110 N. 8th Street
Gatesville, TX 76528
Paul Schlesinger is a fiddle player and vocalist from Taylor, Texas who specializes in traditional Texas swing and country music. He is a popular area entertainer who not only delivers the musical goods, but puts on an exciting fiddle trick show that pleases the toughest crowds.
In 2018 Paul was named one of the top five western swing male vocalists of the year by the Academy of Western Artists, one of the highest levels of recognition for country and cowboy entertainers in the world. “You Were Meant to Ruin My Dreams,” the first song on his latest CD, was named the Western Swing Song of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists in 2017.
Paul got his start in 1993 when he received his first fiddle lesson at age 23 from Perk Williams, the fiddler and vocalist for Jimmy Heap and the Melody Masters, a band from Taylor who in 1954 had the first national hit recording of “Release Me.” Paul’s musical career began in earnest in 1997 when he started playing with Bill Dowdy, a professional rhythm guitarist from Lexington, Texas. In 2005, Paul and Bill released their nationally distributed CD, “Our Way,” which quickly sold out of its initial pressing.
His latest CD, Paul Schlesinger and his Knights of Texas Swing, was released in 2016. Taking 10 years to complete, it unites Paul with many veteran western swing performers whose recording histories date back to the 1940s. From September 2016 to April 2017, the CD was the number one most requested album on the nationally distributed “Swingin’ West” western swing radio show. The CD also received a 5-star review in the July 2016 issue of Country Music People, an internationally distributed magazine from the UK.
Paul’s Knights of Texas Swing have been playing all over Central Texas since 2006. Some highlights include performing for Subaru of America’s national convention, the Alliance of the American and Texas Dental Associations, and serving as Texas music representatives through Austin Community College’s Danish cultural exchange program. The Knights perform at many festivals, and private and corporate events.
Paul is also the music team leader for the Lee County Cowboy Church and its band, Second Chance. He plays for many church-related functions, performing his unique blend of country swing, classic western, and traditional gospel tunes.
Since 2010 Paul has also been performing with Glen Collins and the Alibis, a classic-country show and dance hall band who have been featured on the syndicated television program “Songwriters Across Texas.” In 2015, Paul had the honor of playing fiddle for David Church, a world-known Hank Williams tribute artist who appears regularly on RFD TV.
Paul’s dedication to classic Texas country and western swing music earned recognition from the Gatesville Country Music Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Gatesville Country Music Hall of Fame in 2012, and named its Country & Swing Artist of the Year in 2014. He and his wife Tara were named its "Entertainers of the Year" in 2016, and "Musical Artists of the Year" in 2018.
Paul also plays the monthly Comal Country Music Show in New Braunfels, and produces the Annual Country Gospel Jamboree in Giddings.
Be sure to visit the following websites:
2016 Entertainer of the Year, Gatesville Country Music Hall of Fame
2017 Western Swing Song of the Year, Academy of Western Artists
2018 Top 5 Western Swing Male Vocalist, Academy of Western Artists
2018 Musician of the Year, Gatesville Country Music Hall of Fame
After Show Comments
November 15, 2019
Looking back over the years, and especially this year, it’s
amazing that we’ve been able to provide great talent on our stage that most
people never knew we had in Texas.
Tommy Horton is one of those individuals, now living in Brownwood, Texas, who once worked in Branson MO for 6 years as a singer and musician. Branson is one of those places many people visit to hear and see some of the country music stars.
Tommy began his performance on our stage with about 20 minutes of nonstop singing, song after song without a break between songs. Later, and between songs, he would add some anecdotes about the next song making the show more interesting. He spoke of touring in Europe and how it was somewhat forced upon him to begin singing some of the well-known “Johnny Horton” songs from the past.
As a singer, and no equal to the talent of Tommy and many of our performers, I’m surprised at his ability to remember the words to so many songs.
Tommy Horton is a special talent in the country music world, but like many great performers, is hidden away in the back country of Texas. Tommy received a special award which is a first for a Gatesville Country Music Hall of Fame performer. Through the efforts of Roger Vierse and his daughter Vickie Meadows we obtained a special recognition for Tommy by the Texas Governor, Greg Abbott.
We had a special guest with us on the steel guitar. Jerry Sherbahn from Austin, TX added his steel guitar to the sounds of our house band. Jerry is well known as a highly talented musician in the Texas music world.
1. During the GCM Hall of Fame stage show, Tommy Horton was presented a framed Texas "Certificate of Official Recognition” signed by the State of Texas Governor, Greg Abbott.
2. Tommy Horton was inducted as the 77th member of the “Gatesville Country Music Hall of Fame”.
3. Tommy Horton also received a “GCM Hall of Fame, Trophy” in honor of his induction, a "GCM Hall of Fame Framed Certificate and a wooden plaque recognizing his induction.
4. Jerry Sherbahn received "GCM Hall of Fame, Special Guest Award".
Again, thanks to the GCM Hall of Fame house band and our technical staff for their part in producing the show. Our band members were Louie Lee (lead guitar), Roger Vierse (MC and guitar), John Nickell (rhythm electric guitar/vocals), Tom Williamson (bass electric guitar), Mike Prosser (drums), George Allison (acoustic guitar/vocals), Carol Hollingsworth (guitar), Ann Easley (keyboard), and Lynn Webb (sound technician). Unfortunately, Matlyn Webb who plays the keyboard and sings for us was absent due to recovering from a recent surgery.
GCM Hall of Fame website: http://www.gatesvillecountrymusichalloffame.com/
GCM Hall of Fame Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/gatesville.country.music.hall.of.fame/