Archive for the ‘Passings’ Category

Thanks for the music, Leon Russell. RIP

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

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Rest in Peace, Leon Russell, who passed away at his home in Nashville, his wife has reported.  He was still recovering from heart surgery earlier this year, but planned on resuming his tour in January 2017.

 

Thanks, Leonard Cohen, for the music and the poetry

Friday, November 11th, 2016

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www.9news.com.au

Leonard Cohen, the singer and songwriter, whose work spanned five decades, has died at the age of 82.

Sony Music Canada confirmed his death on the singer’s Facebook page.

“It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away,” the statement read.

“We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries. A memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date. The family requests privacy during their time of grief.” A cause of death was not given.

Canadian Cohen was hugely influential during the sixties and early seventies. His work found a deep resonance with the profound changes in society, and his songs dealt with love and hate, sex and spirituality, war and peace, ecstasy and depression.

He went on to enjoy later success into his eighties and released his final album, You Want It Darker, earlier this year.

Cohen was born in Quebec in 1934 and learned the guitar in his teens and became influenced by the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca.

He later moved to live on the Greek Island of Hydra and from there wrote his poetry collection Flowers for Hitlerand the novels The Favourite Game and Beautiful Losers during the 1960s.

Cohen’s foray into music began with a visit to New York in 1966 to gain a taste of the city’s thriving folk scene.

There he met folk singer Judy Collins who included two of his songs on her album In My Life.

Cohen soon established himself and became the songwriter for musicians such as Collins, Willie Nelson and James Taylor.

Rest in Peace, Buckwheat Zydeco, aka Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural Jr.

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

Paul Simon and Buckwheat Zydeco performed, “Man With the Blues, at the Gershwin Prize Award honoring recipient Willie Nelson in Washington D. C. last November

Buckwheat Zydeco, aka Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural Jr., died Sept. 24 of lung cancer in Lafayette, Louisiana, the town where was born and lived his whole life. He was 68.

In an interview a few years ago, he told his fans:

“Buckwheat’s coming to have a party with you! Bring two pairs of shoes. Let your hair down. We’re going to have fun.”

Services for Guthrie Thomas

Friday, July 15th, 2016

budfapick

“Our friend and guitar pick maker, Guthrie Thomas passed Wednesday morning from a heart attack in his sleep.

I just spoke with his wife Toni again. She has finalized his Funeral arrangments.

Hites Funeral Home and Creamatory
438 W Sunset Rd.
Henderson, NV 89011

Formal Services and the Eulogy will be on Tuesday July 19, 2016 at High Noon”

 

Buddy “Budrock” Prewitt
Willie Nelson & Family
Lighting Director

Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good

Rest in Peace, Guthrie Thomas, and thank you

Friday, July 15th, 2016

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Willie Nelson and Guthrie Thomas backstage at the Smith Center, in Las Vegas, Tuesday, August 13, 2013.

I was so so sad to hear that Guthrie Thomas has passed away. His wife called Budrock yesterday from Las Vegas , telling him that Guthrie had passed away in his sleep.  Willie Nelson fans and music lovers know Guthrie for his Guitar Pick designs and collaborations with Budrock Prewitt, Lighting Director for Willie Nelson & Family.  He was generous with his music, his stories and his beautiful guitar picks.  He had great respect and admiration for Willie Nelson & Family and his crew.

