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Blaze Foley

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Blaze Foley (born Michael David Fuller in 18 December 1949 in Malvern, Arkansas; died 1 February 1989 in Austin, Texas) was an American singer-songwriter. He was shot and killed in 1989, at the age of 39, while trying to defend an elderly friend. During the late 1970s Blaze Foley & The Beaver Valley Boys were a big part of the Houston club scene.

Foley grew up in Texas. He performed in a gospel band called The Fuller Family with his mother and sisters. After leaving home, he performed in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston and finally Austin, Texas, where even in this city of non-conformists his unusual character was noticed. He slept on friend’s couches or under pool-tables in bars. He made the Austin Outhouse his home. He was close friends with another Texas legend Townes Van Zandt.

His song “If I Could Only Fly” became a hit in the interpretation of Merle Haggard. His song “Election Day” was covered by Lyle Lovett on his 2003 album “My Baby Don’t Tolerate” and his song “Clay Pigeons” was covered by John Prine on his Grammy Award winning 2005 album “Fair and Square.”

In 1989, Foley was shot to death while helping his friend Concho January defend himself from his violent son Carey January. Carey January was acquitted of murder in the first degree by reason of self-defense. Friends of Foley were outraged at the verdict.
Blaze Foley jokingly claimed to be the illegitimate son of Red Foley and Blaze Starr.

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