Bob Wills’ Ranch House Saved by Dedicated Fan
Wills' former Fresno, Calif. home was put up for auction on eBay, after a land developer threatened to tear down the dilapidated residence to build a subdivision. But, thanks to one loyal fan, Lance Tullis, the home will once again be restored to its former glory.
Tullis is the president of the Central California Music Association. "My family bought the Triple B ranch house and are currently moving it to a new location," he tells The Boot. "It will be opened to the public as a museum of country music, featuring the life and music of Bob Wills."
Tullis will host a public fundraiser, Raise the Roof for the King of Western Swing, on Oct. 26 in Madera, Calif. The event will include traditional American roots music, from celtic to western swing, as well as an old-time country dance. Wills' daughter, Carolyn, who was born in the house, will also be on hand to share her own childhood memories of living there on the 80-acre spread.
Wills, who passed away in 1975 at 70 years of age, is considered the pioneer of western swing music. He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Jazz Hall of Fame. Wills posthumously received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 for his many musical contributions.
Proceeds from Raise the Roof for the King of Swing will go towards expenses in restoring the house, with the goal of opening it as a museum for the music icon. For tickets, or to make a contribution, click here.