Services has been set:

Hites Funeral Home and Creamatory
438 W Sunset Rd.
Henderson, NV 89011

Formal Services and the Eulogy will be on Tuesday July 19, 2016 at High Noon”

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www.gtpicks.com

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Guthrie and Budrock sent me this framed pictures of Willie Nelson and guitar picks a few years ago, and I have always treasured it,  And every few weeks there would be a sweet note from him in the mail, with a few guitar picks, which he knew I was crazy about.

guhrie letter

I met Guthrie only once in person, at a Willie Nelson & Family show, of course, in Las Vegas. He and his wife Toni went to the show and I got to hang out with them a little bit. But I talked to Guthrie on the phone so much, we became friends. He was a talented musician and creative songwriter, recording music at his home in Nevada.   He and Buddy sent me these one Christmas

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He didn’t complete the 8th grade, but later went back to college and obtained three degrees in music, pharmacy, and psychology.  He was still a licensed pharmacist, practicing at the time of his death.  His childhood was interesting, growing up on a ranch in Californi used for movie sets, friends with Ramblin Jack Elliott, Ringo Star, and too many other artists to name, all helping to inform the interesting adult he grew into and the life he led.  His motto:

Follow Your Dream and You Will Never Get Lost

Read more about his life, see photos, read stories, and listen to his music:

www.GuthrieThomas.com

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Most of us know and appreciate Guthrie for his beautiful guitar picks. As owner and operator of GTguitarpicks.com, Guthrie made guitar picks for Willie Nelson & Family, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, and many other famous bands and artists.

Thanks, Guthrie, for the music, the guitar pick art, the stories and your friendship.

Here’s more samples of his art.

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prezdjango picks

Rest in Peace, Freddy Powers

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Singer, songwriter, guitar player Freddy Powers has passed away. He was 84.

Sirius/XM Radio broadcast a tribute to Freddy Powers in 2012:

Willie’s Roadhouse salutes Texas songwriting hero Freddy Powers, author of five #1 hits for Merle Haggard (including “A Friend in California” and “Let’s Chase Each Other Around the Room Tonight”), who is currently battling Parkinson’s Disease. Dallas Wayne will host this one-hour special, featuring songs written and recorded by Powers, as well as his emotional performance from Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic in 2010.

July, 2011Freddy received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Texas Music Academy

April 27, 2011Freddy Powers was Recognized and Honored by the “Center for Texas Music” and is a finalist for the title of “Texas State Musician”.

May 2007 Inducted in to Cowtown Society of Western Music as a Hero of Western Music October 1, 2006 Inducted into the Western Swing Society “Hall of Fame”

May 20, 2006 Received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Texas Guitar Association

April, 2006 The Freddy Powers Parkinson’s Foundation was founded to benefit Texans with Parkinson’s

March 12, 2006 Inducted into the “Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame”

See Freddy in the new Big and Rich video release “Coming To Your City” includes song “Filthy Rich” a Freddy, B&R, Bill McDavid and Sonny Throckmorton collaboration

The Country Jazz Singer Collectors Edition personally autographed….. AVAILABLE AT THE FREDDY POWERS WEBSITE and Waterloo Records in Austin, Texas order on line www.cdbaby.com/freddypowers or www.mytexasmusic/freddypowers

*New Freddy Powers “My Great Escape” cd Produced by and featuring Merle Haggard. Title cut “My Great Escape” written by Big and Rich also sing harmonies on this cut!!!!!!

“Freddy Powers Through the Years” features 50 years of Freddy’s music beginning at 23 years old and last song 73 years old.
more….. at www.freddypowers.com.

 

Farewell, Guy Clark

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

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www.npr.org
by: Bob Collins

Guy Clark died today. The singer and songwriter’s career always carried an important message: Don’t waste your life not following your passion.

He was an art director at a CBS TV station in Houston in the ’60s, but his love was playing the guitar and writing a few words.

That’s when he got some advice from the woman who would be his wife one day, he said in an interview a decade ago.

She told him, ‘Look, if you’re going to be a songwriter, be a songwriter. Don’t dabble at it and then spend the rest of your life wondering what might have been.’ With that challenge ringing in his ears, Guy moved to L.A. and brought Susanna with him. He got a job in the Dobro factory there and called up every song publisher in Southern California.

“We were living in this garage apartment in this straight neighborhood in Long Beach,” Clark remembers. “We woke up one morning to the sound of the landlord chopping down this beautiful grapefruit tree, and my first reaction was, ‘Pack up all the dishes.’ It sounded like a line in a song, so I wrote it down.

