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Richard Dobson

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  • Years Active: 1970s, 1980s, 1990s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Called the "Hemingway of country music," by Nanci Griffith, who covered his tune "The Ballad Of Robin Wintersmith", Richard Dobson is one of Texas' most literate songsmiths. David Allen Coe recorded his song, ":Piece Of Wood And Steel", while Guy Clark used the tune, "Old Friends", written with Dobson and Suzanne Clark, as the title track of his 1988 album.

A native of Tyler, Texas, Dobson dreamed of becoming a novelist from earliest memory. Graduating from Georgetown University, in 1966, with a Bachelors of Science degree in Spanish, he spent two years in the Peace Corps in Chile, writing two novels -- Seasons And Companions and The Gulf Coast Boys -- and several articles for the British fanzine, Omaha Rainbow.

His dreams of becoming a novelist were curtailed, however, by music. Playing guitar and writing songs from the age of nineteen, he became a regular of the late-1960s and early-1970s Texan songwriter scene that included Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Mickey Newbury and honorary Texan, Jerry Jeff Walker.

Dobson's debut album, In Texas Last December, financed with money earned by working on shrimp boats and oil riggers, in 1976, included a tune, "Baby Ride Easy" that was later covered as a duet by Carlene Carter and Dave Edmunds.

Continuing to record without much commercial success, Dobson moved to Europe in the early-1990s. He recorded his 1999 album, Global Village Garage, in Germany. In 2003, Swiss label, Brambus, re-issued his early recordings.

Dobson's first novel, The Gulf Coast Boys, was published in 1998.