B.W. Stevenson (October 5, 1949 - April 28, 1988) was a country rock/pop singer and songwriter with a smooth, laid-back style and a distinctive twang who became famous during the 1970s. Born Louis Charles Stevenson in Dallas, Texas and known as "B.W." (which stood for "Buckwheat"), he signed with RCA in 1972 and released his eponymous debut album that year. Stevenson was one of a number of performing artists identified with the progressive country genre of the early 1970s, a rock-influenced songwriter-based movement based in Austin that later spawned Outlaw and other harder-edged country styles.
Stevenson made his debut on the Pop/Rock charts in 1972 with "Say What I Feel" which was followed by "Don't Go To Mexico" (1973). He then charted with the original and lesser-known version of the Daniel Moore-penned "Shambala" (1973) which became a Top 5 hit for Three Dog Night whose version hit the charts one week after Stevenson's. He had his greatest hit with the catchy and upbeat "My Maria" (1973), a song he co-wrote with Moore which topped the Adult Contemporary charts and made the Pop/Rock Top 10. This smash later topped the Country charts for Brooks & Dunn in 1996 and earned the duo a Grammy the following year for Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. Stevenson had several other hits through 1977 that included "The River Of Love" (1973) and "Down To The Station" (1977).
Stevenson's many albums include "My Maria" (1973), "Calabasas" (1973), "Lost Feeling" (1977), and the Contemporary Christian collection, "Lifeline" (1980). His final album, "Rainbow Down The Road" (1990), which was completed posthumously, features a duet with Willie Nelson. Stevenson's life was tragically cut short in 1988 at age 38 from complications after heart valve surgery. Since his passing, Poor David's Pub in Dallas has held an annual songwriting competition in his memory. Jan Reid dedicated a chapter to Stevenson in his book, "The Improbable Rise Of Redneck Rock."
- UPI remembers B.W. Stevenson.
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- My Maria 1973
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