“Just about the only discipline I have as a songwriter is to write down an idea as soon as I have it. You wind up with a stack of bar napkins, and the real work comes the next day or week when you sit down and go through them to see if any of them makes any sense.

“I played in a little string band while I was in L.A., and one night we were driving back from a gig in Mission Beach at four in the morning and I was dozing off. I lifted my head up in this old Cadillac, looked out the window and said, ‘If I can just get off of this L.A. Freeway without getting killed or caught.’ As soon as I said it, I borrowed Susanna’s eyebrow pencil from her purse and wrote the line down on a burger wrapper. If I hadn’t, I might not have that song today.

Read rest of article, see photos and videos. 

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www.clarionledger.com
by:  Scott Barretta

Songwriter Guy Clark turned 70 last month, and his legacy is celebrated on the new double CD This One’s For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark (Music Road Records). Among the 30-plus contributors are fellow country elders Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson and artists mentored by Clark including Steve Earle and Rodney Crowell, who opens the album with That Old Time Feeling.

A native of West Texas, Clark cut his teeth in the Texas folk scene of the ’60s, where compatriots included Jerry Jeff Walker, who closes the album with Clark’s new composition My Favorite Picture of You. Walker later helped introduce Clark to a larger audience through his early ’70s versions of L.A. Freeway, covered here by Radney Foster, and Desperadoes Waiting on a Train, which is revisited by Nelson.

In 1971 Clark settled in Nashville, and he and his wife Susanna’s home became the center of a new generation of songwriters. Those included Earle, who gives a solo performance of The Last Gunfighter Ballad, and the late Townes Van Zandt, whose son John Townes Van Zandt II tackles Let Him Roll, a tragic story about a wino’s lost love.

The latter first appeared on Clark’s 1975 debut album Old No. 1, which also featured Texas 1947, a recollection about the first diesel locomotive performed by Robert Earl Keen, and the poignant one-night stand tale Instant Coffee Blues, sung by Suzy Boggus.

Other female artists include Emmylou Harris, whose duet with John Prine on Magnolia Wind is one of the set’s highlights.

Fellow Texan James McMurtry takes on Cold Dog Soup, a Dylanesque ode to a joint populated by characters including Jack Kerouac and Tom Waits.

Other Lone State contributors include Lyle Lovett (Anyhow I Love You) and Joe Ely (Dublin Blues).

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

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We miss you already, Merle Haggard; rest in peace

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

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The word “legend” usually makes an appearance at some point when discussing Merle Haggard. It’s an acknowledgment of his artistry and his standing as “the poet of the common man.” It’s a tribute to his incredible commercial success and to the lasting mark he has made, not just on country music, but on American music as a whole. It’s apt in every way but one.

The term imposes an aura of loftiness that’s totally at odds with the grit and heart of Haggard’s songs. “I’d be more comfortable with something like “professor,” he once told a reporter, and the description suits him. Studying, analyzing and observing the details of life around him, Haggard relays what he sees, hears and feels through his songs. The lyrics are deceptively simple, the music exceptionally listenable. Others who have lived through those same situations recognize the truth in the stories he tells. But Haggard’s real gift is that anyone who hears his songs recognizes the truth in them. When a Merle Haggard song plays, it can make an innocent-as-apple-pie grandma understand the stark loneliness and self-loathing of a prisoner on death row; a rich kid who never wanted for any material possession get a feel for the pain of wondering where the next meal will come from; a tee-totaling pillar of the community sympathize with the poor heartbroken guy downing shots at the local bar.

