As a teen he played in a variety of local rock bands before attending college, eventually joining the U.S. Air Force; upon returning from duty Stevenson settled in the Austin area, where he became a frequent attraction on the city's thriving club circuit. Upon signing to RCA he was marketed primarily to country listeners, enjoying little success with either his 1972 self-titled debut or its follow-up Lead Free; the title track of 1973's My Maria, however, became a Top Ten pop favorite, reaching #9 on Billboard's Hot 100, although ironically it missed the country charts altogether. Stevenson had several other successful chart singles, including A Little Bit of Understanding and the original version of Daniel Moore's Shambala, which, in a cover version by Three Dog Night, reached #3.
However, Stevenson never again regained the success he had with the release of My Maria. After 1974's Calabasas he landed at Warner Bros. to issue We Be Sailin' a year later. Down to the Station, from 1977's Lost Feeling, was his last chart hit, and after 1980's Lifeline his recording career was over. Sadly, Stevenson died on April 28, 1988 shortly after undergoing heart valve surgery; he was just 38 years old.
Since his death, Poor David's Pub in Dallas has held an annual songwriting competition in his memory. Author Jan Reid devotes a chapter to Stevenson in his book The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock, dubbing him "The Voice". In mid 1996, Stevenson's hit My Maria reached the charts again when it was covered by the country duo Brooks & Dunn, for whom it became a three-week #1 country hit. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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