Billy Joe Shaver
Billy Joe Shaver has embodied the Outlaw spirit of country music from the start, placing cuts in the 1970s with Johnny Cash, David Allan Coe, Tom T. Hall, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, and more. After a hardscrabble youth, which can be traced through many of his most eloquent songs, Shaver met Jennings at a guitar pull in Texas. Encouraged by the legendary singer, Shaver tracked Jennings down in Nashville to pitch some songs. True to his word, Jennings took a break from his recording session and listened to Shaver sing the material -- and subsequently recorded an album almost entirely composed of Shaver's songs, 1973's Honky Tonk Heroes. That breakthrough paved the way for hits like John Anderson's "I'm Just an Old Chunk of Coal" and Johnny Rodriguez's "I Couldn't Be Me Without You." Shaver has maintained a touring and recording career for decades, performing enduring originals like "Black Rose," "Georgia on a Fast Train," "Live Forever," and "Old Five and Dimers Like Me." Other notable cuts include Bobby Bare's "Ride Me Down Easy," Patty Loveless' "When the Fallen Angels Fly," and Elvis Presley's "You Asked Me To." He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004.