cloudyn.png
Friday December 4th, 2020 7:03PM

Outlaw country artist Billy Joe Shaver dead at 81

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Outlaw country singer songwriter Billy Joe Shaver, who wrote songs like “Honky Tonk Heroes,” “I Been to Georgia on a Fast Train” and “Old Five and Dimers Like Me,” has died He was 81.

His friend Connie Nelson said he died Wednesday in Texas following a stroke.

Born in Corsicana, Texas, Shaver was among the original group of outlaw country artists in the early '70s, penning songs for Waylon Jennings, Bobby Bare, Kris Kristofferson, Tom T. Hall and Willie Nelson.

Shaver's lyrics reflected his hardscrabble upbringing in Texas, where he lost part of two fingers while working at a lumber mill. He came to Nashville in 1968 and was signed as a writer to Bare's publishing company.

His big break came when Jennings recorded several of Shaver's songs for his 1973 album “Honky Tonk Heroes," which helped popularize the outlaw country genre and turn the maverick country artists into legends.

"There weren’t another other way to be/For lovable losers, no account boozers/And honky tonk heroes like me," Shaver wrote in the title track.

“When Waylon did ‘Honky Tonk Heroes’ and all those songs in the early 1970s, I couldn’t have possibly sang those songs as he could. The songs were bigger than my talent as a singer and I knew that, too,” Shaver told The Associated Press in 1993.

Shaver wrote songs that were covered by Elvis Presley, Patty Loveless, George Jones, Tex Ritter, Tennessee Ernie Ford and John Anderson.

Anderson had a No. 4 country hit with Shaver's “I'm Just an Old Chunk of Coal," and Johnny Rodriquez took Shaver's song, “I Couldn’t Be Me Without You," to No. 3 on the country chart. He wrote “Willie the Wandering Gypsy and Me" about Nelson, who was such a fan that Shaver was often invited to play at his annual Fourth of July picnics.

Other songs he wrote include ″Ride Me Down Easy," “Live Forever,” and “Jesus Was Our Savior (Cotton Was Our King).”

But he didn't just write about heartfelt lyrics about hardened men, he lived the outlaw life as well. At the age of 70, he was acquitted of aggravated assault in the 2007 shooting of a man at a Waco bar. Shaver contended he shot the man in self defense.

His debut album in 1973 was produced by Kristofferson and he put out over 20 records over his career. His last record was released in 2014.

He was well respected by his peers, including Nelson, who considered him one of the best songwriters in Texas, and Bob Dylan, who name-checked him in a song and would do covers of “Old Five and Dimers Like Me" in concert.

He received the Americana Music Award for Lifetime Achievement in Songwriting in 2002, and was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004. He was given the Academy of Country Music's Poet's Award last year.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Entertainment, AP Online Recordings News, APOnline Celebrity News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Hospital, residential areas hit in Nagorno-Karabakh fighting
Rockets have hit a hospital and residential areas amid deadly fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh that has raged for more than a month despite a U.S.-brokered cease-fire
2:08PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Tanzania votes but 'widespread irregularities' are claimed
Tanzania’s leading opposition presidential candidate asserts that Wednesday's election saw “widespread irregularities" amid a massive internet slowdown
2:00PM ( 28 minutes ago )
Europe and US facing new round of shutdowns amid virus surge
Germany on Wednesday moved to shut down restaurants, bars and theaters all over again and France weighed demands for another nationwide lockdown as an alarming surge in coronavirus infections in Europe and the U.S. wipes out months of progress against the scourge on two continents
1:57PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Russell Wilson, Ciara fund charter school in Seattle area
Football star Russell Wilson and his wife Ciara, the Grammy-winning performer, are the latest wealthy philanthropists to back a charter school
1:43PM ( 45 minutes ago )
Gang member who says he beat up R. Kelly sentenced in deaths
A convicted gang member who says he beat up jailed R&B singer R. Kelly in a Chicago cell has been sentenced to life in prison for a racketeering conviction that involved two 1999 murders
1:32PM ( 56 minutes ago )
Media election planners prepare for a night of mystery
News organizations preparing to follow the vote count next week are preaching caution
12:52PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Entertainment
Whitney Houston makes history with 3rd diamond album
The late Whitney Houston has earned her third diamond-certified album
7:14AM ( 7 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump heaping attention on 1 Nebraska district
President Donald Trump is heaping attention on Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District in the home stretch before Election Day
9:26PM ( 17 hours ago )
The Latest: Harris says: Don't let pandemic 'disempower' you
Kamala Harris is rallying voters in Las Vegas a week out from Election Day, urging people to make a “special effort” not to let the circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic “disempower anybody.”
9:19PM ( 17 hours ago )
AP Online Recordings News
Tokyo festival opens with grueling boxing 'Underdog' film
Masaharu Take’s films have always focused on painful stories about Japan’s “under-class,” people who are often overlooked in a nation stereotyped as monolithically well-to-do
2:47AM ( 11 hours ago )
The Latest: Biden says, 'We win Georgia, we win everything'
Joe Biden is setting the stakes for Georgia voters, saying, “We win Georgia, we win everything.”
6:38PM ( 19 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump says he's getting husbands back to work
President Donald Trump has a new message to suburban women as he campaigns in Michigan: “We’re getting your husbands back to work.”
5:57PM ( 20 hours ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
Hospital, residential areas hit in Nagorno-Karabakh fighting
Rockets have hit a hospital and residential areas amid deadly fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh that has raged for more than a month despite a U.S.-brokered cease-fire
2:08PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Tanzania votes but 'widespread irregularities' are claimed
Tanzania’s leading opposition presidential candidate asserts that Wednesday's election saw “widespread irregularities" amid a massive internet slowdown
2:00PM ( 28 minutes ago )
Europe and US facing new round of shutdowns amid virus surge
Germany on Wednesday moved to shut down restaurants, bars and theaters all over again and France weighed demands for another nationwide lockdown as an alarming surge in coronavirus infections in Europe and the U.S. wipes out months of progress against the scourge on two continents
1:57PM ( 30 minutes ago )
AP sources: Morey in advanced talks to lead 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers are in advanced negotiations with former Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey to become their president of basketball operations, according to multiple people with direct knowledge of the negotiations
1:57PM ( 31 minutes ago )
Toyota adds 1.5M US vehicles to recalls for engine stalling
Toyota is adding 1.5 million U.S. vehicles to recalls from early this year to fix fuel pumps that can fail and cause engines to stall
1:55PM ( 32 minutes ago )