Monday, January 20, 2014

Passings: Steven Fromholz (1945 -2014)

Photo: stevefromholz.com
Singer/songwriter Steven Fromholz was killed in a hunting accident in Eldorado, TX on Monday.  He was 68.

Fromholz was hunting at the Flying B Ranch in Eldorado when a rifle fell and discharged while being transferred between vehicles. According to Chief Deputy George Ariste (to the Dallas News), the gun was in a case that was unzipped at the bottom. Fromholz grabbed the case it fell to the ground, discharging.

Fromholz was born in Temple, TX but moved between family after his parents divorced. He eventually settled with his mother in Denton, TX where he graduated from school and went to North Texas State University.

While in the U.S. Navy, Fromholz started writing poetry and music and playing in clubs with his friend Jack Elliott. After being a marriage failed, he began working with Dan McCrimmon in the group Frummox which produced one album, Frummox Here to There in 1969 on ABC Probe.

After the dissolving of the group, Fromholz joined up with friend Stephen Stills for the first world tour of Manassas but the experience left him frustrated with the rock and roll life so he returned Colorado where he became involved with Michael Nesmith. Steven recorded an album for the former Monkee's Countryside label, How Long is the Road to Kentucky, which was never released after the label's distribution deal fell through.

Fromholz moved to Austin where he became popular in area clubs, drawing the attention of Capitol Records where he recorded his solo debut, A Rumor In My Own Time. On that album was the song I've Always Been Crazy which was picked up by Willie Nelson for his album The Sound In Your Mind. Fromholz sang backup on Nelson's record which became the biggest commercial success of Steven's career.

The singer followed his debut with Frolicking in the Myth (1977) for Capitol and Jus' Playin' Along (1978) for Nelson's Lone Star label. Neither was a commercial success.

Fromholz went independent in 1980 with his own label, Felicity Records, releasing Fromholz Live! in 1979. He also became involved with white water rafting after being the featured entertainer for a company that put on multi-day tours. He eventually became a white water guide which he continued to do for the rest of his life. In addition, he became an first responder, EMT and a "singing cowboy" for trail ride groups.

Steven also was politically active, although in a bit of an unorthodox way. In 1993, he put together a peaceful "mooning" of the KKK and he and friend Molly Ivins organized a "sleep in" in front of the Texas State Capitol when the government threatened to arrest the homeless in Austin.

Along with Crazy, Fromholz' other career highlight was the Texas Trilogy, a series of three songs (Daybreak, Train Ride, Bosque Country Romance) that has been recorded by the likes of Lyle Lovett.

Fromholz struggled back from a 2003 stroke to continue as a performer and writer. He was named the Texas Poet Laureate in 2007.

Friend Lovett said in a statement "Steven Fromholz and his work will be remembered, enjoyed and studied as music and literature forever. His insight into human nature was equaled only by his ability to write about it in such detail that he made his listeners feel as if they were standing in the shoes of his characters, seeing what they saw, feeling what they felt."


1 comments:

Woodsong said...

"They just don't come no better than a bear"
No Steven, they don't! Rest In Peace Mr. Fromholz~

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