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Paul English, Willie Nelson’s longtime drummer, dies at 87



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Kristin M. Hall

A publicist for Willie Nelson says Paul English, Nelson’s longtime drummer and the inspiration for Nelson’s song “Me and Paul,” has died. He was 87.

Elaine Schock had no other details on English’s death as of Wednesday.

English joined Nelson’s band, nicknamed the Family, in 1966 and continued with him for most of his long career. English earned a reputation for brandishing a firearm and engaging in off-stage scuffles that made him an outlaw sideman as tough as Nelson himself.

Nelson bragged on their escapades in the song, singing, “And at the airport in Milwaukee, they refused to let us board the plane at all / They said we looked suspicious, but I believe they like to pick on me and Paul.”

English was also known for wearing a black cape on stage, and one of his capes is currently on display at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in the “Outlaws and Armadillos” exhibit.



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