"The breadth of talent still astounds - Willie Nelson, Janis Joplin, Jerry Jeff Walker, Doug Sahm, Delbert McClinton, Michael Martin Murphey, Willis Alan Ramsey, Kinky Friedman, Steve Fromholz, Bobby Bridger, Billy Joe Shaver, Marcia Ball, and Townes Van Zandt. Some are living legends. Others turned their talents to new venues when the ever-fluid Austin scene evolved away from cosmic cowboys and outlaw country."
From the dust jacket of the 2004 edition of
Jan Reid's The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock
Bobby Bridger, Neihardt Day,
John Neihardt Center
Bancroft, Nebraska, August, 1978
Even though Bobby Bridger has been on the road for over three decades with his trilogy of acclaimed one-man theatrical shows A Ballad of the West, he has continued to make appearances as a singer/songwriter across the country. His original style, found mostly on his earlier RCA records, landed him two gigs alongside B.W. Stevenson and Asleep at the Wheel on the first and third seasons of PBS's Austin City Limits, not to mention an entire chapter in Jan Reid's legendary book about the Austin music scene, The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock. Bridger also spent years working in Nashville with Fred Carter, Jr. and produced several albums for RCA records. Indeed, his career as a singer/songwriter has only continued to blossom since then.
Bridger is also the anthem composer of America’s foremost annual gathering of songwriters – the Kerrville Folk Festival. In 2004 Bridger’s beloved song Heal In The Wisdom celebrated its silver anniversary as the anthem of the internationally famous festival. He has been on its Board of Directors during this time, serving as a judge for the New Folk Competition, which has helped to catapult the careers of such musicians as Townes Van Zandt, Janis Joplin, and others (Bridger was the original New Folk Competition winner!).
While Bridger is noted for his one-man shows, his friends and colleagues are some of America's finest musicians - John Inmon and Bob Livingston. In 2005 Bridger and John Inmon went into rehearsals specifically to delve into Bridger’s deep publishing catalog of over one-hundred original songs to bring them back to life on stage. For more information on Bridger and Inmon's performances, check out our Contact Page.
Photo by Scott Newton, Austin City Limits
May 29-June 4, 1976
Austin City Limits-Music
Songwriters Bobby Bridger and B.W. Stevenson perform. Bridger's songs include 'Fompin' Around' and 'People Carry On'. Stevenson does his own 'Kokomo' and 'On My Own', and other songwriters numbers, including 'Cold, Cold Winter'. (Repeat: 60 minutes)