Sanger “Whitey” Shafer—a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame who supplied songs for George Jones, George Strait, Keith Whitley, and many others—performs live and offers a life- and career-spanning discussion during this 2008 program, part of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Poets and Prophets series.
Shafer learned to sing by listening to his boyhood idol, Lefty Frizzell. When he moved to Nashville in 1967, Shafer had his songs recorded by Jones, and began releasing strong honky-tonk singles under his own name.
Shafer and Frizzell became close friends, and they co-wrote the classics “That’s the Way Love Goes” and “I Never Go Around Mirrors.” Shafer supplied Strait with “Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind,” “All My Ex’s Live in Texas,” and “Overnight Success,” and penned Whitley’s #1 country hit “I Wonder Do You Think of Me” and Moe Bandy’s breakthrough, “I Just Started Hatin’ Cheatin’ Songs Today,” among many other hits.
Here, Shafer discusses his early years in Whitney, Texas; acquiring his nickname “Whitey”; learning to sing and play guitar (age twelve); moving to Nashville (1967); befriending songwriters Dallas Frazier, Doodle Owens, and Hank Cochran; developing a close relationship with Lefty Frizzell; pursuing his own recording career; and writing eleven songs for George Strait.
Shafer performs “That’s the Way Love Goes,” “Bandy the Rodeo Clown,” “Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind,” “All My Ex’s Live in Texas,” and “I Never Go Around Mirrors.”
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