By Vivian Belknap
Roanoke, Texas, a quaint town in North Central Texas has been proclaimed by the Texas House of
Representatives as The Unique Dining Capital of Texas. There are several restaurants in the newly revamped downtown area of Roanoke, but in my opinion the most unique is Dove Creek Café. The food is just good “down home” cooking, and the atmosphere is just as if you are enjoying breakfast, lunch or dinner in your own home surrounded by friends and family.
In February 2009, Bob Wills, who lives in the Roanoke, Texas area, was enjoying
breakfast at Dove Creek Café when a staff member approached him. The owner of Dove Creek had been told about Bob Wills and his family of great Southern Gospel singers. Dove Creek had been featuring Country music on Friday nights hoping to draw more people into the café, but with not as much success as they had hoped. So the owner asked Wills if he would be willing to bring Southern Gospel music to Dove Creek with the hope of bringing in new customers.
Bob Wills agreed to try for three weeks, and if successful he would continue. So that first night, The Wills Family, The Splawn Family and Homer Belcher, local talent, were featured, and the café was full. He continued the next two weeks with great local talent and again was successful. After about a year as national artists learned about Bob Wills and Dove Creek Café, he started getting calls asking if they could be featured artists as they
come through our area. And of course the answer was yes and still is! We in the Ft. Worth/Dallas area are so blessed to have wonderful local talent like Bob Wills had and we still have a wealth of diversified talent to share with our area.
National artists who have performed at Dove Creek Café are legends in Southern, Country and Blue Grass Gospel. This is a list of only some who have graced the stage of Dove Creek Café in Roanoke, Texas with their talents and ministry: The Melody Boys, Phil Cross, Joel and LaBreeska Hemphill, Sharron Kay King, Greg McDougal, Shannon Bunch, The Telestials, The Texans, Barbara Fairchild and her husband, Roy Morris, The South Men, The Song Fellows, Rick Strickland, The Chuck Wagon Gang, Jerry Bennett, Paul’s Journey, Billy Blackwood and The Blackwood Brothers, Beyond The Ashes, Chuck Day, and Reynold Rutledge.
Some may ask, “Who is Bob Wills?” Bob Wills is a member of The Wills Family who has their roots in Texas, and he was named after the legendary singer who made Western Swing popular in the 1940’s. Bob Wills’ father was first cousin with the legendary Bob Wills. However, Bob Will’s father chose to follow Gospel music instead of secular music, and started a group with his children.
In the early ‘50’s Bob and his siblings, Bill, Calvin, Lou, Betty and Joe formed The Singing Wills Family and enjoyed many successful years touring together. In 1958, Bob Wills was asked to join the group known as The Inspirationals. Beginning in the early ‘60’s and ‘70’s, Bob led the group as they toured the nation. Bob and the group were featured on the nationally syndicated TV series, Wills Family Inspirational Time. The family
legacy continues with his daughter, Angel, enjoying ministering as a soloist, as well as his son, Bobby Lee, his wife Annette, and their two children, Landry and Bethany.
Bob’s sister Lou Wills Hildreth is also one of the Gospel music elite and her story can be read in the SGN Scoops digital magazine every month.
Would you like to be part of the elite who have been at Dove Creek Café? Please contact Bob Wills at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or feel free to call Bob Wills at: 817.535.0136.
By Vivian Belknap
For more artist features by Vivian Belknap and all SGN Scoops’ writers, visit www.sgnscoops.com for the latest issue of SGN Scoops magazine.