Texas Forts Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Buffalo Gap: "I'm a Tool Pusher from Snyder"

March 9, 2013 - 11:00am to 12:30pm

"I'm a Tool Pusher from Snyder"

Slim Willet, best remembered as the composer of “Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes," was born in 1919 just a few miles down the road from Desdemona, Texas. At that time, Desdemona was literally overflowing with oil as earthen tanks, sumps, and slush pits were built to try (and failed) to store the excess. These were exciting times for the young Willet as he grew up. He later recalled that he liked the oil field people from the moment he was born. While he never worked a day in the oil fields himself, he never forgot their smells and gritty sights. His first recording in 1950 for Dallas-based Star Talent Records was “I’m a Tool Pusher From Snyder.” Texas Oil Patch Songs by Slim Willet, recorded in 1959, was one of the earliest country music concept albums and the first devoted entirely to the petroleum industry.

This Saturday, you’ll have an opportunity to learn about Willet (actually born Winston Lee Moore) and how he came by his oil patch songs. You’ll also have an opportunity to hear them, for this will be a multi-media presentation with sounds as well as words.

Your host will be Joe W. Specht, who obviously has oil on the brain. He most recently graced the Village with his Chautauqua Lecture on Elmer Kelton's oil patch memories. Specht is Collection Manager for the Grady McWhiney Research Foundation and the author of The Women There Don’t Treat You Mean: Abilene in Song (State House Press, 2006), a book which generated such massive interest that it is now out of print.



  • 133 North William Street
  • Buffalo Gap, Texas
  • 79508



  • Free Admission

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