Archive for the ‘Passings’ Category

Rest in Peace, Don Reed

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

Don Reed has passed away, at his home in Texas.  He and Willie Nelson were friends for over 70 years, and grew up in Abbott, Texas together.


Willie Nelson and friends, Joyce Reed, Fayedell Clements, Don Reed, Jackie Clements and Bobby Messer, taken on Willie’s bus, at Carl’s Corner, Texas.  Thanks to Stephen Girsh, for sharing this photo.

Janis from Texas took this picture at Carl’s Corner of Willie and Bobbie Nelson’s friends from Abbott:  Donald and Joyce Reed, and Fayedell and Jackie Clements.

When Willie Nelson learned that the Methodist Church in Abbott, where he and Bobbie and Don Reed attended with their families, was going to be sold and moved out of town, he bought the church building.   Don Reed said Willie told him, “Don, I bought that church.  And I am depending on you to take care of it.”  “And here I am,” said Don.

Rest in Peace, Jon Lacey

Sunday, April 1st, 2018

Jon Lacey has passed away. Jon was a close friend and associate of Luck Films, and is shown here making a film in Luck, Texas. Thanks so much to Keith Moyer for sharing these photos.

Jon Lacey has passed away.   Jon was a close friend and associate of Luck Films, and is shown here making a film in Luck, Texas.  Thanks so much to Keith Moyer for sharing these photos.

We still miss you, Bee Spears (1949 – 2011)

Friday, December 8th, 2017

Photo:  Jay Janner

Bee Spears passed away on December 8, 2011.

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Rest in Peace, Mel Tillis, thanks for the music

Sunday, November 19th, 2017


Willie Nelson, “He Won’t Ever Be Gone”

Friday, October 27th, 2017

Rest in Peace, Fats Domino (2/26/1928 – 10/24/2017)

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

Willie Nelson has recorded “I Hear You Knockin’” for the album, Goin’ Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino, due for a Sept. 25 release on Vanguard Records. The double-disc set will also feature Elton John (“Blueberry Hill”), Paul McCartney (“I Want to Walk You Home”) and Tom Petty (“I’m Walkin’”), as well as Robert Plant, B.B. King, Neil Young, Lucinda Williams, Norah Jones, Bonnie Raitt and many more. The project will help raise funds for musical instruments that will be donated to public schools in New Orleans, Domino’s hometown.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Even The Losers (Live at Farm Aid 1986) #RIPTomPetty

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers perform “Even The Losers” live via satellite for the Farm Aid concert in Austin, Texas on July 4, 1986. Farm Aid was started by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp in 1985 to keep family farmers on the land.

Rest in Peace Harry Dean Stanton

Thursday, September 21st, 2017


“Thank you, Ben Dorcy”

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

photo:  Cheri Schultz
by:  Hannah Barnes

Ben Dorcy III, a respected roadie for many stars, died Saturday, Sept. 16 at age 92, Chron reports.

Dorcy, who was dubbed the “world’s oldest roadie,” by Willie Nelson, worked for stars including Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, The Highwaymen, George Jones, Hank Williams Jr. and Frank Sinatra.

Nicknamed “Lovey,” Dorcy is said to have invented the concept of a roadie’s job in the 1950s. He got his start on tour with Hank Thompson, later becoming John Wayne’s personal assistant and valet. Dorcy met Nelson while Dorcy was working with Ray Price, and the pair quickly struck up a working relationship that would last for decades.

Towards the end of his life, Dorcy worked with Nelson during the Texas dates of the star’s tours, and spent the rest of his time working with Texas country acts.

Dorcy was the first inductee into the Roadie Hall of Fame in 2009.

After Dorcy’s passing, Willie Nelson‘s Facebook page shared a few words in remembrance of his friend.

“Ben ‘Lovey’ Dorcy was our friend and part of the Willie Nelson Family,” the post read. “Thank you Ben for years of hard work and sound advice. We love you.”


“Ode to Ben”, by Waylon Jennings

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

Dave Thomas remembers Ben Dorcy, King of the Roadies

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

Ben Dorcy died on Saturday at the age of 92. He has worked with Willie Nelson since the early 1960s
by:  Dave Thomas

I stuck out my hand and one of the roadies — the one pushing 80 years old — took it. For a minute I was that close to John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe. Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. Willie, Waylon and everybody who was somebody in Texas music for the last half-century.

