Thursday, September 21, 2006

Don Walser, R. I. P.

Don Walser was born in 1934 in the small Texas Panhandle town of Brownfield and grew up in nearby Lamesa. His mother died when he was 11, and his father worked nights as a cotton mill superintendent. To fill the solitude of the daylight hours, he listened to the music of West Texas plains on the radio and watched the early cowboy crooners at the movie theater. He began to sing as a young boy, learning the songs, style, and yodeling skills of his musical models.

He joined the National Guard at 15 (claiming he was 17), married his wife Pat at 17, and raised a family of four children. Instead of leaving West Texas to pursue his musical career on the road or in Nashville, he stayed home to devote himself to his family, playing clubs, VFW halls, and honkytonks at night and on the weekends. After 45 years with the National Guard as a mechanic, a superintendent, and an auditor, he retired.

My son worked on a couple of recording sessions with Walser, who was a true Texas classic. Check out some of the soundbites on the website that I linked to above.

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