Billy Joe Shaver

Billy Joe Shaver (August 16th, 1939 – October 28th, 2020) first made a name for himself after landing a songwriting job in Nashville while attempting to hitchhike from his home state of Texas to California. He was discovered by fellow country singer Waylon Jennings, who recorded nine versions of Shaver’s songs for his 1973 album Honky Tonk Heroes, which entered the Billboard Country Chart at number 14. This exposure resulted in the likes of Elvis Presley and Kris Kristofferson recording Shaver’s songs, and also led him to secure several successive record deals, many of which were short-lived due to the labels folding. Over the course of a career which spanned four decades, Shaver released seventeen albums in total, notably enlisting the help of his son, John Edwin “Eddy” Shaver, as a guitarist and co-writer on his acclaimed 1993 album Tramp On Your Street. His final album, 2014’s Long in the Tooth, was his first to enter the Billboard Country Chart, peaking at number 19. However, prior to this, he had been honoured in the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and awarded with the Americana Music Convention’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Songwriting. In October 2020, following a history of heart conditions, Shaver died of a stroke at 81 years old in Waco, Texas.

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