John Townes Van Zandt, 7 March 1944, Fort Worth, Texas, USA, d. 1 January 1997, Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, USA. A country and folk blues singer and guitarist, Van Zandt was a native Texan and great-grandson of one of the original settlers who founded Fort Worth in the mid-nineteenth century. The son of a prominent oil family, Van Zandt turned his back on financial security to pursue the beatnik life in Houston. He was diagnosed as a manic depressive in his early twenties, and the resulting insulin shock therapy wiped out his long-term memory, a condition that informed his songwriting but also contributed to a crippling alcohol addiction.
First thumbing his way through cover versions, Van Zandts acoustic sets later graced the Jester Lounge and other venues where his bawdy bar-room ballads were first performed. Although little known outside of a cult country rock following, many of his songs are better publicized by the cover...
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