As a result, Haggard found his songs at the top of the charts on a regular basis. Immediately embraced by country fans, he also earned the respect of his peers. In addition to the 40 #1 hits included here, Haggard charted scores of Top Ten songs. He won just about every music award imaginable, both as a performer and as a songwriter, and in 1994 was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Celebrating the life of Joey Floyd in Forth Worth (February 20, 2016)

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

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Thanks so much to Janis Tillerson, who attended the memorial service for Joey Floyd service in Forth Worth on Saturday and shared the program. Paul and Janie English, and Billy English and Martha English, all from Forth Worth, also attended the service with Janis.  LG Gorham and Tom Hawkins flew in in the morning for the funeral to honor their friend and flew home later the same day.

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Joey Floyd, Wendy Strout Gorham, and LG Gorham

Obituary from Fort Worth Star Telegram

Joey Michael Floyd Obituary
Joey Michael Floyd, professional musician, beloved husband, son, brother and uncle, went to be with the Lord on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016. Joey was 47 years old. Service: A service celebrating his life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Pantego Bible Church, 8001 Anderson Blvd. Following the service, Joey will be laid to rest in Emerald Hills Memorial Park.
Family and friends will gather from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday in the Great Room at Robertson Mueller Harper. Memorials: In lieu of flowers, consideration of contributions to MusicCares, 1904 Wedgewood Ave., Nashville, Tenn. 37212, in his memory, is suggested. Born Dec. 17, 1968, in Arlington, Joey was the son of Jerry Jay and Penny Lu Rigby Floyd.
He began playing guitar with his Grandpa Frank Rigby at an early age and at 5 years old auditioned for the Grapevine Opry with Johnnie High. At the age of 10 he played Willie Nelson’s son in the major motion picture “Honeysuckle Rose,” and with his sister, Jill, began touring with Willie and the Family for the next two years, embarking on a lifelong friendship. Joey and Jill continued playing music, becoming the first regulars on Johnnie High’s Country Music Revue before Joey graduated from Eastern Hills High School in 1987.
After attending TCU, Joey and Jill continued to pursue music with their own band, Eldorado, playing such events as Farm-Aid and Willie’s 4th of July Picnic. In 1997, Joey joined Toby Keith’s Easy Money Band playing acoustic and electric guitar, fiddle, banjo, as well as backup vocals. Joey played all over the world sharing his many gifts including roles in such films as “Leap of Faith,” “Broken Bridges,” and “Beer for My Horses,” numerous television shows such as “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Ellen,” “The View” and many others as well as USO tours, the Super Bowl, the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day Halftime Show, and countless live performances on awards shows.
Despite his many talents, Joey remained a humble man who never met a stranger. He worked hard, played hard, and loved harder. He loved making people laugh with his quick wit and sharing new jokes with old friends like Willie Nelson. He loved cooking, touring with the Easy Money Band and watching his favorite shows, “Judge Judy,” “Seinfeld” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” with Laurin and their two dogs, Cowboy and Diesel. Survivors: In addition to his wife of eight years, Laurin Wright Floyd, Joey is survived by his parents, Jerry and Penny Floyd; and sister, Jill and her husband, Mike Muzyka, and their daughters, Kennedy and Logan.

Published in Star-Telegram on Feb. 17, 2016

 

Guitarist Joey Floyd passes

Monday, February 15th, 2016

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We learned that musician Joey Floyd has passed away from complications related to his bout with cancer.

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photos: Jerry Schatzberg

Willie Nelson fans first met Joey when he played the part of Buck Bonham’s son, in the 1980 movie  ‘Honeysuckle Rose’.  Joey went on to form his own band, “El Dorado”.

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photo: Barbara Davidson

He was a long time member of Toby Keith’s band, playing guitar, fiddle, banjo.    Joey is  reportedly responsible for initially introducing Toby and Willie.  Toby made the news and paid tribute to Joey on his facebook page.

His band played at Farm Aid in Ames, Iowa in 1993.

 

Willie Nelson, Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, “One More Cowboy”

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

Rest in Peace, Dan Hicks, who died on February 6, 2016, at 74.

www.santafenewmexican.com

Dan Hicks, a singer, songwriter and bandleader who attracted a devoted following with music that was defiantly unfashionable, proudly eccentric and foot-tappingly catchy, died Saturday at his home in Mill Valley, Calif. He was 74.

