The so called 'Cosmic Cowboy' outlaw country music of the 1970s, the music that made the world want to 'go home with the Armadillo,' was made up of headliners who ranged from Willie Nelson to Jerry Jeff Walker to Michael Martin Murphey.
But the sound that coalesced around the old Armadillo World Headquarters and essentially turned Austin into the groundbreaking 'live music capital of the world' that it is today would probably not have happened without the music of songwriter and 'Texas Poet Laureate' Steven Fromholz, who died Sunday at the age of 68.
Fromholz wrote music for artists as varied as Nelson to Lyle Lovett, and was also a singer in his own right, playing his trade in the venues of Sixth Street for decades.
Fromholz died in what his family said was a firearms accident, as he prepared to shoot feral hogs which were a menace to his ranch in Schleicher County, south of San Angelo.
Fromholz' albums include the iconic Texas songs of "A Rumor in my Own Time" as well as his two "Frummox" albums, and "Step Inside This House." According to his web site, Fromholz was planning a 70th birthday concert and tour next year. His best known song "I'd Have to be Crazy" was covered by Willie Nelson and was listed as one of the 'essential' Texas country songs. It was really the only commercial success of Fromholz' highly influential career.
Fromholz, who had a decades-long partnership with Nelson, was also a frequent performer at Nelson's 'Willie Nelson Picnic' concerts which have taken place off and on around July Fourth for the past forty years.
Fromholz was also Texas' official Poet Laureate, as named in 2007 by Gov. Rick Perry.