Sanger D. “Whitey” Shafer might be a name you’ve only encountered in liner notes, but the running buddy of the late Lefty Frizzell and writer of hits for Merle Haggard, Keith Whitley, George Strait, and many others is a remarkable singer in his own right.
A 1989 inductee into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Shafer celebrated his 80th birthday last year. The latest news online is that he was in a Nashville hospital “with acute respiratory distress along with pneumonia” early last year, so it’s unclear how much of the singing voice is still intact. But Whitey’s still around… and the songs will live forever.
[Edit: Looks like there was a Nashville benefit show, That’s The Way Love Goes – A Benefit for Legendary Singer Songwriter Whitey Shafer, last October to help with mounting medical bills. This article includes a P.O. Box and PayPal link for donations.]
Here’s the best of Whitey Shafer to be found on YouTube.
“I Never Go Around Mirrors”
“That’s the Way Love Goes”
“I Wonder Do You Think of Me”
“All My Exes Live in Texas”
Embedding disabled, but can be viewed here.
2010 interview with Lee Roy Parnell for the Texas Heritage Songwriters’ Association. Ends with an acoustic performance of “Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind.”
There are some Whitey Shafer albums available on vinyl and CD on the secondhand market. There are especially fine versions of “Does Forth Worth Ever Cross Your Mind” and “All My Exes Live in Texas” on A Songwriter’s Tribute to George Strait. Amazon also has a downloadable Whitey Shafer collection (of unclear provenance) called All My Ex’s Live in Texas.