This weekend, Steve Earle devotes an entire episode of his Hardcore Troubadour Radio show on SiriusXM’s Outlaw Country to the memory of Billy Joe Shaver, who died Wednesday at 81. Earle wrote the liner notes for Shaver’s last album, 2014’s Long in the Tooth, and he reads from those words in tribute to the Texas songwriter.
“If God ever woke up and decided that he was going to make himself a songwriter it was on the morning of August 16th, 1939,” Earle says, noting the date of Shaver’s birth and going on to call his catalog “one of the greatest bodies of work ever produced by any songwriter dead or alive.”
Along with his remembrance, Earle plays a 2012 interview with Shaver during his show and recordings of Shaver’s songs by artists like Kris Kristofferson, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones, and Emmylou Harris. It premieres Saturday at 9 p.m. ET and replays daily at various times through Thursday.
Outlaw Country DJs Shooter Jennings and Alamo Jones also pay tribute to Shaver on their respective shows, with Jones rebroadcasting a full-band performance by Shaver from 2014.
Shaver, an outlaw country songwriter who lived what he wrote about, is best known for penning the bulk of Waylon Jennings’ 1973 album Honky Tonk Heroes.