PRESERVATION HALL, NEW ORLEANS 1987
Have you ever had a young dream settle behind you like dust on a country road? Often the dream never surfaces as reality takes precedence over making a living and paying the bills. For one Texan a job transfer stirred up a dusty dream.
1934 – 2006
Don Walser was born in Brownfield, Texas and grew up playing country western music and formed his own small band at age sixteen. He even opened for Buddy Holly later. While rock and roll was taking off, he choose to stay in the Texas Panhandle to raise a family instead of going to Nashville to pursue a career in music. He worked as a mechanic and then as an auditor for the National Guard while he continued to play his music locally with a band he had formed. A job transfer by the National Guard to Austin, Texas in 1984 brought his dreams closer
With Austin as a substitute for Nashville, Walser continued with his music in a city known for its progressive country style of music and for showcasing new talent. Ten years later at the age of sixty he retired from the National Guard and devoted his time to his real passion.
A recording contract soon came his way and he gained a wider audience. Walser played and sang mainly the old country and western songs and could yodel like the best of the old-timers. Surprisingly, he recorded with the Kronos Quartet; his rendition of “Rose Marie” with them is incredible. A reviewer in Playboy dubbed him “the Pavarotti of the Plains.” Many awards came to him and his Pure Texas Band; his music was featured in several movies. He played at the Grand Ole Opry and the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. His last video was “Hot Rod Mercury.”
In 2003 he retired from performing due to health issues. He died in 2006 of complications from diabetes.
Check out his magnificent version of “Danny Boy.” Is your dream dusty?
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