August 15th, 2018

This Day in Willie Nelson History: Patsy Cline records, ‘Crazy’ (8/15/1961)

August 15th, 2018

On August 15, 1961, Patsy Cline recorded Willie Nelson’s song, ‘Crazy’ for Decca Records. She introduced the song at the Grand Ole Opery on October 14th of that year, and received three standing ovations for the song. Decca released “Crazy” on October 16th, 1961, an dit became a #2 country music hit and a #9 pop music hit.

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August 15th, 2018
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August 14th, 2018

God Bless Willie Nelson

August 14th, 2018


August 14th, 2018


When you go to a show, stop by Scooterville, Willie Nelson’s travelling Merchandise Store, run by the Frank Brothers. They have Willie Nelson souvenirs that you can’t get anywhere else. And the best collection of Willie Nelson & Family music you can find anywhere. And cool trinkets, buttons, key chains, bandannas of course, posters and books. Beer cozies, or whatever they are called, bumper stickers, license plates, shirts and hoodies and hats.

Willie Nelson and LeAnn Womack, “Mendocino County Line”

August 14th, 2018

Willie Nelson: King of Country Music (Newsweek 8/14/1978)

August 14th, 2018

August 14, 1978
King of Country Music: Willie Nelson
by Pete Axthelm

His rough, red-bearded face has been lined by years of tequila nights and Bloody Mary mornings, but the clear eyes sparkle as if each song, each cheer and each success is happening to Willie Nelson for the very first time. Surrounded by a merry band of pickers and pranksters, he travels the hard miles and one-night stands; but like the cowboys he celebrates in songs, Nelson can seem pensive and alone in the wildest of crowds. Willie has always carried himself with a kind of fierce innocense, defying those who would corrupt or label him. And now, to his whimsical delight, it is all paying off. At 45, the old outlaw has become music’s “in” phenomenon. The night life, Willie Nelson'[s life, has become a good life indeed.

Twenty years after he wrote “The Night Life” and other country classics — only to have them recorded by others because his own haunting, unusual voice was deemed unsuitable by record executives — Willie is now singing not only his own hits but ones that he didn’t even write himself. His new “Stardust” album, an evocative country-blues treatment of ten old standards, has topped the country charts for two months — after supplanting a wonderful No. 1 album that Willie did with his outlaw friend Waylon Jennings. His Western epic, “Red Headed Stranger,” remains on the charts three years after it smashed all the old rules about what a country musical album was supposed to be. With his hard-edged poetry and intensely personal blend of country, rock and gospel sounds, Willie has crossed over to the pop charts and reached out to enbrace a widening audience of good old boys, young rockers and almost anyone else who can see beyond narrow categories onto a brand of music that sometimes seems very close to magic.

“The nice thing about what’s happening now,” says Nelson, “is that I’m doing pretty much what I’ve been trying to do for 25 years. During a lot of those years, I wondered if anybody out there was listening. But now, the word seems to have gotten around about me.”

The message began to get out about 1973, when Nelson threw a Fourth of July picnic in Dripping Springs, Texas, and 50,000 of his friends showed up. Soon he was being hailed as a great synthesizer who could bring together rock groups and country stars, as well as hippie and red neck fans. Nelson’s music is described in catchall phrases like progressive country and redneck rock. But when ever the trend spotters thought they had him pinned down, Willie slipped away.

Just when people began to call him an avant-garde poet, this country genious turned back to old-time melodies like “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” and “Georgia (On My Mind) — and merely became more popular than ever.

Despite such apparent contradictions. Nelson is not really an elusive person. To know him, the trick is to keep listening. “I’ve come as close to keeping a real diary as anybody,” he says. “I just disguised it as a bunch of songs.”

My front tracks are bound for a cold water well
And my back tracks are covered with snow
And sometimes it’s heaven,
And sometimes it’s hell
And sometimes I don’t even know

Nelson sings of not only highs and lows but the confused moments in between. In the wreckage of his first marriage, he stared at the walls of a Nashville garage, while the rain hit the lone window like tears. The result was the ode “Hello Walls,” with the conclusion: “We must all pull together/Or else I’ll lose my mind/Cause I’ve got a feeling she’ll be gone a long, long time.”

