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Boxcar Willie

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Born Lecil Travis Martin on September 1, 1931, in Sterrat, TX; died on April 12, 1999, in Branson, MO, of leukemia; married second wife Lloene Johnson, c. 1962; children: Tammy (first marriage), twins Larry and Lorry (with Johnson). Addresses: Website—Boxcar Willie Official Website: http://www.boxcarwillie.com.

Known as the world’s favorite hobo, Boxcar Willie took a long train ride to his destination as a country music star. When he finally got there, he didn’t waste a moment of his time. As a symbol of Americana, Boxcar Willie’s dedication to traditional country music earned the widespread appreciation of audiences in Europe, where he first established his career. In his lifetime, he wrote over 400 songs, recorded duets with country music icons Willie Nelson and Hank Williams, Jr., and became one of the first performers to establish his own theater in Branson, Missouri. His lifelong love of country music sustained him throughout his long and varied career.

Born Lecil Travis Martin on September 1, 1931, in Sterrat, Texas, he was the oldest of five children. Martin’s father worked for the railroad company that provided his family with a small house right next to the railroad tracks. For entertainment, Martin and his father would sit on the front porch and play music. Martin played guitar and his father played fiddle. Early in life Martin developed an appreciation for the music of Jimmie Rodgers, Roy Acuff, and Ernest Tubb. He was also influenced by Hank Williams.

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