Mr. Van Zandt was born on March 7, 1944, in Fort Worth, into a wealthy oil family that had been prominent in Texas for four generations. He spent his childhood moving around the country with his family, and many of his teen-age years in a mental institution, diagnosed as a manic-depressive with schizophrenic tendencies. [49] She did not heed these warnings, and instead checked Townes out of the hospital against medical advice. "[54], It was revealed through these proceedings that Van Zandt's annual income in the years before his death had climbed to over $100,000, thanks in large part to the royalties accrued from his songs being covered by Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett, Merle Haggard, Cowboy Junkies, and other major music stars. Townes was a good student and active in team sports. They took him back to their home, and he spent the Christmas week on their couch, unable to get up even to use the bathroom. [8] They admitted him to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, where he was diagnosed with manic depression. 17", "Townes van Zandt: He lived for the sake of the song Oakland Tribune – Find Articles", "Unknown Rooms – A Collection of Acoustic Songs", "Scott Avett plays Townes Van Zandt: Greensboro Woman", "Josh Ritter interview – Triste Magazine", "Gillian Welch – The Revelator Collection", "A Conversation with Nathan Followill of Kings of Leon", "Townes Van Zandt: 'The Greatest Musician You've Never Heard Of' By Frank Turner", "Reddit AMA: I am Alejandro Rose-Garcia AKA Shakey Graves, AMA", "Townes Van Zandt's bequest finds new life at 'Dawn'", "STEVE VON TILL, SCOTT KELLY & WINO Confirm Townes Van Zandt Tribute; Album To See US Release Via Neurot in June", "ACL's New Season Launches with the Hall of Fame 2015 Special", "Gillian Welch-Townes Van Zandt induction into ACL Hall of Fame", "Townes Van Zandt TV & Film Sync Placements", "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)", "Townes Van Zandt: Be Here to Love Me (Full Film)", "Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt Movie Reviews", "Hard-Living Folk Icon in a Sympathetic but Frank Doc", "Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt", "A Deeper Blue: The Life and Music of Townes Van Zandt (9781574412475): Robert Earl Hardy: Books", "Townes Van Zandt's 'Sky Blue' Offers Insight Into A Mercurial Mind At His Prime", Townes Van Zandt: The Self-Destructive Hobo Saint, Travels with Townes Van Zandt by Steve Hawley July 2003, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Townes_Van_Zandt&oldid=996435964, Articles with dead external links from September 2017, Articles with permanently dead external links, Articles with disputed statements from May 2011, Articles with disputed statements from April 2013, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2017, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2015, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2019, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, "Second Lovers Song" / "Tecumseh Valley" (1969), "Come Tomorrow" / "Delta Mama Blues" (1971), "If I Needed You" / "Sunshine Boy" (1972), "Honky Tonkin'" / "Snow Don't Fall" (1972), "Fraulein" / "Don't Let the Sunshine Fool Ya" (1972), "Pancho and Lefty" / "Heavenly Houseboat Blues" (1972), "Pancho and Lefty" / "If I Needed You" (1973), "Who Do You Love" / "Dollar Bill Blues" (1978), "When She Don't Need Me" / "No Place to Fall" (1978), "Dead Flowers" / "Fraulein" / "Racing in the Street" (1993) – German CD single, "Riding the Range" / "Dirty Old Town" (1996), "Ain't Leavin' Your Love" (1999) – US CD single, "Snowin' on Raton" (2001) – US CD single; from, This page was last edited on 26 December 2020, at 16:26. ... Earle was named in part after the legendary singer Townes Van Zandt, who was a … At Christmas in 1956, Townes's father gave him a guitar, which he practiced while wandering the countryside. When Van Zandt died, he left a shoe box full of unreleased poems and lyrics with a request that Broza set them to music. He was woken up from the floor and put in his seat minutes before the crash. The cause was apparently a heart attack, said Beverly Paul, a spokeswoman for Sugar Hill, the music label for which he recorded. [1] As a result, he wrote the song "Cowboy Junkies Lament" for the group, with a verse about each respective member of the band. Townes and Cindy became estranged for much of the early 1980s, and were divorced on February 10, 1983 in Travis County, Texas. Musician. ... to Steve Earle and the entire family of Justin Townes … See the article in its original context from. ''I'd as soon be dead/All of this world be forgotten.''