Richard Dobson

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Richard Dobson
Richard Dobson 2011.jpg
Background information
Birth name Richard James Joseph Dobson II
Born (1942-03-19)March 19, 1942
Tyler, Texas, U.S.
Died December 16, 2017(2017-12-16) (aged 75)
Diessenhofen, Switzerland
Genres Country, folk
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, musician
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Years active 1970s – 2017
Labels Buttermilk, Rinconada, RJD, Brambus, Sundown
Associated acts State of the Heart, Dick & the Dirt, Earthmover

Richard James Joseph Dobson II (March 19, 1942 – December 16, 2017) was an American singer-songwriter.

He was born in Tyler, Texas. He spent time in the 1970s with Townes Van Zandt, Mickey White, Rex "Wrecks" Bell, Guy Clark, Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, and "Skinny" Dennis Sanchez.[citation needed]

His songs have been recorded by famous artists such as David Allan Coe ("Piece of Wood and Steel"), Guy Clark ("Forever, for Always, for Certain"; "Old Friends"), Lacy J. Dalton ("Old Friends"), Nanci Griffith ("Ballad of Robin Winter-Smith"), and Kelly Willis ("Hole in My Heart").[1]

His song "Baby Ride Easy" was recorded as a duet by Carlene Carter and Dave Edmunds as well as by Billie Jo Spears and Del Reeves and by the Carter Family. For the TV show Christmas On The Road in Montreux in 1984 it was performed by Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.[citation needed] Their duet version was released in 2014 on the posthumous album Out Among the Stars.[2]

He wrote an account of his years with Townes Van Zandt and the others mentioned above, The Gulf Coast Boys, first published in 1979.[3] A second book, Pleasures of the High Rhine — A Texas Singer in Exile,[4] was published in February 2012. He irregularly published a newsletter, Don Ricardo's Life & Times, which was mostly about his personal experiences, first in print and later published on his website. A collection of his newsletters from 1978 to 2012 were released as a book in 2013.[5]

He moved to Switzerland in 1999 and lived there until his death in 2017. In November 2005 he recorded an album in Nashville with Thomm Jutz, a friend and musician he often played and recorded with in Europe. The album On Thistledown Wind was released in 2006. The following album, Back at the Red Shack, was recorded at the same studio in Houston, Texas where his first two albums were recorded. He returned to Thomm Jutz's studio in Nashville again in 2008 for the recording of From a Distant Shore and in 2013 for Here in the Garden.[citation needed]


Richard Dobson died on December 16, 2017, aged 75.[6]



Year Single Label
1977 "Baby Ride Easy" b/w "Learning to Forget You" Buttermilk
197x "The Hard Way" b/w "Swamp Rat" Rinconada/Buttermilk


Year Album Label
1977 In Texas Last December Buttermilk
1979 The Big Taste Rinconada
1983 Save the World RJD
1986 True West RJD
1988 Live at the Station Inn RJD
1990 Hearts & Rivers Brambus
1993 Blue Collar Blues Brambus
1994 Amigos - Richard Dobson Sings Townes Van Zandt Brambus
1994 Mankind Sundown
1995 Backtracks: Save the World/True West RJD
1995 One Bar Town Brambus
1996 Love Only Love Brambus
1998 Salty Songs Brambus
1999 Global Village Garage R&T Musikproduktion
2001 Hum of the Wheels Brambus
2002 Doppelgaenger Brambus
2003 A River Will Do Brambus
2006 On Thistledown Wind Brambus
2007 Back at the Red Shack Brambus
2009 From a Distant Shore Brambus
2013 Here in the Garden Brambus
2014 Gulf Coast Tales Self-Released


  1. ^ "Richard Dobson". Discogs. Retrieved 2018-01-22. 
  2. ^ "Johnny Cash - Out Among The Stars". Discogs. Retrieved 2018-01-22. 
  3. ^ "The Gulf Coast Boys". Retrieved 2018-01-22. 
  4. ^ "Three Richard Dobson books now available on Amazon". No Depression. 2014-03-11. Retrieved 2018-01-22. 
  5. ^ Richard J. Dobson. The Years the Wind Blew Away: Don Ricardo's Life and Times. The Newsletters of Richard J. Dobson. Diessenhofen, Switzerland (2013); ISBN 978-1493519521.
  6. ^ "Revered Songwriter and 'Heartworn Highways' Performer Richard Dobson Has Died". Retrieved December 18, 2017. 

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