drummer for Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, died Tuesday (Oct. 9) at Kellmark Nursing Center in Rogers, Ark. He was 90. One of country music’s first drummers, Dacus joined the Texas Playboys in 1935 and played on classic recordings such as “Maiden’s Prayer,” “San Antonio Rose” and “Steel Guitar Rag.” He left the band in about 1941 when Wills went to Hollywood. In his Wills biography, San Antonio Rose, Charles Townsend points out that Dacus played an important role in western swing and country music history. “This was the first time drums were successfully used in a string band,” he writes of Dacus’ tenure. Dacus helped create the solid dance beat Wills was after, and his drumming “moved the band further from traditional fiddle or string band music and even closer to jazz.” Services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 11) at Immanuel Baptist Church in Rogers. 10/11/01