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Boxcar Willie

Biography

Boxcar Willie was possibly the most successful invented personality in the annals of nation music. Along with his kitschy persona and stage take action — highlighted by his incredibly accurate impersonation of the teach whistle — Willie performed in to the stereotype from the lovable, good-natured hobo who spent his existence driving the rails and performing tunes. Since his recognition had more regarding his picture than his music, it seems sensible that he was massively effective in Britain, where he personified Americana. Willie’s British achievement carried him to American achievement in the first ’80s, where he ironically was regarded as transporting the torch for traditional nation, because he held the stereotypes alive. Given birth to Lecil Travis Martin, Boxcar Willie by no means done the railroads — his dad did. Nevertheless, Willie adored the railroads and held running aside to trip the trains when he was a kid. He also adored country music, specially the tunes of Jimmie Rodgers, Roy Acuff, and Ernest Tubb. As an adolescent, Boxcar Willie would perform under his provided name, eventually learning to be a regular around the Big D Jamboree in Dallas, TX. In his early twenties, he offered in the Air flow Pressure. After he remaining the support, he continuing to sing in night clubs and radio displays. In the past due ’50s, he started carrying out as Marty Martin, while operating blue-collar jobs throughout the day. Marty Martin released an recording, Marty Martin Sings Nation Music and THINGS LIKE That, around 1958, nonetheless it was overlooked. In the middle-’60s, Martin published a song known as “Boxcar Willie,” predicated on a hobo he noticed on a teach. Martin continuing to struggle in his musical profession until the middle-’70s. By that point, he had turn into a DJ in Corpus Christi, TX. In 1975, he made a decision to risk everything he previously on one last possibility at stardom. He shifted to Nashville and created the Boxcar Willie personality, using his tune as the base. Primarily, Boxcar Willie wasn’t extremely effective, but he previously a lucky break in 1976 when he was known as directly into replace a unwell George Jones in a Nashville membership. During that efficiency, he was discovered by Drew Taylor, a Scottish reservation agent. Taylor brought Boxcar Willie to England to get a tour, where he was enthusiastically received. Afterwards that season, he released his initial record, that was a moderate achievement within the U.K. Through all of those other ’70s, Willie toured Britain and every tour was more lucrative, culminating within a efficiency on the International Nation Music Celebration at Wembley in 1979. After his Wembley present was completed, he received a position ovation — the efficiency set up Boxcar Willie being a superstar. His next record, King of the street, became an enormous achievement in England, achieving number five in the record graphs; the record was helped immeasurably by its associated tv advertisements, which marketed the record with the email. By the finish of 1980, Willie got end up being the most effective country designer in Britain, and his American achievement had just started. King of the street was available via an American tv advertisement. “Teach Medley” was a hit on the united states graphs, and he was learning to be a well-known appeal on U.S. concert circuits. In 1981, he received an area on the united states Music Hall of Fame’s Walkway from the Celebrities and joined up with the Grand Ole Opry. Boxcar Willie loved his amount of time in the limelight, learning to be a regular on the tv screen display Hee Haw in 1982 and turning out albums as fast as he will make them. “Poor Information” became his just American country Best 40 strike in 1982. In 1985, he performed a hobo in Nice Dreams, a film on the subject of Patsy Cline. From the middle-’80s, his celebrity experienced faded, but he continued to be a favorite concert attraction, especially in England, in to the ’90s. Boxcar Willie passed away in Branson, MO, on Apr 12, 1999, following a three-year struggle with leukemia.

Quick Facts


Full Name Boxcar Willie
Died April 12, 1999, Branson, Missouri, United States
Profession Singer-songwriter
Nationality American
Parents Birdie Brown, Edna Martin
Music Songs Wabash Cannonball, Hank and the Hobo, Winds of Yesterday, Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes, I Love the Sound of a Whistle, Boxcar Blues, Hank Williams Medley, Last Train to Heaven, London Leaves, Daddy Was a Railroad Man, From a Boxcar Door, Hobo Heaven, Boxcar's My Home, Trucker's Prayer, Mule Train, We Made Memories, How Fast Them Trucks Will Go, Big Freight Train Carry Me Home, Give Me 40 Acres, Gypsy Lady And The Hobo, Ain't Gonna Be Your Day, Lonesome Whistle, The Lord Made a Hobo Out of Me, Don't Blame Me for What Happened Last Night, The Day Elvis Died, From a Rolls to the Rails, Phantom 309, Lefty Left Us Lonely, Thank You Old Flag of Mine, Country Music Nightmare, Song Of Songs, Reflections of an Old Man
Albums Not the Man I Used to Be, King of the Hoboes, Last Train to Heaven, Boxcar Willie & Friends Live at Wembley, Achy Breaky Heart, Boxcar Willie Sings Hank Williams & Jimmie Rodgers, Six Days on the Road, Winds of Yesterday, Train Medley, Best Loved Favorites, The Best of Boxcar Willie, The Greatest Collection Ever Made, King Of The Freight Train, Truck Driving Favorites, King of the Railroad, My Christmas Favorites!, King of the Road, Christmas With Boxcar Willie, Boxcar Country, King of the railroad - 21 Country tracks, 20 Miles Of Track, Boxcar's Best, The Spirit of America, The Boxcar Willie Collection, Hank the Hobo, 20 Boxcar Greats, Stars Sing Songs for Kids, Super Hits, Red River Valley, Early Recordings, Your Cheatin' Heart, Boxcar Blues, Country Legend Vol. 5, King Of The Road - 4 Track EP, Country Greats, 20 Greatest Hits, Heroes of the Big Country - Boxcar Willie, Legends Of Country, How Great Thou Art, Wabash Cannonball, Six Play: Boxcar Willie - EP, The Best of, American Songs: The Very Best Of Johnny Cash & Boxcar Willie, Golden Hits, Truck Drivin' Son Of A Gun, The Magic Collection, Boxcar Willie - On Stage, Falling in Love, Boxcar Willie Selected Hits, Peace in the Valley, Boxcar Willie Saw The Light
Nominations Country Music Association Award for New Artist of the Year
Movies A Place to Grow, The Singing Cowboys


  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
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  • Quotes
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#Fact
1 First cousin of Tommy Lee Jones.
2 Country singer.
3 Spent 22 years in U.S. Air Force.


Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
A Place to Grow 1998 Carl Betz
Gordy 1995 Branson Performer
Sweet Dreams 1985 Old Man in Jail
Party with the Rovers 1983 TV Series Guest

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Today's Country Music 2006 Video performer: "Hank Williams Medley"
Gordy 1995 performer: "Y'all Come"

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
A Christmas Card from Branson 2013 Video documentary
Hee Haw 1981-1986 TV Series Himself
Country Gold 1982 TV Movie Himself
Country Comes Home 1982 TV Special

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Today's Country Music 2006 Video Himself

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