Red Dirt singer-songwriter Charlie Robison has announced his retirement from performing, citing complications from surgery earlier this year via a post on his Facebook page Monday night.
“[A]t 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,” the 54-year-old wrote. A previous post on Robison’s Instagram account indicates that the surgery was done on his throat and took place on January 3rd.
Robison grew up in Bandera, Texas, in the Texas Hill Country, and after a football injury moved to Austin in the Eighties where he began playing in bands. He released his first album, Bandera, in 1996, before getting picked up by Sony subsidiary Lucky Dog Records and eventually releasing two albums with Columbia, 2001’s Step Right Up and a live album. The former produced his only Top 40 country song, “I Want You Bad.”
The older brother of musician and producer Bruce Robison, Charlie was married to Dixie Chicks member Emily Erwin from 1999 to 2008. He also served as a judge on the first season of the Nashville Star TV show, which featured Miranda Lambert as a contestant. After returning to independent labels with 2004’s Good Times — the title track for which was featured on an episode of HBO’s True Blood — Robison explored a wider range of styles, including folk, bluegrass, Tex-Mex, and rock & roll. His last album, High Life, came out in 2013.
“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,'” Robison wrote. “It was a hell of a ride but as they say all good things must end. Keep on supporting this thing we call Texas/Red dirt and hopefully we’ll all get to have a cocktail or two and talk about the good ol days.”