Must Read: Willie Nelson and Paul English bio with Thomas Jefferson alum David Ritz

An autobiography by Willie Nelson and Paul English, Me and Paul: Untold Stories of a Legendary Friendshipcomes out Sept. 20 from Harper Horizon.

The book was co-written with our neighborhood’s own David Ritz.

Ritz, who now lives in California, went to Thomas Jefferson High School. Biographer, ghostwriter, journalist and songwriter, he is probably the most prolific author of books originally from Dallas. In 1974, he published a magazine article on the history of jews in dallas. And he co-wrote “Sexual Healing” with Marvin Gaye.

Paul English, known as the badass bag man, drummer and best friend of Willie Nelson, was also a rock star father whose children went to private schools in our neighborhood.

English was a rough, rowdy honky-tonker who admired Fort Worth gangsters as a child. And he was a sweet grandpa who played chess, did sudoku puzzles, and showed up at school events.

“”We were so shocked when he died, and I think what shocked us the most was that something could actually kill him. Because you think he just couldn’t finish. his widow, Janie English, told the lawyer last year.

This isn’t Ritz’s first book on Willie Nelson. He wrote Willie’s autobiography in 2015 It’s a long story: my life, as well as the 2016 book based on the song “Pretty Paper”. And he co-wrote Me and My Sister Bobbie: The True Stories of the Family Groupin 2020.

Mickey Raphael, the harmonica player who also went to Thomas Jefferson, is the last remaining old-school member of The Family, besides Willie himself.

English died of pneumonia aged 87 in 2020. Then Bobbie Nelson, sister of bandleader and best friend Willie, died in March aged 91. Guitarist Jody Payne died in 2013.

A friend of Willie’s told me last year that they thought 89-year-old Willie would stop when he died or when Bobbie died, whichever came first. Because “Little Sister” Bobbie Nelson was at the heart of it all, the friend said.

But New York Times Reviewin a 10 pages released last Sundayreports that the patron saint of Texas troubadours intends to stay on the road until the end.