Texas Loses Music Legend Steven Fromholz

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by Cheyenne Benson

Jan 20, 2014

Steven Fromholz, Texas Singer and Songwriter (Photo courtesy of stevenfromholz.com)
Steven Fromholz, Texas Singer and Songwriter (Photo courtesy of stevenfromholz.com)
In Brief: 
  • Texas Singer and Songwriter Steven Fromholz died in a hunting accident Jan. 19 near Eldorado

Schleicher County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that Texas Singer and Songwriter Steven Fromholz died from injuries in a Jan. 19 hunting accident on a ranch near Eldorado. According to a report on Houston's CBS affiliate KHOU-TV, Fromholz was accidentally shot when his gun fell out of its storage bag and discharged, fatally injuring the musician. Fromholz had been hunting feral hogs on his ranch near Eldorado. He died in the county hospital in Eldorado according to the Sheriff.

The 68-year-old was known for the song “I‘d Have to be Crazy” recorded with Willie Nelson and was named Poet Laureate of Texas in 2007. Lyle Lovett recorded Fromholz’s “Texas Trilogy” songs on his tribute album “Step Into This House.”

Local musician Tom "T. Gozney" Thornton, leader of San Angelo's Old Hat Band, fondly recalls time spent with Fromholz. They performed together frequently during the heyday of the Texas music scene in the 1970s and 1980s.

“I ran into him at the Red Lobster a couple months ago and we were going to get together and do a little writing, but he was raising goats and cattle,” said Thornton. “From what I understand, he had a shotgun accident.”

Thorton and Fromholz played the 1975 Kerrville Folk festival together and Thorton described Fromholz as an incredible storyteller. Thornton mentioned that Fromholz used to guide people on raft rides down the Rio Grande and sing songs and tell stories along the way.

Fromholz had a band called Frummox in the 1970s, and was in the band Manassas with Steven Stills of Crosby, Stills and Nash fame. In addition, he played Willie Nelson's Picnic almost every year.

According to Thornton, in Fromholz's latter years as a performer, he concentrated his talent on the Texas folk music circuit, playing in the larger cities of Dallas, Houston, and Austin. "He was a regular at the Kerrville Folk Festival," Thornton recalled.

“Mr. Fromholz was certainly the best known member of our Denton High Class ’63,” said Joe Specht in an email to those who knew Fromholz. “Everyone has at least one Fromholz story in their hip pocket.”

Fromholtz will be buried in the Fort McKavett Historical Site Cemetary in Menard County. The service will be Friday, Jan. 24 at 2:00 p.m.

Here is Fromholz performing his song, "Man in the Big Hat" that was recorded by Willie Nelson and Jerry Jeff Walker. This video was shot on the Texas Connection, circa 1990.