Billy Joe Shaver
(born August 16, 1939 in Corsicana, Texas
) is a Texas country music
singer and songwriter. Shaver's 1973 album Old Five and Dimers Like Me
is a classic in the outlaw country
Shaver was raised by his mother, Victory Watson Shaver, after his father Virgil left the family before he was born. Until he was 12, he spent a great deal of time with his grandmother in Corsicana, Texas
so that his mother could work in Waco
. He sometimes accompanied his mother to her job at a local nightclub, where he began to be exposed to country music.
Shaver's mother remarried about the time that his grandmother died, so he and his older sister Patricia moved in with their mother and new stepfather. Shaver left school after the eighth grade to help his uncles pick cotton, but occasionally returned to school to play sports.
Shaver joined the U.S. Navy
on his seventeenth birthday. Upon his discharge, he worked a series of dead-end jobs, including trying to be a rodeo
cowboy. About this time, Shaver met and married Brenda Joyce Tindell. They had one son, John Edwin, known as Eddy
, who was born in 1962. The two divorced and remarried several times.
Shaver took a job at a lumber mill to make ends meet. One day his right hand (his dominant hand) became caught in the machinery, and he lost the better part of two fingers and contracted a serious infection.... Read More