Legendary country crooner Willie Nelson is coming to Salina. Willie Nelson and Family, with special guest Leon Russell, are coming to the Stiefel Theatre on Monday, August 1st.
With a six-decade career and 200 plus albums, this iconic Texan is the creative genius behind the historic recordings of Crazy, Red Headed Stranger, and Stardust. Willie Nelson has earned every conceivable award as a musician and amassed reputable credentials as an author, actor and activist. He continues to thrive as a relevant and progressive musical and cultural force. In the last five years alone he delivered nine new album releases (of which one resulted in a Grammy Award win), released a Top 10 New York Times’ bestsellers book, again headlined Farm Aid, an event he co-founded in 1985, received his 5th degree black belt in Gong Kwon Yu Sul, and graced the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
In 2013, Willie’s albums included Let’s Face The Music And Dance, an album of deep pop country repertoire classics performed with transformative patented ease by Nelson and Family, his long-time touring and recording ensemble; and To All The Girls… which features 18 duets with music’s top female singers. In 2014, he released Band of Brothers, a 14-track studio album of new recording that debuted at #5 on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart and #1 on Billboard’s Country album chart, and December Day: Willie’s Stash Vol. 1, an eclectic album collaboration of intimate new recordings from Willie and Sister Bobbie Nelson. This year he adds two more titles. On May 5, 2015, “It’s A Long Story: My Life,” the unvarnished and complete story of Willie, hit bookshelves and landed him on the New York Times’ bestsellers list. In June, a new album with Merle Haggard titled Django And Jimmie, debuted at #1 on Billboard‘s Country album chart and #7 on Billboard‘s Top 200 album chart.
Leon Russell is a music legend and perhaps the most accomplished and versatile musician in the history of rock ‘n roll. In his distinguished and unique 50 year career, he has played on, arranged, written and/or produced some of the best records in popular music. Leon has played on pop, rock, blues, country, bluegrass, standards, gospel, and surf records. As a session musician, arranger, producer, singer, songwriter, pianist, guitarist, record company owner, bandleader, and touring musician, he has collaborated with hundreds of artists, including Elton John, Glen Campbell, Joe Cocker, Willie Nelson, Edgar Winter, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, J.J. Cale, David Gates, Bruce Hornsby, Hal Blaine, Tommy Tedesco, Bobby “Boris” Pickett, B.B. King, Freddie King, Bill Wyman, Steve Cropper, Carl Radle, Chuck Blackwell, Don Preston, Jesse Ed Davis, Rita Coolidge, Gram Parsons, Barbra Streisand, Ike & Tina Turner, Ricky Nelson, Herb Alpert, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Ann-Margret, Dean Martin, Marvin Gaye, Dave Mason, Steve Winwood, and groups such as Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, The Monkees, The Astronauts, The Accents, The Fencemen, The Ventures, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, Jan & Dean, Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Rolling Stones, The Ronettes, The Crystals, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Everly Brothers, The Righteous Brothers, The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Tractors and on and on and on…
Leon joined a number of artists in honoring Willie Nelson on his 70th birthday celebration at the Beacon Theatre in New York city in April, 2003. Leon performed his classic ‘A Song For You’ with Willie and Ray Charles and also sang “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”. The show was filmed for the special “Willie Nelson: Live and Kickin’”. In April 2006, Leon was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the Bare Bones International Film Festival. In October 2006, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.
Leon performed at the 2010 Grammys with the Zac Brown Band. He performed with Elton John at Music Cares honoring Neil Young in January 2010. Leon and Sir Elton John released, The Union, a duet album produced by TBone Burnett in October, 2010. The single “If It Wasn’t For Bad” was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.
Leon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March, 2011 and inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in June, 2011.
Tickets to see Willie Nelson and Family, with special guest Leon Russell, go on sale on May 13th. Tickets start at $83.