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Johnny Bush

Johnny Bush (1935–2020), “Whiskey River” co-songwriter

by Kirk Fox

Johnny Bush was a country music singer-songwriter whose song “Whiskey River” became a signature song for outlaw country legend Willie Nelson.  

  • Died: Friday October 16, 2020 (Who else died on October 16?
  • Details of Death: Died at the age of 85 at a hospital in San Antonio, his drummer and touring manager Ronnie McHan told the Washington Post.   
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“Whiskey River”  

Johnny Bush was a multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter who had a string of country music hits in the 1960s and 1970s. He was known for his distinctive tenor voice which led to the nickname “the Caruso of country,” a reference to opera singer Enrico Caruso. The Texas native co-wrote and released the honky tonk country song “Whiskey River” in 1972. Bush’s version hit the top 20 on the country charts. His friend Willie Nelson recorded the song for his influential 1973 outlaw country album ‘Shotgun Willie’ and it became an even bigger hit for him. Nelson has often opened his concerts with the song.  

What they said about him

Full Obituary: Washington Post


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