© 2024 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Johnny Bush, country singer and songwriter of 'Whiskey River,' dies at 85

Johnny Bush
Video screen grab
Johnny Bush

Legendary country music figure Johnny Bush died on Friday. His death was announced via social media.

Bush was known widely for writing the song "Whiskey River," made popular by Willie Nelson.

Bush was born in Houston, and he began his musical career after moving to San Antonio.

Early in his career, Bush played drums with both Ray Price and Willie Nelson before striking out on a solo career.

Bush suffered from a neurological disorder which affected his voice in the mid 1970’s.

He lost half of his vocal range and sometimes could not speak.

He later was able to regain most of his vocal abilities and made a musical comeback in the mid 1980’s. Bush continued to perform, and most recently appeared virtually for Willie Nelson’s 4th of July picnic this year.

Bush was 85.

TPR was founded by and is supported by our community. If you value our commitment to the highest standards of responsible journalism and are able to do so, please consider making your gift of support today.

Jerry Clayton can be reached at jerry@tpr.org or on Twitter at @jerryclayton.