The 'Wacko from Waco' once survived a heart attack onstage

WACO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Corsicana-born Billy Joe Shaver, the seminal outlaw country songwriter of “Honky Tonk Heroes,” has died at 81.

Shaver wrote songs for Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Bobby Bare.

He was among the original group of outlaws and maverick country singers in the ‘70s, writing and singing songs like “I Been to Georgia on a Fast Train” and “Old Five and Dimers Like Me.”

Shaver’s lyrics reflected his hardscrabble upbringing in Texas, and he helped popularize the outlaw country genre with songs like “Willie the Wandering Gypsy and Me” about Nelson.

He released many of his own albums in the last four decades, including several with his guitarist son, Eddy Shaver, who died tragically on New Year’s Eve in 2000.

The singer’s last tweet was posted on April 24, 2019 and is a video for the song “Live Forever.”

Social media saw tributes from local honky-tonk Billy Bob’s Texas and various local musicians when word of Shaver’s passing was announced.

Texas native Dan Rather also expressed sadness upon learning Shaver was dead.