Whitey Shafer songwriter of 'All My Ex's' dead at age 84

Nashville Songwriters' Hall of Fame songwriter Whitey Shafer, responsible for some of country's most beloved classics such as "All My Ex's Live in Texas" and "Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind" died Saturday (Jan. 12) at the age of 84. There is no information as of yet regarding the cause or details of his passing.

Shafer, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989, was born Sanger D. Shafer and grew up in Texas in a gospel music-loving family. His own musical interests trended toward Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb and Lefty Frizzell. Although a music fan, he didn't pursue songwriting until well into adulthood, writing his first song at age 30. Prior to this, he spent time in the Army and at a variety of odd jobs.

His fortune was sealed when he moved to Nashville in 1967, signing recording deals with RCA Records and Musicor. However, his passion lay in writing rather than performing, leading him to collaborate with the hero of his younger days, Frizzell and eventually become good friends. Shafer would go on to write for a variety of artists including George Jones, Connie Smith, Johnny Russell, Merle Haggard and others.

However, in the 1980s, a string of divorces fueled his songwriting, with George Strait famously picking up "All My Ex's Live in Texas" and "Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind." Yet another divorce-era song, “I Wonder Do You Think Of Me” was recorded by Keith Whitley and became the singer's first posthumous No. 1. In the 1990s, Shafer continued to write, racking up songs for John Michael Montgomery, Lee Ann Womack, Kenny Chesney, and Shawn Colvin.