Country Throwback: Watch Billy Joe Shaver’s Final Performance

by Jacklyn Krol

Billy Joe Shaver gave a final performance fit for a country music legend.

The Final Performance From Billy Joe Shaver

Shaver co-wrote his iconic song, “Live Forever,” alongside his son, Eddy. The song meant more to him personally after Eddy passed away on New Year’s Eve in 2000. He was just 39. Eddy was his guitar player and played with some other country music legends. Anytime Eddy was in attendance, he would bring him up to perform the song together.

After Eddy’s passing, Jeremy Lynn Woodall has become Shaver’s guitarist. Because of COVID-19, Shaver could not perform typical concerts. That did not stop him from recording performances. Woodall recorded a video of him and Shaver performing “Live Forever,” in Shaver’s kitchen. It was for a local radio station. That video was his final performance before his passing.

Watch the stunning rendition of “Live Forever,” below.

His Death and Legacy

Shaver passed away on October 28, 2020, at his home in Waco, Texas after suffering a stroke. He was 81. Shaver was credited for helping create the outlaw movement in country music.

For those that are not familiar with his solo music, listeners most likely know at least one of his masterpieces. He wrote Waylon Jennings’ 1973 record, “Honky Tonk Heroes.”

Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson also recorded songs of his. According to Rolling Stone, Nelson called him “the greatest living songwriter.”

Shaver was born on August 16, 1939, in Corsicana Texas. His mother, Victory, worked at a local honky-tonk. It was there that he learned to love music and the lifestyle. Once he grew up, he moved to Houston and met Townes Van Zandt at the Old Quarter venue. His new friend suggested that he give Nashville a try. He apprenticed under Harlan Howard and then worked for singer-songwriter Bobby Bare.

“Billy Joe was already there before anybody was talking about an outlaw movement,” Steve Earle told the outlet. “And I come from the generation that moved to Nashville because people started talking about an outlaw movement.”