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Townes Van Zandt

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Fort Worth TX, United States (1944 – 1997)

Townes Van Zandt (John Townes Van Zandt, born at Fort Worth, Texas, March 7, 1944 and died at Smyrna, Tennessee, January 1, 1997). He was a and singer and poet.

While alive, Van Zandt was labelled as a cult musician. Though he had a small and devoted fanbase, he never had a successful album or single, and even had difficulty keeping his recordings in print. Many of his songs, including “If I Needed You,” “To Live Is To Fly,” and “No Place to Fall” are considered standards of their genre. AllMusic has called him “one of the greatest country and folk artists of his generation.”

In 1983, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard covered his song “Pancho and Lefty”, scoring a number one hit on the Billboard country music charts. Despite achievements like these, the bulk of Van Zandt’s life was spent performing in dive bars, often living in cheap motel rooms, backwoods cabins and on friends’ couches. Van Zandt was notorious for his drug addictions, alcoholism and his tendency to tell tall tales.

Van Zandt died on New Year’s Day, 1997 from health problems stemming from years of substance abuse.

The 2000s saw a resurgence of interest in Van Zandt. During the decade, two books, a documentary film and a number of magazine articles about the singer were created. Van Zandt’s music has been covered by such notable and varied musicians as Bob Dylan, Norah Jones, and The Meat Puppets.

Early life
Townes Van Zandt was born in Fort Worth, Texas to an oil-wealthy family.

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  • jessyrocker

    Amazing

    6 May 4:30am Reply
  • Nujablessed

    ok so how do you actually pronounce his name

    1 May 8:10pm Reply
  • jessyrocker

    Just Great

    18 Apr 9:26pm Reply
  • jessyrocker

    Cool Music

    15 Apr 8:42am Reply
  • jessyrocker

    Big Fan Here

    10 Apr 5:00pm Reply
  • patisawesome121

    Colorado Girl gives me chills each time I listen to it. Such a lonely, yet gorgeous track .

    28 Jan 4:36am Reply
  • Horse_Deceased

    The best? I sure think so. His songs just pierce you right through, there's absolutely no defense possible.

    26 Jan 9:41am Reply
  • BladeOfElohim

    such a beautiful, talented, tortured, joyous, humorous, humble man. he truly burned brighter than a summers mid day sun. i can feel his radiance fill my soul each time I listen to Tecumseh Valley (Our mother the mountain) and To live is to fly (live at the old quarter).

    28 Dec 2014 Reply
  • alphabetagaga87

    At My Window is such an amazing record! Doesn't get enough play.

    28 Nov 2014 Reply
  • DeadKinks

    Been listening to his music for some 3 years now. I started from the beginning, and still I haven't been able to go beyond the early 70's just yet. The songs are so simples and honest, but there's just too much humanity on each one of them, even the silly jokes, that I just can't seem to finish learning from them. Hopefully I'll have listened to all his stuff in a decade or so.

    26 Nov 2014 Reply
  • Spill-T

    some people need food, water, and shelter. I just need townes

    9 Nov 2014 Reply
  • Toadmang

    I really like Quicksilver Daydreams of Maria and The Velvet Voices from "For the Sake of the Song".

    7 Nov 2014 Reply
  • HeaVY_DrAgGoN

    I'm crying everytime I listen him.

    5 Nov 2014 Reply
  • spaaceships

    breaking my heart

    4 Nov 2014 Reply
  • Failure2Conform

    I can't remember how I stumbled upon him a few years ago now but I immediately recognized his music as art in it's purest form. There's something about his music that almost makes me angry, makes me wanna just wail on the fucking walls. The futility of it all, the pain, the heartache, being pissed off just to be alive. But somehow at the same time his music makes it all more bearable. It's the damn honesty in it.

    25 Oct 2014 Reply
  • Tymbolic

    anyone else just have those days where you feel like Townes is the only person you ever really need to listen to?

    6 Oct 2014 Reply
  • IronGrave

    The best.

    5 Sep 2014 Reply
  • campoeug

    il piu' grande in assoluto

    1 Jun 2014 Reply
  • Horse_Deceased

    http://www.last.fm/music/Townes+Van+Zandt/+images/92075231

    25 May 2014 Reply
  • RoveRBastarD

    Wow... Black Widow Blues, Esa Clase Se Canciones En El Momento Preciso De La Vida Pueden Marcar Un Antes y Un Despues...

    12 May 2014 Reply
  • All 453 shouts