The country musician has died at the age of 85 surrounded by his family and some of his closest friends, roughly a month after he performed in New Braunfels in Texas.
Johnny Bush, the Texas country music star who co-wrote Willie Nelson‘s hit “Whiskey River”, has died, aged 85.
The singer/songwriter passed away on Friday (16Oct20).
A post on his official Facebook page confirmed the news, reading, “Texas Country Music Hall of Famer, Country Music legend, nicknamed the Country Caruso, a friend to everyone in the music business, a friend to all of his fans, Johnny Bush passed away this afternoon surrounded by his family and some of his closest friends. Please keep the Bush family in your heart and prayers. A jewel of a man we have lost.”
Details surrounding his death have not been released, but Bush had performed in New Braunfels in Texas last month (Sep20), and had a show lined up in Fort Worth in November.
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Bush played drums, guitar and fiddle but was best known for his singing voice.
He released his biggest hit, “Whiskey River”, in 1972 and Nelson recorded the tune on his 1973 album, “Shotgun Willie”. He often opened shows with the song.
Willie and Johnny were former members of Ray Price‘s Cherokee Cowboys band in the early 1960s.
Not long releasing “Whiskey River”, Bush was diagnosed with a rare condition, called spasmodic dysphonia, which impacted his voice, but he continued to perform and enjoyed a career resurgence in the 1990s.
Bush and Nelson’s friendship continued to the singer’s death – Johnny was a regular at Willie’s Fourth of July Picnic concert.