Texas Country Legend Charlie Robison is Exploring a Comeback

photo: Brad Coolidge

This story has been updated.

It was four years ago this week that Texas music legend and once major label artist Charlie Robison announced his retirement from performing. Only 54 at the time, the announcement was a shocking blow to many.

“I’m sure you’ve all been wondering where I’ve been. Well, at the beginning of this year I underwent a surgical procedure that because of complications left me with the permanent inability to sing. Therefore, with a very heavy heart I am officially retiring from the stage and studio,” Robison said in a statement. “It’s been an amazing ride and I cannot tell you all what the last 25 years has meant to me. I was looking forward to another 25 but as they say ‘shit happens.’ I thank you all for everything you’ve given me and I hope I was able to give you a fraction of the happiness you gave me. It was a hell of a ride but as they say all good things must end.”

Charlie Robison isn’t just known for iconic songs like “Loving County,” “My Hometown,” and “News Year’s Day,” he’s part of one of the most important families in Texas music. Along with his well-known brother and fellow performer Bruce Robison, Charlie’s sister Robyn Ludwick is also a songwriter and performer. Charlie was also married to Emily Erwin of The [Dixie] Chicks for a decade, and the couple had three children together before divorcing in 2008.

When Charlie Robison made his retirement announcement in 2018, it felt a little fatalistic that no solution could eventually be found to fix his vocal woes, but he also left no wiggle room in his declaration. Well now there is hope that Charlie Robison could be on the comeback trail, or is at least probing that possibility.

As previously reported, Charlie Robison played and sang during an acoustic performance at a private party as part of the West of Pecos Rodeo in late June. But this was an unannounced, one-off engagement. It gave us glimmers of hope, but no definitive evidence Robison was considering getting back into the game. But now Charlie has officially booked a show at the Red Rooster Icehouse in Hawkins, TX (near Longview and Tyler) for November 25th—the day after Thanksgiving.

“He’s not going on tour or anything. He’s just going to play a show or two, and they’re hoping that he sees that fans really want him back, and he’ll say, ‘Let’s do this thing,'” Red Rooster Ice House owner Brandon Baker tells Saving Country Music.

For the fortunate venue and fans in the area, it was persistence that paid off.

“I talk to his agent probably once a week because they book a lot of other artists too,” says Brandon Baker. “He was our first show here almost six year ago and sold it out. In 2018 when he retired, I kept talking to his agent about him coming back. I was wearing him out about it, and finally he just said, ‘If he ever wants to play anywhere, if he wants to do a comeback, we’ll call you first.’ And it happened. They called me, and said ‘Hey, he’s wanting to play a couple of appearances and asked me if I was good for the 25th of November. I said, ‘Hell yeah I am.'”

Charlie Robison has also been booked at The Backyard in Seguin, TX for November 23rd, and at the revered Dallas listening venue The Kessler for November 26th.

Saving Country Music also reached out to his booking agent Red 11, as well as his previous manager, but so far they’re keeping any plans or prospects close to the vest. But this news is promising to say the least, and the folks in Hawkins, TX are in for a treat. Tickets go on sale Friday, September 30th at Outhouse Tickets. Grady Spencer opens the show.

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