. No. Van Zandt married Fran Peterson on August 26, 1965; a son, John Townes "J.T." [79], In 1994, Israeli singer David Broza performed with Van Zandt during a Writers in the Round concert in Houston. For much of the 1970s, he lived a reclusive life outside of Nashville in a tin-roofed, bare-boards shack with no heat, plumbing or telephone, occasionally appearing in town to play shows. WHY THE WHOLE BIBLE? Shelley canceled the sessions due to the songwriter's erratic behavior and drunkenness. At times, he became drunk on stage and forgot the lyrics to his songs. [citation needed] The 2012 documentary film Low & Clear, which revolves around Van Zandt's son JT fly fishing for steelhead in British Columbia with his old fishing buddy Xenie, features Van Zandt's songs "Dollar Bill Blues" and "My Proud Mountains". John Townes Van Zandt[1] (March 7, 1944 – January 1, 1997), better known as Townes Van Zandt, was an American singer-songwriter. In the spring of his second year, his parents flew to Boulder to bring Townes back to Houston, apparently worried about his binge drinking and episodes of depression. [9] In 1965, he was accepted into the University of Houston's pre-law program. Van Zandt cited Lightnin' Hopkins, Bob Dylan and Hank Williams and such varied artists as Muddy Waters, The Rolling Stones, Blind Willie McTell, Tchaikovsky, and Jefferson Airplane as having had a major impact on his music. She later reported that after getting back to his home in Smyrna, Tennessee, and giving him alcohol, he became "lucid, in a real good mood, calling his friends on the phone. [87], In the film Country Strong, the Austin Statesman describes the character of Beau Hutton as "the next Townes Van Zandt". "[90] Eddie Cockrell of Variety called the film "a dignified and wistful look at the unusual life, difficult career and lasting influence" of Van Zandt. Juliet, Tennessee. In 1968, Van Zandt met songwriter Mickey Newbury in a Houston coffee shop. His segment of the film was shot at his run-down trailer home in Austin, Texas, where Van Zandt is shown drinking straight whiskey during the middle of the day, shooting and playing with guns, and performing the songs "Waitin' Around to Die" and "Pancho and Lefty. I'll Be Here in the Morning: The Songwriting Legacy of Townes Van Zandt by Brian T. Atkinson was released on New Year's Day 2012 by Texas A&M University Press, coinciding with the 15th anniversary of Van Zandt's death. Van Zandt II, was born to them on April 11, 1969, in Houston. He later referred to Colorado in "My Proud Mountains", "Colorado Girl", and "Snowin' on Raton". With music engrained in his life, Earle is the son of acclaimed US songwriter Steve Earle and named after his father’s idol Townes Van Zandt. [45] The medical staff tried to explain to her that detoxing a "late-term alcoholic" at home would be ill-advised, and he would have a better chance at recovering under hospital supervision. [39] The two met in November 1995 during a concert of his in Hanau, Germany. "[56][58] The quote was printed on a sticker featured on the packing of At My Window, much to Van Zandt's displeasure. [citation needed]. [8] Fearing that his family would move again, he willingly decided to attend the Shattuck School in Faribault, Minnesota. Influenced by the songs of Hank Williams, the guitar-playing of Lightnin' Hopkins and the lyrics of Bob Dylan, as well as by Elvis Presley's success, he moved to Houston in the early 1960's to try a career as a musician. Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard topped the country charts in 1983 with a version of Mr. Van Zandt's song ''Pancho and Lefty.'' [10][11] He had two siblings, Bill (1949–2009) and Donna (1941–2011). The couple divorced on January 16, 1970. [2], In 1972, Van Zandt recorded tracks for an album with a working title of Seven Come Eleven, which remained unreleased for many years due to a dispute between his manager Kevin Eggers and producer Jack Clement. No cause of death has been made available. Newbury persuaded Van Zandt to go to Nashville, Tennessee, where he was introduced by Newbury to the man who became his longtime producer, "Cowboy" Jack Clement. [1], The years between 1968 and 1973 proved to be Van Zandt's most prolific era. "[46], In early 1996, he was contacted by Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley, who informed Van Zandt that he was interested in recording and releasing an album for him on the band's Ecstatic Peace label, funded by Geffen. [8][53], In the years immediately following Van Zandt's death, his former manager and label owner Kevin Eggers issued 14 albums of both new and previously unreleased material by the singer, all without consent of his estate (represented by Jeanene Van Zandt and his three children). His repertoire consisted mostly of covers of songs written by Hopkins, Bob Dylan, and others, as well as original novelty songs like "Fraternity Blues. The book contains interviews with longtime Van Zandt friends Guy Clark, Billy Joe Shaver, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Kris Kristofferson, Tom Russell and Peter Rowan as well as younger disciples such as Scott Avett (the Avett Brothers), Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Kasey Chambers, Josh Ritter, and Grace Potter. [45] On December 31, X-rays revealed that Van Zandt had an impacted left femoral neck fracture in his hip, and several corrective surgeries were performed. Photo courtesy of Jeanene