5 Facts You Might Not Know About Townes Van Zandt

Townes Van Zandt, celebrated Texas songwriter, would have turned 80 on March 7, 2024, but died in 1997 at 52 due to cardiac arrhythmia after surgery.

Van Zandt, renowned for insightful songs, battled mental illness and substance abuse, leaving a profound impact on country and folk music.

His compositions, including "Pancho and Lefty," were embraced by artists like Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, influencing generations of songwriters.

Van Zandt's diverse experiences include rooming with Roky Erickson of The 13th Floor Elevators and writing a song for Cowboy Junkies, which they recorded.

Despite mutual admiration, Van Zandt declined Bob Dylan's invitations to collaborate, prioritizing his independence over celebrity associations.