Hillbilly Boys performance shirt
Custom threads for a politician's personal band
This colorful shirt depicts band members, song titles, historic Texas landmarks, and other scenes. Bundy Bratcher, known as Little Ezra, can be found on the left breast pocket, playing his accordion. Designed by a fan of the Hillbilly Boys, this shirt was worn by Bratcher during the band's performances.
Accordion musician Bundy Bratcher (1918–2005) performed with the Hillbilly Boys from 1937 to 1943. The Hillbilly Boys were the personal band of Fort Worth businessman and politician W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel. O'Daniel started the Hillbilly Boys, a western swing band, to promote his company, Hillbilly Flour. The band also played during O'Daniel's successful campaigns for Texas governor (1938) and the U.S. Senate (1941). After O'Daniel became governor, the band moved to Austin where they played daily from a radio station inside the Driskill Hotel. On Sundays the group played religious music from the Governor's Mansion during O'Daniel's weekly broadcast. Bundy Bratcher played the organ during those sessions. Bratcher joined a handful of other band members and moved to Washington D.C. after O'Daniel was elected to the U.S. Senate. He left the band and returned to Texas after two years.
Courtesy Bundy Bratcher's son, John Bratcher, San Marcos
Clothing and Accessories
17" W x 26" H
Time Period: 1937 - 1945
This artifact is not on view.