Billy Joe Shaver briefly hospitalized, now 'doing great'

Legendary country songwriter Billy Joe Shaver missed a Central Texas gig last Friday after health issues landed him in the hospital. The 77-year-old performer was forced to reschedule a show at Riley’s Tavern near New Braunfels. 

But the honky-tonk hero is a hard man to hold down for long. 

"Billy Joe is out of the hospital and feeling better,” his publicist Cary Baker said. “Thanks to everyone for their prayers."

Bandmate and tour manager Jeremy Lynn Woodall was just as optimistic. “Billy Joe is doing great,” he said. “We can’t wait to get back out there.”


Shaver, who also was forced to reschedule a Saturday show at Love & War in Lindale, is a contemporary of Waylon Jennings — who recorded an album almost full of Shaver’s songs in 1973 — and Willie Nelson — who testified at Shaver’s trial after he shot a man in the face in a bar outside Waco in 2007.

That album, “Honky-Tonk Heroes,” established Shaver as a masterful songwriter whose songs were recorded by a who’s who of popular artists. And that trial ended up with Shaver being found not guilty. In between he lived the outlaw triumphs and tragedies of his songs, hitting bottom with the tragic death of his son, Eddy, on New Years Eve 2000.

Shaver has struggled with heart problems of the medical sort, as well. He had a heart attack onstage at Gruene Hall in 2001 that nearly killed him. He was hospitalized several weeks last year with a “serious medical condition.” 

Shaver’s next Central Texas tour dates are a June 9 performance at the Republic of Texas Biker Rally and Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic at the Circuit of the Americas.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Traffic report for Monday, March 19, 2018

Interstate 35 (Travis County): The southbound access road will be reduced to one lane between Delmar Avenue and St. Johns Avenue from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Thursday nights. The outside lane on the access roads will be closed as needed in both directions between Woodward and Oltorf streets from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. weekdays; watch for flaggers...
Why Cornyn’s modest gun bill has stalled despite bipartisan support
Why Cornyn’s modest gun bill has stalled despite bipartisan support

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, has managed to thread a needle in the gun debate, authoring a modest bill that has garnered broad bipartisan support in the Senate. But the measure, which would enforce an existing background check system for gun purchases, hasn’t come up for a vote, despite its 72 co-sponsors. After the church shooting in Sutherland...
Community news: Seminary hosts oral history project

TRAVIS COUNTY EAST AUSTIN Seminary hosts oral history project The Historically Black Colleges and University Truth & Reconciliation Oral History Project will take place at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, 100 E. 27th St. The project is sponsored by seven historically black colleges or universities and two Texas independent...
Needy Georgetown children treated to free lunches during spring break
Needy Georgetown children treated to free lunches during spring break

For the fifth year in a row, children in one of Georgetown’s needy neighborhoods were treated to free lunches during spring break. The First United Methodist Church in Georgetown and the Salvation Army arrived Monday through Friday last week with 100 sack lunches at a field near Purl Elementary School, where children and their relatives gathered...
Teen shot, seriously wounded in northwestern Travis County

A male in his late teens was shot and taken to Round Rock Medical Center on Saturday night, Austin-Travis County officials said. They said his wounds were serious but were not expected to be life-threatening. The incident took place in the 11300 block of Four Points Drive in northwestern Travis County.
More Stories