Songwriter Whitey Shafer is one of country music's great dark-horse success stories... A veteran on the Texas musichalls, Shafer moved to Nashville in the late 1960s and was signed to George Jones' label, Musicor, where Jones recorded a few of his songs and Shafer cut a few singles. Nothing really caught fire, though, until the '70s when several of his songs became chart-topping hits, notably "I Never Go Around Mirrors," which was one of Lefty Frizzell's last major hits and "That's The Way Love Goes," which Johnny Rodriguez took to the top of the charts. Shafer's hardcore honkytonk sensibilities found a home on early Moe Bandy albums and later, decades after he first came to Nashville, on huge hits by fellow Texan George Strait, who recorded "Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind" and "All My Ex's Live in Texas." Shafer never really scored as an artist, although his handful of albums and scattered singles are hard-country cult faves. Here's a quick look at his work...
Whitey Shafer "My House Is Your Honky Tonk" (Bear Family, 1984) (LP)
Whitey Shafer "Memphis Memories" (Bear Family, 1984) (LP)
Whitey Shafer "So Good For So Long" (SoCor, 1997)
Whitey Shafer "I Never Go Around Mirrors" (SoCor, 1999)
Whitey Shafer/Various Artists "A SONGWRITER'S TRIBUTE TO GEORGE STRAIT, v.1" (Compadre, 2008)
A bunch of folks whose songs that George Strait took to the top of the charts deliver a heartfelt homage, Back 40 style, reverse-engineering their own material. Whitey Shafer is a standout; other artists include Gretchen Peters, Sonny Throckmorton, Mack Vickery, Dave Kaz, Jeff Stevens, Steve Bogard and others. Probably most fans can stick with the George Strait "originals," but it's still an interesting idea.
Hick Music Index