Songwriter Sanger D. ‘Whitey’ Shafer Dead at 84
Country songwriter Sanger D. "Whitey" Shafer has died. The tunesmith, who wrote George Strait's "All My Ex's Live in Texas" and many more well-known songs, died on Saturday (Jan. 12), at the age of 84.
Born on Oct. 24, 1934, in Whitney, Texas, Shafer grew up listening to Bob Wills and Ernest Tubb, and admired the work of Lefty Frizzell, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame reports. He began his music career in his school band, but despite being interested in music, songwriting was not his first career choice: Shafer did not write his first song until he was 30 years old, instead spending time in the Army, performing in clubs and holding down various day jobs.
Shafer moved to Nashville in 1967, working as a carpenter to make money and co-writing on the side. He signed a record deal with RCA Records and a publishing deal with Blue Crest Music, and, in 1970, a George Jones cut -- "Tell Me My Lying Eyes Are Wrong" -- earned Shafer his first Top 20 country song.
Shafer's biggest hits include Strait's "Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind," Keith Whitley's "I Wonder Do You Think of Me" and "That's the Way Love Goes," recorded by both Johnny Rodriguez and Merle Haggard, and co-written by Shafer and his hero, Frizzell. Kenny Chesney and Lee Ann Womack are also among the artists who recorded Shafer's work.
"Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind" and "All My Ex's Live in Texas" earned Shafer CMA Song of the Year nominations; the latter song also received a Best Country Song Grammy Awards nod. Shafer was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1989.
Further information about Shafer's cause of death and funeral arrangements has not been made available.
Country Artists Who Died in 2018