Carol Neel

Listen to this group

PEARL WRANGLERS. This popular western swing band was founded in San Antonio by Texas Czech-German musician Adolph Hofner. The band, originally formed as Adolph Hofner and All the Boys around 1938, became Adolph Hofner and His Texans (later changed to the San Antonians) before Hofner dubbed the group the Pearl Wranglers in 1949 for their radio sponsor, Pearl Beer.

Although the Pearl Wranglers certainly was inspired by Bob Wills, Milton Brown, and other western swing pioneers, the San Antonio-based band developed its own unique style, thanks largely to the eclectic musical background of Adolph Hofner. Hofner, who grew up hearing German and Czech folk music, along with country, blues, jazz, and other styles, brought to the Pearl Wranglers a broad-ranging repertoire that included western swing, polka, honky-tonk, and Hawaiian music. Hofner also sometimes sang in Czech, and he often incorporated the accordion into the group’s instrumental lineup. The band recorded with Hofner on many labels including Decca, RCA, Imperial, Columbia, and Sarg. The Pearl Wranglers continued playing well into the 1990s prior to Hofner’s death in 2000. Sarg Records released Adolph Hofner and the Pearl Wranglers in 1998.


Adolph Hofner (, accessed November 10, 2011. Cary Ginell, Milton Brown and the Founding of Western Swing (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994). Bill C. Malone, Country Music, U.S.A. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1968; rev. ed., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985; 2d rev. ed., Austin: University of Texas Press, 2002). Kurt Wolff and Orla Duane, Country Music: The Rough Guide (London: Rough Guides, 2000).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Carol Neel, "PEARL WRANGLERS," accessed January 20, 2020,

Uploaded on June 3, 2015. Modified on October 25, 2015. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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