But he shrank back when I introduced myself as a journalist, excusing himself to supervise the packing up of Robert Earl Keen’s gear. Not rude. But not interested in being a story.

That was Ben Dorcy, of course. “The world’s first roadie,” Willie Nelson would tell you. “King of the Roadies,” a documentary film states. “Lovey,” as named by the musicians who treasured him.

Dorcy died on Saturday at the age of 92, after 70 years of working the roads with musicians too numerous to name, but primarily with Willie Nelson since 1960. Yes, he was still working — I saw him in the heat of Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic just a couple months ago.

If you prowled Willie’s Picnic the way I did, you’d see him, too. For several years in a row in Fort Worth, he’d be out and about among the crowd in a morning, getting T-shirts from the merch stands for VIPs backstage. Then in the afternoon, you could spy him backstage watching Kris Kristofferson or Billy Joe Shaver from the wings and smoking his ever-present pipe.

Dorcy might have started out as a “band boy,” but he ended up as a godfather of cool. His presence was a benediction, even if many fans were unaware of the blessing.

A couple years back, Texas Monthly ran an excellent article on Dorcy, talking about his start with country star Hank Thompson, his service in the Navy during World War II and his brief stay in Hollywood, where he worked for John Wayne.

Even as he became a revered part of the Willie Nelson Family over the past 50 years, he took time to work with some of Nelson’s contemporaries, as well as the younger generation of Texas musicians — including Pat Green, Cody Canada, Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen. The number and nature of the secrets that Dorcy took with him Saturday morning must have been quite something.

Dorcy didn’t quite get his due in Willie’s various biographies and autobiographies — the story where Willie’s first wife, Martha, brains Dorcy with a glass ashtray and puts him in the hospital is told a few times in a few ways — but Johnny Bush devotes a page to him in his autobiography “Whiskey River (Take My Mind)” and shares a photo of a tall, thin and clean-shaven Dorcy.

“To me there’s not another person like him,” Bush wrote. “Willie and I have talked about it. We think Ben has hustled the world and that one day he’s just going to turn around and laugh — ‘I had all you guys fooled!’ He’s that kind of individual.”

Dorcy will, eventually, we hope, star in a documentary called “King of the Roadies.” A few years back it was said to be in post-production. Even if we don’t see it, the trailer sure is something.

Houston Chronicle article about the movie shares some good details about the film, which is being directed by Willie daughter Amy Nelson and her cousin Trevor Doyle Nelson. A Rolling Stone article shares a quote from Amy Nelson that explains why Dorcy was so beloved.

“He has no living relatives, yet he is the patriarch of a family of artists, and fellow roadies who love him dearly,” Amy Nelson says of Dorcy. “They call him ‘Lovey’ and he calls them ‘Lovey’. Despite all odds, he shows up to work on tour after tour after tour.”


Read Dave’s entire article here:

Miss Margo Price and Ben Dorcy

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

Rest in Peace, Ben Dorcy

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

Willie Nelson:   Ben Dorcy, The Worlds First Roadie, 1925-2017

“Ben ‘Lovey’ Dorcy was our friend and part of the Willie Nelson Family. Thank you Ben for years of hard work and sound advice. We love you.”


Ben Dorcy worked in the entertainment business on the road for 70 years.  He worked with Willie Nelson & Family,  John Wayne, Waylon Jennings, , Johnny Cash,  Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline and many more.  Up until his passing, Ben still  worked with several bands including Randy Rogers, Wade Bowen, Cody Canada, Kevin Fowler, Cory Morrow, and Willie Nelson.  These artists supported Ben, and put on a fundraising “Bed Dorcy Day” at Floores Country store every year to raise money to care for him.


Presumably at a 4th of July Picnic in the 1970's...Ben Dorcy, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Margot Kidder, and Bee Spears.

Ben met Willie Nelson in the early 1960’s when they were both working for Ray Price.  Ben was the roadie, and Willie was the bass player.  When Willie took his own show on the road, he hired Ben, who was already legendary for his ability to get the job done, despite obstacles and perceived impossibilities.




Thanks to Andy Bush, from Georgia, for his photo of Johnny Bush and Ben Dorcy, who kindly posed for him, at Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic.

Old Friends

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

Glen Campbell (1936-2017)

Rest in Peace, Glen Campbell

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017