Billy Joe Shaver was an illegal country music pioneer who wrote some of the greatest songs of the genre. He died on Wednesday in Waco, Texas after a stroke. He was 81 years old. Connie Nelson, a friend of the razor, confirmed his death. Rolling Stone.
Razor’s career classics include “Honky Tonk Heros”, “Georgia on a Fast Train”, “Old Fifth and Dimers Like Me” and “Always Alive”.He sang 10 of 11 songs in Waylon Jennings’ 1973 Illegal Country Breakthrough Crazy Tonk Hero; Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley all recorded his songs; in 2010, Willie Nelson called him “the greatest living singer”
The razor lives an illegal lifestyle where others only sing. In 2007, he was charged with shooting a man in the face in a bar near Waco’s home. The trial attracted friends such as Nelson and actor Robert Duvall to support the razor, and the razor was eventually found not guilty, and the song was subsequently turned into the song “Wacko From Waco”.
Shaver was born in Corriscana, Texas on August 16, 1939. He was raised by his mother Victory, and later left the town to find a job in a Waco oil tank. He often accompanied his mother to work in a local nightclub, where he was exposed to country music. In the early sixties, Razor moved to Houston and often went to a club called the Old Town, where he met Towns Van Zand. They became drinking friends, and their friendship brought him to Nashville. He took an apprenticeship at Harlan Howard and then worked at Bobby Bare.
“Billy Joe was there before anyone talked about illegal sports,” said early fan Steve Earle. “And I’m from the generation that moved to Nashville, because people started talking about illegal sports.”
But the razor went through tough times in Nashville, where he was rejected by artists such as Chet Atkins. He found a fan in Kris Kristofferson, and he recorded his song “Good Christian Soldier” for his debut album. In 1971, Kristofferson invited the razor to attend Willie Nelson’s picnic, “Dripping Spring” party in Austin. Shaver’s performance at the picnic is notoriously uneven, but since then, he joined a songwriting circle, where he sang “Geely the Wanderer and My Willy”, which is an ode to Nelson. Jennings liked what he heard. “He said,’Do you still have cowboy songs?” The razor recalled Rolling Stone. “I said,’I filled them with sacks.”
Jennings agreed to listen to those songs. But for several weeks, the razor has not heard anything. “I’m not used to that kind of drunk talk, where they become very tall and say they would do something but not.” The razor went to Nashville to look for Jennings in the recording studio. “I told him,’If you don’t listen to them, I will whip your ass in front of God and everyone,'” Shafer said. “I’m ready.”
Jennings listened to these songs, including Marsh’s “Honky Tonk Heroes”, which became the title track for his next album. “He just clapped his hands and said,’I know what I should do,'” Shafer said. Jennings (1973) Crazy Tonk Hero It became one of the iconic albums of Desperadoes, but as an independent mainstream artist, Shafer could not stop.After debut album Old pentamer, Released by Monument in 1973, when the brand was closed down. The razor’s drug abuse situation is escalating-one night in the mid-70s, he drove the car through the flat glass window of the car dealership. “No matter where I go, I will be welcomed because I wrote good music to entertain the entertainers,” Shaver said. “It’s just that I don’t have such management and similar things. They say I am difficult to manage.”
In fact, the life of the razor is full of tragedy. When he was 21 years old, he lost two fingers on his right hand in a sawmill accident (“I am not a fingertip”, he would joke. “I can’t”). He and his wife Brenda’s wife were married three times and died of cancer in 1999. At about the same time, his mother (he sang in “My Mother’s Name Is Victory”) died. Then, on the morning of December 31, 2000, his son and creative partner Eddy Shaver (Eddy Shaver) died of a heroin overdose.
That night, Sad Razor performed at Nelson’s New Year’s Eve concert.
“William put a band together. My band went crazy, they all fell, crying and nothing. But Willie called me… and said, “Billy, you have to stand up again. “Shafer said. “And I’m an old cowboy, I know what he’s talking about.” So I got there. “
Shaver tell Rolling Stone He considered avenging his son’s death-until Nelson’s cool head prevailed. “I know where [the drugs] From-that drug dealer, I will shoot him and kill him instead of calling the police. He said. “But Willie makes me unacceptable.” He said: “Better leave it alone.” And I did it. I just ignore it. But you will never forget such a thing. “
Razor moved forward and released the last album he and Eddie recorded, Earth rolling, Released in April 2001. Son of freedom It came out in 2002 and released the last studio album of nearly 7 years in 2007. Everyone’s brother. In 2014, he released his final album, Grow in teeth, And in an extensive interview proved his life’s dedication to songwriting experience. Rolling Stone That year, Red drank Red Bull from the tattered schoolbag he carried with him.
“Not everyone can work on it. First, I am a songwriter, and secondly other things… I like entertainment and all the aspects that come with it, but this song is like the cheapest mental illness out there. Doctor,” Shaver said. “And I almost always need one.”
Razor recorded and toured until his death. Just in January of this year, he joined Tanya Tucker on the stage of the Lyman Auditorium in Nashville, performing “I’m just an old piece of coal”.
In 2004, the razor was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. But even though he was mentioned in the Country Music Hall of Fame exhibition on illegal countries, his own inductive method discouraged him-this negligence continues to plague the nasty razor.
“If you don’t want me to stay there, that’s fine. But I just don’t understand that this incident can tell you the truth,” he said. “I feel like a part of the foundation, even a cornerstone. I think I am that one.”
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