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Keeping the beat behind Willie Nelson: 'Me and Paul'

Hear the name "Willie Nelson," and a lot of us can immediately see an image of the singer in our minds. But how about the rest of the people on the stage with him?

For the better part of six decades, the supporting band included drummer Paul English, a Texas tough guy/artist/best friend and virtual alter ego to Willie Nelson. English died in 2020, but he is fondly remembered by his buddy and not-so-ghostly ghostwriter David Ritz in the book Me and Paul: Untold Stories of a Fabled Friendship.

You hear the tales of how Willie and Paul met, how Paul became a drummer without any real experience, and how devoted he was, in this chat with David Ritz.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.