This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll learn about a songwriter whose flame burned briefly but brightly.
Blaze Foley was born Michael David Fuller on December 18, 1949, in Malvern, Arkansas. He grew up in Texas, but traveled extensively, and for a while, lived in a tree house outside of Atlanta, Georgia. In 1976, he moved to Austin, where he quickly earned a reputation as a talented, if somewhat eccentric, singer-songwriter. He developed a small but devoted following performing in such local venues as the Austin Outhouse.
Blaze Foley lived a simple life, sleeping on friends’ couches and patching his boots with duct tape. Tragically, he was killed in a brawl outside a friend’s home in 1989. Foley’s songs have been recorded by John Prine, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Merle Haggard, and others. In 2011, the documentary film Duct Tape Messiah helped introduce Blaze Foley to a whole new generation of fans.
Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll meet a bluesman who played in corner bars and at Carnegie Hall.