Freddy Powers

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It can easily be said that country singer/songwriter Freddy Powers has some friends who are much more famous than he is. In fact, one could structure an entire country record collection around Powers'…
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It can easily be said that country singer/songwriter Freddy Powers has some friends who are much more famous than he is. In fact, one could structure an entire country record collection around Powers' powerful pals Merle Haggard, George Jones, and Willie Nelson. Like the latter country icon, Powers was raised in Texas and got his musical training playing with his family's band in West Texas honky tonks. In Fort Worth, he started working with Paul Buskirk, who would become a lifelong friend of Powers as well as another of Nelson's close collaborators. It was Buskirk, in fact, who first put Nelson and Powers together. The three men have all demonstrated a dedication to broadening the perimeters of country & western, particularly in creating a fusion of country honky tonk and swing jazz. This interest runs throughout Powers' career. During an early period when he was based out of Nevada, he created a successful show combining comedy and Dixieland jazz. During this time, he began writing songs with a country-jazz sound and became re-acquainted with Nelson. The pony-tailed country star used a game of golf as the setting to invite Powers in on his album, Somewhere Over the Rainbow. This was a big move for Powers: he was involved as co-producer as well as player, and the feather in his hat began to resemble that of a peacock's when the record went on to sell more than a million copies. The success led to a call from Merle Haggard, inviting Powers out to California. These two were kindred spirits and were soon living alongside each other in houseboats on Lake Shasta. Breakfasting at noon with the Hag seemed to help Powers' songwriting chops. In 1983, his song "I Always Get Lucky With You" was a monster country hit. He went on to pen half the songs on the Haggard album It's All in the Game, and also scored some chart action writing for George Jones. Some television exposure resulted from this, including a well-received appearance on Austin City Limits. And, with the release of The Country Jazz Singer, there was finally a full album devoted to Powers' efforts as a leader. He toured the next six years with Haggard, then decided to head back to his Texas roots. Subsequent CD releases have highlighted his gypsy jazz style.