Van Zandt. Soon after, he attempted to join the Air Force, but was rejected because of a doctor's diagnosis that labelled him "an acute manic-depressive who has made minimal adjustments to life". [32], Van Zandt married Fran Peterson on August 26, 1965; a son, John Townes "J.T." Died: 1-Jan - 1997. But Mr. Van Zandt never achieved mainstream success himself, in part because of his proclivity for living out his songs of drinking, gambling, rambling and depression. [81], In July 2012, Neurot Recordings released a three-way split album in tribute to Van Zandt, featuring Neurosis singer/guitarists Scott Kelly, Steve Von Till and doom/stoner metal legend Scott "Wino" Weinrich. The cause of death has not been revealed. "[33] He divorced his estranged second wife and married Munsell on March 14, 1983. [1] He began dating Cindy Morgan in 1974. Erickson insisted that he join the Elevators on bass, even though he was a guitarist who had never played bass before. Townes and Cindy became estranged for much of the early 1980s, and were divorced on February 10, 1983 in Travis County, Texas. [15] He received a score of 1170 when he took the SAT in January 1962. On February 1, 1989, Foley was at a house in the Bouldin Creek neighborhood of Austin, Texas when he was shot in the chest and killed by Carey January, the son of Foley's friend Concho January. AKA John Townes Van Zandt. Earle was 38. Some of the letters described how his material often served as a crutch for those who were dealing with depression. (2007) "To Live’s to Fly : The Ballad of the Late, Great Townes Van Zandt". [12] In these Houston clubs, he met fellow musicians Lightnin' Hopkins, Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Doc Watson. Overdose Cited as Likely Cause of Death for Justin Townes Earle By Chris Willman. The Nashville Fire Department responded to a wellness check and found the 39 … Gender: Male. Born: 7-Mar - 1944. Van Zandt finally agreed to hospitalization, but not before returning to Nashville. His influence has been cited by countless artists across multiple genres, and his music has been recorded or performed by Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Merle Haggard, Norah Jones, Emmylou Harris, Counting Crows, Steve Earle, Robert Earl Keen Jr., Nanci Griffith, Guy Clark, Wade Bowen, Gillian Welch, Pat Green, Colter Wall, Jason Isbell, Calvin Russell, Natalie Maines, and Frank Turner. [35] Townes's only source of income after making that change was money received from concert engagements,[36] and even then, Townes frequently visited his ex-wife and gave her the money in his pockets. Sometimes his shows were meandering, ending with him collapsing onstage. Although the musician was many years older than he was, Eggers later said that Van Zandt was his "first child. [51], While Jeanene was on the phone with Susanna Clark, their son Will noticed that Townes had stopped breathing and "looked dead", and alerted his mother, who attempted to perform CPR, "screaming his name between breaths". [80], In 2012, Van Zandt was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame. Townes van Zandt Death John passed away on January 1, 1997 at the age of 52 in Mt. [7][8] Afterwards, his mother claimed her "biggest regret in life was that she had allowed that treatment to occur". ''All that I've said/All that I've done/Means nothing to me,'' he sang on his most recent album, ''No Deeper Blue.'' [31] In May and June 1990, he opened for the Cowboy Junkies during a two-month-long tour of the United States and Canada, which exposed him to a younger generation of fans. "When you start with my middle and last names," Earle told the Los Angeles Times in 2011, "how much worse can the expectations be? Bell now owns the "new" Old Quarter in Galveston. He is survived by a sister, Donna Spence of Boulder, Colo.; a brother, Bill, of Houston; a daughter, Katie Bell, and a son, William Vincent, of Smyrna, both from his third marriage; and a son from his second marriage, John Townes of Corpus Christi, Tex. His official cause of death was "natural" cardiac arrhythmia.Hardy; p. 264. [41] After Van Zandt's death his road manager, Harold Eggers, released video and audio recordings from the songwriter's concerts. He was 52. Going through and listening to clips of the project today I found Scotts cover of Seventeen that introduced me to the work of Townes Van Zandt. "[1] In 1958 the family moved to Boulder, Colorado. [7][8][9], Van Zandt died on New Years Day 1997 from cardiac arrythmia caused by health problems stemming from years of substance abuse. [47] Van Zandt agreed, and sessions were scheduled to begin in Memphis during late December of that year. Bruise the size of a quarter in the temple. [43] Doctors' notes reported: "He admits to hearing voices, mostly musical voices", and "Affect is blunted and mood is sad. [55], Van Zandt has been referred to as a cult musician and "a songwriter's songwriter. "[23] His soon-to-be second wife Cindy and dog Geraldine (a large, "keenly intelligent" half-wolf, half-husky) are featured in