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Spade Cooley: King of Western Swing (1945)

This short chronicles the rise in popularity of Spade Cooley and his unique blend of country and swing music.




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Complete credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Knox Manning ...
Narrator (voice)


Fiddle player Spade Cooley and his band play western swing music. His band came into prominence when during the local elections for sheriff, both campaigns asked him to play for them. He decided to be bi-partisan and play for both. The band then played at the local rodeo, and then moved onto to several other venues, such as at a dude ranch. Even at non traditional western swing events such as at a square dance, Cooley's band added its own special brand of music. These events led to a national radio broadcast and more widespread fame. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Music





Release Date:

1 September 1945 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Carolina Cotton, who sang with Cooley's band at the time this short was made, contributes a terrific yodel unbilled. She would later be featured in several of Cooley's feature films. See more »


Steel Guitar Rag
Written by Leon McAuliffe
Played during the rodeo scene by Spade Cooley and his Western Swing Band
See more »

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User Reviews

Country With a Little Jive
10 June 2009 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Reading this man's biography the only question I have is, why hasn't Hollywood snapped up this story?

This ten minute musical short is a tribute to the talents of Spade Cooley who invented an art form all his own, country swing. Warner Brothers which was known as THE urban studio also had its set of films to appeal to the red state crowd. This film would be one of them, probably was on the bill with a western like San Antonio which the studio released the same year.

Cooley had an incredible life which also included a murder conviction, he killed his wife in a domestic dispute and a dramatic death almost on the point of winning his freedom with parole. Singer, songwriter, and criminal, all these are Spade Cooley.

Sounds like a great part for George Clooney.

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