SiriusXM is sad to report that honky-tonk hero and Outlaw Country legend Billy Joe Shaver has died at the age of 81, following a massive stroke at Ascension Providence Hospital in Waco, Texas, according to a family emergency contact. Throughout the weekend and next week, listeners can hear meaningful remembrances — including archive performances and interviews — on Outlaw Country (Ch. 60).
Affectionately known as the “Wacko from Waco,” Shaver was born in nearby Corsicana, Texas, and made his mark in 1973 when he released his debut album, Old Five and Dimers Like Me, and Waylon Jennings recorded nine of his songs for the landmark album Honky Tonk Heroes.
Written from true-life experiences, his songs have been recorded by many artists, including his longtime friend Willie Nelson, Bobby Bare, Johnny Cash, and John Anderson. He released many of his own albums over four decades, including several with his guitarist son, Eddy Shaver, who died tragically on New Year’s Eve in 2000.
Shaver appeared in the 1996 film The Apostle with Robert Duvall (who also recorded his song “Live Forever” for the soundtrack to the film Crazy Heart) and was the subject of the 2004 documentary A Portrait of Billy Joe. His personal life was full of high drama: He married the same woman three times, survived a heart attack onstage, broke his neck on his wedding night, and was acquitted of a shooting incident in 2007, in which he reportedly asked the victim, “Where do you want it?” However, Shaver was also a man of deep faith, and wrote and recorded many gospel songs.
Shaver will be missed but his songs and memory will truly live forever.
Hear tributes to Billy Joe Shaver on Outlaw Country at the times below.
Shooter Jennings Electric Rodeo
October 31 from 6pm to 8pm ET
November 1 from 10pm to 12am ET
November 5 from 12am to 2am ET
Steve Earle Show: Hardcore Troubadour Radio
Featuring a 2012 interview with Billy Joe Shaver
October 31 from 9pm to 10pm ET
November 1 from 9am to 10am ET
November 2 from 1am to 2am ET
November 3 from 12am to 1am ET
November 4 from 9pm to 10pm ET
Alamo Jones Show
Featuring a 2014 interview with Billy Joe Shaver and performance from the SiriusXM Music City Theatre
October 31 from 2pm to 6pm ET
November 1 from 6pm to 10pm ET
Also, don’t miss bonus celebrations of Shaver’s legendary music and influence on Willie’s Roadhouse (Ch. 59).
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