Bobby McBay, bassist for Bob Wills, was born in Miller County, Arkansas, on May 29, 1938. He was one of twelve siblings in a musical family. With six older brothers, he formed a family band when he was only seven years old. Originally performing on drums, young Bobby developed a fascination for his brother’s double bass and eventually took up the instrument. At age eleven, McBay performed with the family band in Dallas nightclubs. During his early career, he played with a succession of bands.
McBay joined Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, as a bassist, in 1963 and continued playing after Wills’s death in 1975. At that time the band renamed itself Bob Wills’ Original Texas Playboys and performed until 1986. In the mid-1990s McBay played on the Crook & Chase television program. His last place of residence was in Texarkana, Texas, where he suffered a stroke in August 1998 and died on August 9, 1998. He was buried in Bluff Springs Cemetery in Nashville, Arkansas, and was survived by a daughter.
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Donna Pardue and Laurie E. Jasinski,
“McBay, Bobby K.,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 25, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
November 24, 2015
Most Recent Revision Date:
July 20, 2020
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: