Raised in Houston, Corpus Christi, and New Mexico, Richard Dobson (March 19, 1942 - December 16, 2017) graduated from the University of St. Thomas in 1966 with a degree in Spanish. He went on to join the Peace Corps and explored a fiction writing career in New York before settling on songwriting.
From 1971 and continuing into the next three decades, Dobson made both Nashville, TN and the Gulf Coast of Texas his home. While in Nashville, he participated in the Outlaw Country scene with fellow singer-songwriters Mickey Newbury, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, “Skinny” Dennis Sanchez, among others. In the Houston-Galveston area, he continued honing his song craft and releasing albums, all the while working on shrimping boats and off-shore oil drilling rigs, most notably the Sedneth I.
Starting in 1977 with “In Texas Last December” up until his current release “Plenty Good People” (2016), Dobson released 23 albums in total. His song were performed by others artists including David Allan Coe, Guy Clark, Lacy J. Dalton, Nanci Griffith, and Kelly Willis. Carlene Carter and Dave Edmunds, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, and Billie Jo Spears and Del Reeves have all recorded renditions of his duet ‘Baby Ride Easy.’
In addition to songwriting, Dobson maintained a relationship to his fans and friends via newsletters/zines. Originally, the “Omaha Rainbow” published his writings. Later on his own, he wrote “Poor Richard’s Newsletter,” which became “Don Ricardo’s Life and Times,” and is now entitled “Don Ricardo’s Report from the High Rhine.” The newsletters (late 1970s-2012) have been published as a set, “The Years the Wind Blew Away: Don Ricardo’s Life and Times” (2013). He also published the semi-autobiographical book, “The Gulf Coast Boys,” (1997) detailing his life in the 1970s to early 1980s.
In 1999, Dobson moved to Switzerland. He toured in Europe and throughout the United States. He also documented his new life abroad in the book “Pleasures of the High Rhine” (2012).
Dobson, Richard. "Gulf Coast Boys." CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013.
Dobson, Richard. "Artist website." http://www.richard-j-dobson.ch/, 2016.
Wikipedia. "Richard Dobson."https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Dobson, 2016.
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