The cause was liver cancer, said his wife, Clare.

Hicks began performing with his band, Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, in the late 1960s in San Francisco, where psychedelic rock bands like Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead dominated the music sound. The Hot Licks’ sound could not have been more different.

At a time when rock was getting louder and more aggressive, Hicks’ instrumentation — two guitars (Hicks played rhythm), violin and stand-up bass, with two women providing harmony and backup vocals — offered a laid-back, all-acoustic alternative that was a throwback to a simpler time, while his lyrics gave the music a modern, slightly askew edge.

He came to call his music “folk swing,” but that only hinted at the range of influences he synthesized. He drew from the American folk tradition but also from the Gypsy jazz of Django Reinhardt, the Western swing of Bob Wills, the harmony vocals of the Andrews Sisters, the raucous humor of Fats Waller and numerous other sources.

“It starts out with kind of a folk music sound,” Hicks explained in a 2007 interview, “and we add a jazz beat and solos and singing. We have the two girls that sing, and jazz violin, and all that, so it’s kind of light in nature, it’s not loud. And it’s sort of, in a way, kind of carefree.”

Songs like “How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away?,” “Milk-Shakin’ Mama” (“I found the girl who keeps the ice cream/And now it’s I who scream for her”) and “Hell, I’d Go,” about a man whose fondest wish is to be abducted by aliens, displayed his dry and often absurd wit, as did his gently self-mocking stage presence. But he had his serious side, too: “I Scare Myself,” a longtime staple of his repertoire, was a brooding, hypnotic minor-key ballad about being afraid to love.

Hicks’ records never sold in the millions, but at the height of his popularity in the early 1970s, he and his band appeared on network television and headlined at Carnegie Hall, and he appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone.

Fellow musicians were among his biggest fans: Guest artists on “Beatin’ the Heat” (2000), the first Hot Licks album after a long hiatus, included Bette Midler, Elvis Costello and Tom Waits, while Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffett joined him in the studio four years later for “Selected Shorts.”

Daniel Ivan Hicks was born on Dec. 9, 1941, in Little Rock, Ark., the son of Ivan Hicks, a career military man, and the former Evelyn Kehl. His family moved to Santa Rosa, Calif., near San Francisco, when he was a child.

He took up drums in sixth grade and guitar as a teenager. After graduating from San Francisco State University with a degree in broadcasting, he performed in local folk clubs while also playing drums with dance bands.

From 1965 to 1968, Hicks was the drummer and occasional vocalist with the Charlatans, widely regarded as the first San Francisco psychedelic band, although he himself remembered it as less a band than “just kind of some loose guys.” While still with the Charlatans, he formed the first version of the Hot Licks.

The group’s 1969 album, “Original Recordings,” sold poorly, but three subsequent albums for the independent Blue Thumb label established it as a successful touring act.

Hicks nonetheless disbanded the group in 1973, at the height of its popularity. “It was getting old,” he explained in 1997. “We became less compatible as friends. I was pretty disillusioned, had some money, and didn’t want to do it anymore.”

His career stalled after that, but he returned in the 1980s with a new group, the Acoustic Warriors, which duplicated the Hot Licks instrumentation without the female singers. In the late 1990s, he added two singers and brought back the Hot Licks name.

The band, with frequent changes in personnel, toured regularly and continued to perform occasionally in recent years when Hicks’ health allowed, most recently in December in Napa, Calif.

In addition to his wife, Hicks is survived by a stepdaughter, Sara Wasserman.

“I will always be humble to my dying day,” Hicks, tongue in cheek as usual, said when interviewed in 2013 by Roberta Donnay of the Hot Licks. “On my dying day I will explain to the world how lucky they have been to be alive the same time as me.”

