Townes Van Zandt 1984


Townes Van Zandt 1984, hand-drawn here age 40, in Austin, Texas.

Van Zandt was an American singer-songwriter. He is widely held in high regard for his poetic, often heroically sad songs. In 1983, six years after Emmylou Harris had first popularized it, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard covered his song “Pancho and Lefty”, scoring a number one hit on the Billboard country music charts. Much of his life was spent touring various dive bars, often living in cheap motel rooms and backwoods cabins.

He was born in Fort Worth (1944) into a wealthy family, Townes Van Zandt was a third-great-grandson of Isaac Van Zandt (a prominent leader of the Republic of Texas) and a second great-nephew of Khleber Miller Van Zandt (a Confederate Major and one of the founders of Fort Worth). Van Zandt County in east Texas was named after his family in 1848.
In 1965, Van Zandt began playing regular shows at the Jester Lounge in Houston for $10 per night. There he met fellow musicians Lightning Hopkins, Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Doc Watson.
The years between 1968 and 1973 would prove to be Van Zandt’s most prolific era. From Nashville, he released six albums during the time period: “For the Sake of the Song”, “Our Mother the Mountain”, “Townes Van Zandt”, “Delta Momma Blues”, “High, Low and In Between”, and “The Late Great Townes Van Zandt”. Among the tracks written for these albums were “To Live Is to Fly,” “Pancho and Lefty”, and “If I Needed You”. These songs would eventually raise Van Zandt to near-legend status in American and European songwriting circles.

Van Zandt has been referred to as a cult musician and “a songwriter’s songwriter.” Musician Steve Earle, who met him in 1978 and considered Van Zandt a mentor, has championed the songwriter on a number of occasions: his eldest son, Justin Townes Earle, also a musician, is named after Van Zandt. Earle wrote the song “Fort Worth Blues” as a tribute to the singer in the late 1990s, and in 2009 released an album titled Townes, which featured all covers of Van Zandt songs.
Other musicians influenced by Van Zandt: Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, John Prine, Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris, Nanci Griffith, the Cowboy Junkies, Guy Clark, Norah Jones, Robert Plant, Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch to name a few.

He suffered from a series of drug addictions, alcoholism, and bipolar disorder. When he was young, the now discredited insulin shock therapy erased much of his long-term memory.

Van Zandt died on New Years Day 1997 at age 52, from cardiac arrhythmia caused by health problems stemming from years of substance abuse.

My personal favorite song of his, “Tecumseh Valley” and “If I Needed You”.

#TownesVanZandt, #MusicArt, #PaulKing, #PaulKingArtwerks,

SKU: N/A Category:


All prints are produced using Giclee printing process which is used for archival art reproduction. This process uses fade-resistant archival pigment-based ink which lasts over 100 years. All prints are printed on 310GSM, Luxurious mould-made, 100% cotton rag Archival Certified watercolor paper.

Archival Conservation Mat is included with your purchase. Mat is a high quality, 4 ply (1/16″) surround mat. These frame mats are acid-free & Lignin-free made with 100% virgin alpha-cellulose surface, core and backing papers. So your caricature with mat will fit into a standard comparable frame either “20” x 24″ or “16” x 20″ depending on the print size, (frame not included). Price also includes a Backer Board.

32″ x 40″ stretch canvas print is produced by Giclee printing process and are hand stretched over heavy duty American made white pine. The canvas print is varnished twice after printing. The canvas prints are ready to hang (complete with hanging wire).

Additional information

Weight .25 lbs
Dimensions 16 × 20 × .25 in
Print Size

32" x 40" Stretched Canvas Print $495, 20" x 24" Stretched Canvas Print $330, 11" x 14" Watercolor Print $95, 16" x 20" Watercolor Print $185