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Billy Walker

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Billy Walker (January 14, 1929 – May 21, 2006) was an American country-music singer and guitarist, nicknamed “The Tall Texan.”

Walker was born in Ralls, Texas, in 1929, and became active in the Dallas music scene in the late 1940s. After a brief stint with Capitol Records, he signed with Columbia Records in 1951 at the same time as Ray Price. Walker was a cast member on ABC-TV’s Ozark Jubilee in the late 1950’s.

He is most famous for his 1962 hit “Charlie’s Shoes.” He is also well known for his 1961 cover version of Willie Nelson’s “Funny How Time Slips Away” and his 1964 hit “Cross the Brazos at Waco.” [1]. Walker joined the Grand Ole Opry on January 1, 1960, and he was an active member until his death in 2006.

On Sunday, May 21, 2006, Walker died when the van he was driving back to Nashville after a performance in Foley, Alabama veered off Interstate 65 in Fort Deposit, Alabama and overturned. His wife Bettie, bassist Charles Lilly Jr., son of Everett Lilly of Bluegrass Hall of Fame Inductees, “The Lilly Brothers”, and guitarist Daniel Patton were also killed in the 12:40 a.m. crash. Walker’s grandson, Joshua Brooks, survived the crash with serious injuries.

Billy Walker played all over the world and was loved everywhere for his smooth singing and gentle mind. Several times in the 1980s Billy Walker sang at The International Festival of Country Music at Wembley Arena in London.

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