Should Willie Nelson retire from music

Johnny Bush

Actually, he has already been away from the window several times and his career seemed over. But the Texan, born in Houston on February 17, 1935 as John Bush Shinn III, is a fighter. He doesn't know the word give up. But one after the other.

He grew up listening to the music of Ernest Tubb, Hank Thompson and especially Bob Wills and western swing. It was clear to him early on that he would go to music. Bush was 17 when he went to San Antonio and discovered the world of honky tonks, alcohol and women. Not only was he noticed because of his unusual voice, he had also become a good drummer. Collected in various bands Johnny Bush Lots of experience in the live music business.

In 1963 Ray Price brought him into his band, and a certain Willie Nelson was also there. The Cherokee Cowboys were considered the best band in country music for many years. His further path led him to Nashville, because in the meantime Bush wrote his own songs. His buddy Willie Nelson needed him for his band "The Record Men" - the close friendship between the two has continued to this day.

Nelson produced Johnny Bush’s first album "Sound Of A Heartache" in 1967. Nelson’s "You Ought To Hear Me Cry" premiered in the country charts in the same year. Bush repeatedly sniffed at the big breakthrough, especially when he at least reached number 7 with “You Gave Me A Mountain” (it should remain his highest rating), but the knot did not break. He was particularly popular in Texas, and he couldn't convince the rest of the nation. That, Bush hoped, would change from 1972, when he signed with RCA.

His own song "Whiskey River" (which became Nelson’s theme song a little later) developed splendidly, and lots of concerts were on the table when fate struck. Bush: "I was really scared because my voice changed dramatically, it was as if my throat was constricting, it was difficult for me to get any sound out."

Johnny Bush was nicknamed "Country Caruso" because of the enormous range of his voice - all of a sudden a considerable part of that voice was gone. Sometimes he couldn't speak at all. And nobody knew the reason. Bush kept trying, but in 1974 his time at RCA ended. At times Bush became addicted to Valium, and the alcohol was not good for him either. An odyssey to doctors began; it took until 1978 before the cause could be determined. There was no remedy for this; Bush tried language training. At least relieved that he now knew where he was, he sporadically made new records for various companies and, above all, he continued to perform. But he was repeatedly plagued by intense stage fright as to whether it would go well - a feeling he had never known before.

Medicine continued to develop and in 1985, with the help of a therapist, it was possible to significantly improve voice and language. With this new enthusiasm returned to Bush, he could usher in a new phase of his career. With the 1994 album "Time Changes Everything", which he recorded in Nelson’s Pedernales studio, he initiated an extremely active phase, as by 2002 a number of other albums were made. In 2002, something happened that he had no longer expected. Bush: “There was a new medicine: Botox. The injections resulted in my voice being almost completely restored. It was like a miracle for me. "

Since then, Johnny Bush has been celebrated like a mentor, especially by his Texan colleagues. He regularly publishes his own albums and is constantly brought in by other artists as a guest for their recordings. The final proof that Johnny Bush has regained his old strength was provided in 2007 with the splendid album "Kashmere Garden Mud: A Tribute To Houston's Country Soul". Incidentally, Bush has appeared repeatedly in Germany, not least thanks to the efforts of his long-time close friend Hermann Lammers Meyer. Bush can be heard regularly as a guest on his albums.

Johnny Bush’s current album is entitled "Who’ll Buy My Memories" and was released in August 2011 on the lively indie label Heart of Texas Records. It contains 16 classics of honky tonk music, including "Pop A Top" with Jim Ed Brown as a duet partner. Meanwhile, a joint album with Johnny Rodriguez was released on the same label.

Despite his 76 years of age, Bush is not even thinking about quitting. Instead he smiles: “What should I withdraw from? From breathing? You only quit a job if you don't like it. Performing is not a job, it's what I love. When I have got my voice back with God's help, I have to do with it what it is there for: sing. "