Thursday, June 4, 2009

Townes Van Zandt in the 1975 film "Heartworn Highways"

Townes Van Zandt was one of the greatest songwriters ever. While there are now tons of audio recordings of Townes' work, thanks to many reissues and releases after his tragic death, there is very little video of him, especially in his prime from the early to mid 1970s.

Townes' best moments on film were captured in the 1975 documentary Heartworn Highways (which was released in 1981). This excellent movie looks at the lives of Texas country singers such as Charlie Daniels, David Allen Coe, Guy Clark, Steve Earle, and Rodney Crowell. The documentary is on DVD and is well worth seeking out. You can read more about it on Wikipedia here.

Heartworn Highways featured footage of Townes at home with his girlfriend Cindy and his good friend Seymour Washington. Townes interviews Seymour, a 79 year old blacksmith, who offered some great insights into his life and some words of wisdom before being visibly moved by the two songs that Townes then sings. Here is the video and the mp3s of both of these classic performances.

Townes Van Zandt - Waitin' Around To Die (from Heartworn Highways)

Townes Van Zandt - Pancho & Lefty

Townes Van Zandt - Pancho and Lefty (from Heartworn Highways)

Look for a post on Steve Earle's new album of TVZ covers, Townes, soon and much more to come about Townes Van Zandt's music in the near future. Thanks for reading.

Download the excellent 26 track long soundtrack to Heartworn Highways for $9.99 at

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