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BoxCar Willie Dies of Leukemia

April 13, 1999

BRANSON, Mo. (AP) _ BoxCar Willie, whose gentle country voice and songs of life on the road evoked memories of a time when hobos watched America pass by from the door of a freight car, died Monday of leukemia. He was 67.

He died at home, a family spokeswoman said.

He had recently announced he was canceling his 1999 season of shows when the disease, first diagnosed in 1996, returned.

Until his health began to fail, was not only a Branson performer but one of the music town’s elder statesmen.

Roy Clark became the first nationally known entertainer to put his name on a Branson theater in 1983. But BoxCar Willie liked to boast that unlike Clark, who often booked other people into his venue, he became the first name entertainer to work the town year-round when he arrived in 1987.

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