Statue in works for local music legend
By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette
Although local country musician Billy Joe Shaver recently passed away on Oct. 28, his legacy and influence have made their indelible marks on Corsicana and the country music scene at large.
To immortalize the musician’s accomplishments, donations are currently being taken to fund a bronze statue in Shaver’s likeness to join Corsicana’s Bronze Memorial project.
The idea for A Billy Joe Shaver statue goes back as far as a 2018 brainstorming session by Committee Chairman Joshua Tackett, and committee members Carey Dean, Sharla Allen, and Mark Watson. At the time, the Brent Thompson statue was still being sculpted, and Watson and Tackett decided if they were to ever work on a second project, Shaver would be their next choice.
For Watson, the statue is a family-based journey, as Shaver and Watson’s father were first cousins. Watson reached out to the musician to share their tribute plans.
“I texted Billy Joe and said ‘Hey, what do you think about us getting you a statue in Corsicana’,” Watson said, to which Shaver replied: “I sure you hope you do. God bless ya.”
With that encouragement, the committee set up their plan with the City of Corsicana to start raising funds. Eventually, the group wants to hold a fundraiser to help realize the statue.
“I would love to put on a benefit concert, but with COVID, it makes it kind of tough,” Watson said, adding the committee is exploring the option of streaming virtual performances.
Payne Lara, the artist who commissioned the Brent Thompson statue, will design the Shaver piece. The location of the statue is still in discussion, with considerations of placing the finished piece in Jester Park next to the Lefty Frizzell statue, or near the Palace Theatre.
“If you talk to the music community, everybody knew who he was,” Watson said. “He was at one time a living legend, and now still a legend.”
For more information and to donate, visit the Billy Joe Shaver Statue Fund Facebook page, or visit the Online Payments section of the City of Corsicana website, click on the drop-down menu, and scroll until the “Donations – Billy Joe Shaver Bronze” option appears.
Tax deductible contributions can also be made by calling 903-654-4874, or sending donations to:
City of Corsicana
Attn: Parks and Recreation
Billy Joe Shaver Statue
200 N. Twelfth Street
Corsicana, TX 75110