Rest in Peace, Oliver English

Paul English,Billy English, Willie Nelson and Oliver English

Our thoughts are prayers are with the English family and friends who are mourning the death of Oliver English today.  Larry H. Steel first posted about it here, and I appreciate his sharing the news.  I had been waiting for news of his condition.  This was posted at WillieNelson.com:

Posted: 02 April 2007 at 3:30pm

Oliver English passed away this morning.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the English family as they mourn their beloved brother.

Jan, from Texas reminded us that we have Oliver English to thank for bringing Willie and Paul English together:

In 1954, shortly after daughter Lana was born, the new family relocated to Fort Worth (Ira and his new wife lived there, as did sister Bobbie, widowed by Bud Fletcher and remarried). Nelson was a popular air personality on KCNC in Fort Worth. His sign–on: “This is your ol’ cotton pickin’, snuff dippin’, tobacco chewin’, stump jumpin’, coffee pot dodgin’, dumplin’eatin, frog giggin’, hillbilly from Hill County.” He played and sang live on the radio each day, and it was during this tenure that he first met drummer Paul English, who would join his band fulltime 10 years later and remains to this day.

“He was a Fort Worth pimp and part–time musician,” Nelson recalled, laughing. “Paul’s brother, Oliver English, was also a fine musician there in Fort Worth. Each day I’d do a live show, 30 minutes with just me and the guitar, and Oliver English. One day Paul came down, and the drummer that we had there didn’t show up.

“So we had Paul sit over there and we put a pair of brushes in his hand. That was the first time he ever played drums—he played trombone, or sax or something in the Salvation Army. But the first time he played drums was on the radio with me and Oliver.”

Funny How Time Slips Away
©1995 by Bill DeYoung

 

17 Responses to “Rest in Peace, Oliver English”

  1. Cheryl Gallegos Agbunag says:

    Oliver & I formed the duo “Sapphire” in Great Falls, Montana. It was a fusion of latin with country songs in which I’d sing a few lines in Spanish. And Oliver played his beautiful heart incorporating latin and jazz fusion. We were a hit! Oliver was more than a musican to me he was a trusted friend and father figure. I miss him so.

  2. LindaLee says:

    Thanks for sharing that story, Cheryl. He was such a talented person. So glad you got to have that experience with him.

  3. Cheryl Gallegos Agbunag says:

    Linda, Nice to meet you! I have several photos of Oliver & I would you like a copy for your web site to post? Plus, I have a few photos of Oliver when we was 40 years younger I’d like to scan to send to Paul & Billy. I also have a recordings of Oliver performing I’d need to have made into a CD to send to them as well.

    BTW, I’m currently serving on active duty in the USAF near Santa Barbara, CA & preparing to be deployed in 6 months. I’d love to have Willie, Paul & Billy come out to the base to meet w/the troops!

    Perhaps you can email me and we can chat about how to go about getting the photos/CD to Paul & Billy. And what suggestions for the troops you might have.

    Cheryl

  4. Pat Grogan says:

    I was brought to Ft Worth from Corpus Christi about 1959 with a job offer with Frankie Miller at a weekly Saturday night show.Looking for more work I set in with a band at Al Dexters “Rosas” club. Oliver was playing steel and took a likeing to me. Tucked me under his wing and guided me on bandstand manners etc.. he made a big difference in my music life. I met Willie during that time. He hired me off the bandstand to go to Vegas (Golden Nugget) for his first trip to Vegas to play bass.Paul would come around and set in on drums. At the time he was still learning drums but had very little trouble because of Olliver who guided him I’m sure.Oliver was a very special person to me
    After Willie I ended up with the house band at Panter Hall and became part owner. I owe my succes in Ft Worth to Oliver who always recomended me. I am forever in his debt.I only regret I didn’t go to see him more often.

  5. Jordyn English says:

    That is my Grandpa and my great uncles (English)

  6. LindaLee says:

    He was such a talented man.

  7. We met Oliver English and his wife and Son, little Oliver around 1978 in Sidney, Montana. They shared a meal or two with us. Their band was playing at the Triangle Club in Sidney at the time. We met a fine man with a wonderful family. We are sorry to hear of his passing. We moved to Carson City, Nevada in 1980 and lost touch.

  8. Phil Howard says:

    I met Oliver in 1974 or75 in miles city Mt. He had great stories one about his finger being shot off and put back on crooked so he could reach an extra fret. I was 17 yrs. old and he took me under his wing and taught me some music theory on my bass. What a wonderful man. I did’nt see him again until 1987 at a club in great falls.

  9. LindaLee says:

    Thanks for sharing that, Phil. That is interesting. What a great musician he must have been. That English family has so much talent.

  10. deanne english says:

    hes was a wonderful man, a great father in law ,i will miss his music,his advice,his smile,i miss you dad

  11. verle mcdaniel says:

    I MET OLIVER IN 1974 AT PLENTYWOOD MT. WE WERE BOTH WORKING AT DIFFERENT CLUBS.. HE LIKED MY SAX WORK.. WE WERE FRIENDS FOR MANY YEARS BOTH WORKING MT. AND N.D. CLUBS. WE GOT TOGETHER MANY TIMES AS WE PASSED ON THE ROAD.. HE WAS A TRUE FRIEND AND A VERY NICE MAN. I LOST TRACK OF HIM WHEN THE BOY BECAME SCHOOL AGE.. I HAD BEEN TOLD THEY HAD TAKEN A SIT DOWN JOB AT A CLUB IN GREAT FALLS MT. I WILL ALWAYS HAVE A WARRM SPOT FOR HIM AND MISS HIM.. (THE GOOD OLD DAYS AT THR CROSSROADS IN MILES CITY) REST IN PEACE OLD FRIEND…..VERLE MCDANIEL

  12. verle mcdaniel says:

    PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME ABOUT MY FRIEND

  13. Cheryl Gallegos Agbunag says:

    I do a few recordings of Oliver performing, in addition to a radio talk show he is being interviewed and talking about he got started in the music business. If any family members would like me to burn them a copy of the CD. Just email me at cagbunag@gmail.com

    All My Best To Oliver,
    Cheryl

  14. LindaLee says:

    Cheryl, Thanks for info! I will pass that info on. That is so cool that you have that.

  15. verle mcdaniel says:

    please contact about the cd that you have mentioned , i would like to have a copy

  16. Joel Hill says:

    I am sitting here watching the Palladia channel, Crossroads with Willie Nelson and was thinking about the English family, specifically Oliver English.
    He needed a couple of musicians to fill in to play at the Elks club here in Great Falls. Myself and one my other band mates had gotten the chance to get to fill in with him. Also, a couple of the guitar players that I play with had taken guitar theory from Oliver. Great pleasure to meet him!

  17. […] saw Oliver [English] bring his brother Paul English to the station one […]

Leave a Reply