Spade Cooley came to California in the early 1930s, as poor as everyone else who did the exact same thing at the exact same time. Only, Spade became a millionaire. And all he needed to accomplish that was a fiddle, a smile and a strong work ethic. If it sounds like the American Dream, stick around to hear how it became an American nightmare of substance abuse, mental illness and, eventually, sadistic torture and murder. If this episode doesn't screw you up, you're already screwed up. Recommended if you like: Western Swing, murder ballads, My Favorite Murder, True Crime Garage (or any other "true crime" or "murder" podcasts, really), Tex Williams, Bob Wills, fiddles and having nightmares. Please subscribe to the show if you enjoy the episode and share it with one person. Just one person. Submit any questions about the show to and you may be featured in a Q&A episode at the end of the season. Information on the audio and video clips used in the episode, as well as all information on sources used, can be found at: