No relation. Just though I'd pass this along to the list.
Mr. Paul Francis Buskirk
Funeral services for Mr. Paul Francis Buskirk, age 78, of Nacogdoches, Texas, will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Laird-McGill Funeral Home with Dana Woods doing the eulogy and music arrangements. Milam No. 2 Masonic Lodge of Nacogdoches will conduct the final burial rites in Lower Melrose Cemetery.
Mr. Buskirk died Saturday, March 16, 2002, in Nacogdoches, Texas.
Born April 8, 1923, in Parkersburg, West Virginia, he was the son of Lottie Mamel and John Everett Buskirk. He served our country in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was a world-famous musician. Mr. Buskirk started in the music business in 1934 at age 11. He was a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He performed with many of the top music artists. He worked with the Light Crust Dough Boys, Lefty Frizzell, Roy Acuff, Ray Price, Eddie Arnold, Tex Ritter, Sonny James, Hank Garland, Chet Akins, Kitty Wells and the Louvin Brothers. He also was a longtime friend of Freddie Powers and Willie Nelson, helping both get their start in the music business. Mr. Buskirk worked for the Curly Fox and Texas Ruby television show in Houston. He also performed at the WMPS radio station in Memphis, Tenn. He had many, many friends in the music industry, and they would call on him regularly to check up on him. Mr. Buskirk was a 50-year master Mason, 32nd degree Scottish Rite and a Shriner of the Arabia Temple in Houston. He was a Protestant. Mr. Buskirk always said that he was not born in Texas but was a true Texan by choice.
Survivors include many local friends and many, many friends in the music industry.
Mr. Buskirk was preceded in death by wife, Mary Frances Buskirk; daughters, Dorothy Kathleen Buskirk and Paula Gale Buskirk; brothers, Wilbert and Harold Buskirk.
Active pallbearers will be Dana Woods, Hucy Wilkinson, Michael Viteri, Kelly Lancaster, Steve Hartz, Charlie Wheeler, Ken Cluck and Freddie Powers. Honorary pallbearers will be friends in the music industry.
Memorials may be made to Melrose Cemetery Association, Route 2, Box 4300, Nacogdoches, Texas 75961.
Visitation will be prior to the funeral Wednesday morning.
Laird-McGill Funeral Home.
Music man Paul Buskirk remembered
By EMILY TARAVELLA, Sentinel Staff
MARCH 19 - When Willie Nelson releases an album he recorded at Encore Studio in Nacogdoches, it will likely be dedicated to the memory of his longtime friend and mentor, Paul Buskirk.
Buskirk died Saturday at the age of 78. He had lived in Nacogdoches since his retirement from the music industry.
Dana Woods, owner of Encore, said Buskirk loved Nacogdoches, and it's only appropriate that the namesake album be dedicated to his memory.
"Everyone who knew him knew he had a passion for this area," he said.
Woods said he spoke with Nelson on the telephone Saturday night and that Nelson told him he would like to pay tribute to Buskirk when he releases the album "Nacogdoches," in the near future.
Another musician, Paul Schmidt, also died after working on the album.
"Schmidt was the piano player for the album," Woods said. "Paul (Buskirk) really mourned Schmidt after he died. Paul was also pretty close to Chet Atkins, who died at the end of last year. All those losses had an impact on him."
Woods said Buskirk was responsible for bringing Nelson to Encore Studio in 1999, to remake the album, "Without A Song." Nelson has said in prior interviews he intends to name the album "Nacogdoches."
The friendship between Buskirk and Nelson preceded either one of them becoming famous.
In an interview with The Daily Sentinel in 1999 Buskirk said he taught Nelson to play the guitar, and he once gave Nelson a job teaching music lessons at the Buskirk School of Music.
At the time, Buskirk said he could remember having dinner with Willie at "the type of barbecue joint that has chicken wire around it."
He said Nelson didn't have enough money to pay his tab. With barbecue sauce dripping down his chin, Willie leaned across the table and began to sing to Buskirk without accompaniment.
Buskirk said he paid for Nelson's meal and promised him $50 for rights to the song he had sung across the table — "Family Bible."
When Nelson asked Buskirk for help producing an album three years ago, Buskirk agreed to do so on one condition: He wanted Nelson to record the album at Encore Studio.
After the initial recording session ended, they were both pleased with the quality of the sound.
Woods said Nelson intends to return to Nacogdoches in the near future to finish the project.
"Willie said he couldn't come to the funeral." Woods said. "When Willie goes to a funeral, it tends to turn it into a circus. He had too much respect for Paul to allow that to happen. But he did call to express his remorse. He loved Paul, and Paul loved him. They had a really good relationship."
Buskirk was a mentor to many musicians, according to Woods. Woods said he received calls from all over the United States after word spread that Buskirk had died.
"The president of the musician's union in Nashville, Harold Bradley, said he intends to do a big write-up on Paul in Nashville," Wood said. "A lot of people in Nashville today don't understand how great he was."
Buskirk played with country legends such as Lefty Frizzell, Tex Ritter, Roy Acuff, Ray Price, Rex Allen and Eddie Arnold, to name a few.
After he moved to Nacogdoches, he never lost touch with his friends and colleagues.
Norman Johnson is a retired local radio talk show host who has been associated with some of the greatest musicians of the time. He said Buskirk was not only big — he was big.
"He was considered the greatest mandolin player in the world," Johnson said. "His last album, 'The Nacogdoches Waltz,' was recorded in 1992, and it's available at the Old Time String Shop. It's more classical than country, and it's really beautiful."
Johnson said he interviewed Buskirk on his radio show.
"He was 100-percent music," Johnson said. "Everything in his life revolved around music. When you had a conversation with him, it was about music. If you didn't get around to it, he did. He lived for music."
Claude Gray, a former Grand Ole Opry musician who now resides in Henderson, said he met Buskirk while working as a disc jockey in Mississippi.
"Paul called me one day and told me he had a song for me," Gray said. "It was after he had just bought the rights to 'Family Bible,' and he wanted me to record it for him."
In one session, Gray said he recorded Nelson performing "Family Bible," "Nightlife," and "The Party's Over."
"It was a pretty good session," he said, laughing at the obvious understatement. "'Family Bible' turned out to be my first big, national hit. That song has been good to me."
Gray said he continued to see Buskirk from time to time over the years.
"Paul did favors for Willie when Willie needed help, and Willie never forgot that," he said. "I never forgot what Paul did for me, either."
Gray said Buskirk was well-known and well-liked.
"He was a good guy and a good musician," he said.
Services for Buskirk will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Laird-McGill Funeral Home. Burial will follow in Lower Melrose Cemetery.