Rest in Peace, Jackie King

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

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Guitarist Jackie King, who toured and recorded with Willie Nelson and Family, passed away on January 24th, following a stroke, and heart attack.  He gave this 2002 interview to the San Antonio Current,  his home town.

Jackie of All Trades

http://m.sacurrent.com

“They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But, man, there’s no boundary line to art.” — Charlie Parker, as quoted by jazz critic Nat Hentoff in liner notes from Jackie King’s The Gypsy (Indigo Moon)Spend any time at all with virtuoso jazz guitarist Jackie King, and you’ll come to two conclusions: first, that he has an uncanny awareness of the connectedness of all things. Perhaps that’s why a typical year in King’s career will find him touring the world as a member of Willie Nelson’s Family band; putting the finishing touches on Getting Into Jazz, Volume II, a book on guitar instruction (Mel Bay Publications); performing on National Public Radio’s Piano Jazz as a guest of Marian McPartland; working on a trilogy of albums based on celestial themes (Moon Magic on the Indigo Moon label); and sitting with his family at Mr. Gatti’s on the South Side, speaking with me about plans to record an album on the Solitary Confinement label with his son, San Francisco bay area rapper DOBAD, a poet and artist known for his edgy lyrics and free-style chops. “Yeah, jazz and rap have so much in common. Both are uncensored music of the streets. In rap, the voice is used like an instrument. You can hear bebop phrasing. And rap free styling is pure improvisation, just like jazz.”

Then he laughs, which brings us to the second conclusion: he has an uncanny awareness of the humor in all things — perhaps something to do with that connectedness. King is a great storyteller, especially when the joke is on him. He tells of the time when he and Nelson were being honored at the American Indian Exposition in Anadarko, Oklahoma. One participant, an older gentleman, asked King to autograph a dollar bill. He looked at the signature, then at King. “You’re not Willie Nelson?”

King laughed. “Do I look like Willie Nelson?”

The man shrugged. “I don’t know what Willie Nelson looks like.” He then looked at the dollar bill and said, “Oh, well, I guess I can still spend it.”

King roars with laughter.

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Growing up in San Antonio, King was introduced to guitar by his father, who played in a Western swing band. He studied with local legend Spud Goodall and began playing professionally at age 12. His teen years found him listening to jazz, transcribing Charlie Parker’s sax solos for guitar, and beginning his life-long friendship with Nelson. In the late ’60s, he moved to San Francisco with his buddy, Doug Sahm, and played with jazz greats such as Chet Baker and Bill Evans. After teaching at the Guitar Institute of Technology in Los Angeles, he returned to San Antonio and opened the Southwest Guitar Institute, where alumni like blues guitarist Neal Black and pedal-steel player Gib Wharton benefited from his musical philosophy: “Be true to yourself. The motive is the manifestation.” He now divides his time between homes in San Antonio and San Francisco.

(more…)

Still Missing Bee Spears

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

December 9th marks  anniversary of the date of Bee Spears passing.

DSC_0822 by you.

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photo:  Janis Tillerson

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photo thanks to Carol Sidoran, 12.9.12

Rest in Peace, Bradley (8.01.1998 – 11.12.2015)

Friday, November 13th, 2015

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So sad to hear that Paula Nelson’s dog Bradley has passed away.   He was so sweet.  I got to hang out with him during a couple of Paula and her band’s shows here in Colorado, and fell in love.  He was one of a kind.  He was so protective of Paula.   He would watch her walk up on stage, and watch her entire show.  Her biggest fan, and she was his.

“It breaks my heart to bring this news….I lost my best friend Bradley this morning. He was my everything. Words cannot describe my sadness. But he left this world peacefully and he will always be in my heart and watching over me.

Love you my Bradley
08-01-1998/11-12-2015”

xoxoox Paula

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Bradley came to Colorado on every tour, even in the winter. He never complained, either. Paula shopped and made sure he had warm clothes.

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