Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Jango Song Of The Day-Townes Van Zandt
Album:Legend: The Very Best of Townes Van Zandt
If singer songwriter Townes Van Zandt has been much more successful after his 1997 death. Lots of tributes and 2CD comps like rhis one. He couldn't even keep his records in print when he was alive. Steve Earle has said that Van Zandt didn't think he deserved success because his talent came to him so naturally. That's a little strange but it also made him a great songwriter. He was born Mar. 7, 1944 in Fort Worth, TX to a wealthy oil family. His dad was a corporate lawyer. Van Zandt was given a guitar as a Christmas present in 1956 and got very interested in performing after watching Elvis Presley on The Ed Sullivan Show. The family moved to Boulder, CO. He did well in school and had a genius IQ so his parents wanted him to be a lawyer. But Van Zandt idolized Elvis and wanted to sing. While attending The University Of Colorado in 1962, he started drinking heavily and was diagnosed with manic depression. His parents brought him back to Houston and shock therapy erased his long term memory. He started attending pre-law classes at The University Of Houston in 1965 while performing on the side. Eventually he started writing and singer songwriter Mickey Newbury told him to go to Nashville and see legendary producer Jack Clement. Clement is best known for his Sun Records days and he recorded Van Zandt for many years. Tecumseh Valley is from Van Zandt's 1968 debut album For The Sake Of The Song. He was never on a major label so his music never sold but by the late 70s, his manager built him a cult following among other musicians. This 2CD comp from Charly is a very inexpensive intro to his music. Townes Van Zandt continued to perform and record occasionally through the 80s & 90s. But his lifelong alcoholism and heroin addiction got the best of him and he died on Jan. 1, 1997 at age 52. He continues to be a cult figure today and is definitely worth checking out. Here's Townes Van Zandt and Nanci Griffith performing Tecumseh Valley on the 80s TNN TV series American Music Shoppe.
Townes Van Zandt and Nanci Griffiths - Tecumseh Valley (AMS
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