FT. WORTH, TX (CelebrityAccess) — Edgar Leon Rausch, known as “the voice” of the seminal western swing band Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, has died at the age of 91.
According to the Bob Wills Facebook page, Rausch, commonly known as Leon, died on Tuesday morning in Fort Worth.
“Edgar Leon Rauch, the beloved Voice of the Texas Playboys for over 60 years, passed away this morning in Fort Worth, Texas. Yes, our hearts are broken, as will be the hearts of the thousands of music fans he touched and influenced over his amazing career when they hear this news. Our band would not exist without Leon carrying the Texas Playboys torch all these years and giving us the blessing to carry it on. We are sad and send prayers of peace to his family and friends, most especially the amazing Vonda Rauch, who was by his side for 69 of Leon’s 91 years,” the post said.
“We will find peace and healing by playing and performing the music that Leon helped immortalize. When an entertainer of Leon’s stature and caliber pass away we are fortunate because they leave a body of work that we can enjoy for generations to come. A lot of us will be enjoying Leon’s body of work today and for years to come as we reflect on his life and legacy. Godspeed and well done sir,” the post continued.
Rausch was a relative latecomer to the Playboys, joining the group as lead vocalist in 1958 after its heyday had passed. He performed with the Texas Playboys until the mid-1960s when he left to launch his own group The New Texas Playboys, but rejoined his former compatriots in 1973 in time to record their final album “For the Last Time”.
Following Wills’ death in 1975, Rausch continued to perform with the original group until their final concert in 1986.
After the original lineup parted ways, Rausch continued to perform annually at the Bob Wills day festival in Turkey, Texas at the Bob Wills Community Center.