the film. Steve Earle named his son for Townes Van Zandt, the talented songwriter. He tried to join the Air Force during the Vietnam War but was rejected because of his psychiatric history. Judgment and insight is impaired. The autopsy found traces of fentanyl, alcohol and cocaine in his system. Van Zandt died young, suffering from health problems caused by his own drug usage. [43] Medical records from his time in recovery centers show that he believed his drinking had become a problem around 1973, and by 1982 he was drinking at least a pint of vodka daily. [60], His Texas-grounded impact stretched farther than country. By the time he consented to receive medical care, eight days had passed since the injury. Born on Jan. 4, 1982, Earle was named after singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt. [8] He quit school around 1967, having been inspired by his singer-songwriter heroes to pursue a career in playing music. The couple divorced on January 16, 1970. He had since recorded nearly a dozen records and toured virtually nonstop, driven, his friends said, by inner demons that neither he nor they could account for. Van Zandt told friends he planned on marrying Winterer,[40] but the two never became engaged. He had assembled a group of well-known musicians including Willie Nelson and Freddy Fender to record new versions of his songs. Van Zandt had a small cameo appearance in the video for the song. [24], Several of Van Zandt's compositions were recorded by other artists, such as Emmylou Harris who, with Don Williams, had a No. “Townes” was released in 2009, a dozen years after Van Zandt died; “Guy,” a homage to the songwriter Guy Clark, came out three years after Clark’s death in 2016. [54], On October 21, 2008, a number of Van Zandt's personal possessions were auctioned off at The Northside in Akron, Ohio at a benefit for Rex "Wrecks" Bell, a close friend and bandmate who was the inspiration for the song "Rex's Blues". His musical style has often been described as melancholy and features rich, poetic lyrics. Earle was born in 1982, with his parents partially naming him after his father’s mentor, Townes van Zandt. He told the couple that he had sustained the injury while getting out of bed, and refused medical treatment. In 1994, he was admitted to the hospital to detox, during which time a doctor told Jeanene Van Zandt that trying to detox Townes again could potentially kill him. Cause of death: Heart Failure. [29] Though the club was only advertised through small ads in the back of music magazines, Lomax immediately began to receive hundreds of impassioned letters from around the world written by people who felt touched by Van Zandt. ... Ann Hunter Earle had named their son after iconic singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt. 1 of 2 Townes Van Zandt, Susanna Clark, Guy Clark and friend in BE HERE TO LOVE ME, a Palm Pictures release 2005. Eventually he became so poor that he ate dog food and slept on concert stages. Tracks from the aborted Seven Come Eleven debacle later surfaced on The Nashville Sessions. [45] Jeanene rushed him to her car, where she gave him a flask of vodka to ward off the withdrawal delirium. He also retained sole ownership of his family inheritance of ownership in oil lease and mineral rights.[38]. [citation needed], In 1975, Van Zandt was featured prominently in the documentary film Heartworn Highways with Guy Clark, Steve Earle, Steve Young, Gamble Rogers, Charlie Daniels and David Allan Coe. [2], Born in Fort Worth, Texas into a wealthy family, Van Zandt was a third-great-grandson of Isaac Van Zandt (a prominent leader of the Republic of Texas) and a second great-nephew of Khleber Miller Van Zandt (a major in the Confederate army and one of the founders of Fort Worth). [25] The album received positive reviews,[26] and is considered by many to be among the best albums that the songwriter ever released. John Townes Van Zandt, born on March 7, 1944, was groomed to be an entirely different kind of Texas legend. They had no children. [29] In 1978, the singer fired Lomax and re-hired Eggers. [52], Two services were held for Van Zandt: one in Texas, mostly attended by family; and another in a large Nashville church, attended by friends, acquaintances, and fans. A TALENTED singer-songwriter who survived five heroin overdoses and two relapses has tragically died. [6] A revival of interest in Van Zandt blossomed in the 2000s. He received three months of insulin shock therapy, which erased much of his long-term memory. [89] Georgia Christgau of the Village Voice called the documentary "sympathetic but frank. [1], Around the time of their April 1993 separation,[34] Jeanene coaxed the musician into signing over the publishing rights of his back catalog and recording royalties to her and their children. [17] After the Jester closed, he began to regularly perform (and occasionally live) at Sand Mountain Coffee House. The younger Earle dropped out of high school to go into the music business. 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