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Willis Alan Ramsey

Singer/songwriter Willis Alan Ramsey is a cult legend among fans of Americana and progressive Texas country. Blending folk, country, and pop with witty, introspective lyrics, Ramsey recorded a critically acclaimed debut album for Leon Russell's Shelter label in 1972. It was one of the first albums by the new school of Austin singer/songwriters that would come to be tagged "progressive country" (Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt among them). However, Ramsey subsequently disappeared from music, owing to conflicts with his label and a general distaste for the business. Countless artists covered material from Willis Alan Ramsey, most notoriously the Captain & Tennille, who took "Muskrat Candlelight" into the pop Top Five under the new title "Muskrat Love." That's no indicator of the respect Ramsey commanded in the country world, with artists like Jerry Jeff Walker ("Northeast Texas Women"), Waylon Jennings ("Satin Sheets"), Jimmy Buffett ("The Ballad of Spider John"), and Jimmie Dale Gilmore ("Goodbye to Old Missoula") all cutting versions of Ramsey's songs. Ramsey spent most of the '80s living in the U.K. and studying Celtic music but enjoyed something of a rediscovery thanks to Lyle Lovett, who praised the songwriter to the skies. He and Ramsey co-wrote "North Dakota" for Lovett's 1992 album Joshua Judges Ruth and teamed up again for "That's Right (You're Not From Texas)" on 1996's The Road to Ensenada. Meanwhile, Shawn Colvin re-recorded "Satin Sheets" for her Cover Girl album, and Lovett later tapped the new song "Sleepwalking" for his own covers album, Step Inside This House. In 2001, Ramsey appeared on Austin City Limits, performing nine new songs as well as some older material; he also mounted a tour and reportedly worked on a new record. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Comments

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tahoegiles
I fell in love with Willis Alan back in the early 80's. Unforgettabl e !
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fbarker15
Saw him in boerne tx icehouse about 87 magnificent!
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love my angel eyes!
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mccloud5
Another Okla boy here and I've been addicted to Willis since the early 70's. Broke my heart to see him disappear from the music scene right at the height of his career. Saw him perform in Crested Butte, CO back in the early 80's and unfortunatel y he wasn't able to make it through an entire song. Pretty sad. Still love his music and always will.
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I love me some Willis Alan Ramsey. My buddy in College Station, TX turned me on to him and the whole progressive country thing back in '74. He's still one of my absolute favorites all these years later.

Living in OKC, I've had the extreme pleasure of seeing him several times. He's playing the Blue Door here in March. I can't wait. Also, there is an excellent album called Mad Dogs and Okies on which he contributes a great new song.Check it out.
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nick_cassand r a
I'm just another boy from Oklahoma,tha t thoroughly enjoys your music brother,look i n g forward to your second contribution .
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jhassinger4
So much from one record. How many musicians out there can claim to have had such an incredible almost 40 years of popularity off of just one recording? Hopefully the work on his 2nd album is proveeding well and we'll finally get #2 soon.
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Hey Cuz, miss you & your tunes. Hope we can hear you in person soon :)
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Still unduplicated .
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One of the few albums I had trouble deciding which side to play.
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Rarely have I been so speechless after hearing an artist. The only thing I could say after much pondering was that this is absolutely perfect music.
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at163
I’ll hold that his fire’s everlastin’
Testify that his course has run true
and the ramblin’ man’s ris’
and the kingdom’s his
but his songs are for me and you.
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meamaximacul p a 2 0 0 3
What a treasure! I can't wait for more...I hope reports of the new CD aren't bogus. How wonderful to find this music shining so perfectly amongst all the dreck available... s h a m e on the music business for passing on so much crap when there's guys like Willis Alan Ramsey still out there.
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jhazzard4
I saw Ramsey back in 1972 at a small club in Denver, playing as a solo act. He was one of the most enthralling artists and performers that I have ever seen live!
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dsvatek
angel eyes...north e a s t women...i love this artist!
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I have enjoyed Ramsey since the 70's in Columbia College. Thanks Ramsey for the great music. Ted
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beau99b
I have been a fan of Willis Alan Ramsey since 1972. I sure would like to see him again. I heard a young musician sing "The Ballad of Spider John", I was surprised that Young musicians were familiar with his music. But it sure was good to hear. Come on back Willis, Your fans miss you. Young and old alike!
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I hope you're still out there, writing. We miss you

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