Many of Nelson’s early songs dealt with pain and loss, but must were different from traditionally sudsy Nashville fare. Like a Greek dramatist, Willie sought wisdom through suffering and often it arrived in the form of brilliant insights like those in his thematic album about divorce, “Phases and Stages.” A later album, “Red Headed Stranger,” highlighted the stern frontier morality that can transform melodrama into something remarkably akin to tragedy.

Willie isn’t writing much these days. After all the early years of playing in Texas honky-honks behind chicken-wire fences put up to keep the drunks from hurling bottles at the band, he is reveling in the huge crowds that turn out during his tours. Unlike many performers, most notably the reclusive Jennings, Willie loves audiences — and his obvious enthusiasum infuses his concerts with tremendous energy. “I get restless when I don’t pay,” he says. “If I had a choice, I’d play four hours a night, seven nights a week. The playing is the fun, the writing is the work. To write, reflects the present state of Willie’s heaven-and-hell existence: “Life don’t owe me a living,” the song goes, “But a Lear and limo will do.”

Out in the land of Learjets and limousines, Nelson is a hot property. United Artists is planning a motion picture called, “The Songwriter,” inspired by Willie and written by his good friend, novelist-screenwriter Edwin (Bud) Shrake. Universal is planning a Western based on “Red Headed Stranger,” and there are long-range plans for a book and a movie about Nelson’s life. Willie will write the movie sound A Beverly Hills bartender put it in less Hollywood terms: “He’s the most interesting thing I’ve seen out here since the right-hand turn on red.”

August 14th, 2018

Thanks Phil Weisman for finding this cute kissy face picture.

Willie Nelson and Jessica SImpson, together again at the Orange Count Fair

August 14th, 2018
by: Sara M Moniuszko

The singer and fashion designer, who hasn’t performed in years, took the stage to sing a duet with country music legend Willie Nelson during the Orange County Fair in California on Thursday.

Simpson, 38, shared the moment on Instagram on Friday, revealing it’s the first time she has performed in front of her husband, football player Eric Johnson, and children, Maxwell, 6, and Ace, 5.

“It’s not every night that a legend invites you to join him on his stage,” she captioned the photo of her and Nelson. “And my husband and kids got to see me perform for the first time! I love you (Willie Nelson)”

Simpson, who was born in Abilene, Texas, moved into the country music genre with her sixth studio album “Do You Know” in 2008 after a series of pop albums. Nelson, 85, also is from Texas.

Watch the full performance in the video below.

Willie Nelson and Alison Krauss in San Diego (8/10/2018)

August 14th, 2018
by:  George Varga

The temperature was a toasty 80 degrees when Willie Nelson concluded his Friday night performance at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay. But that didn’t stop the 85-year-old American music icon from delivering a thoroughly engaging, full-steam-ahead hour of songs.

True, Nelson at one point removed his sweat-drenched red bandanna from his head and tossed it into the sold-out audience. Happily, though, he never faltered during his 22-song show.

It began with his traditional set-opener, “Whiskey River,” and concluded with a spirited medley of the gospel-music chestnuts “Will the Circle be Unbroken,” “I’ll Fly Away” and “I Saw the Light,” with harmony vocals from the concert-opening Alison Krauss.

Better yet, Nelson seemed fully engaged and focused throughout his 63-minute performance. By contrast, his 2017 concert at Humphreys was an often listless, decidedly up-and-down affair that saw him coast on automatic pilot for at least half the evening.

On Friday, Nelson clearly wanted to make a statement to his loudly enthusiastic listeners, who greeted him with a standing ovation at the 1,450-capacity venue. (Hundreds more listened from all manner of boats in the adjoining marina.)

His statement did not come in the form of the four-letter word, PALA, that appeared in white capital letters on the front of his black T-shirt. And, no, that’s not an acronym for the yet-to-be-formed Pot Accession Leaders Association, although the marijuana-championing Nelson three years ago launched his Willie’s Brand line of pot products and held an invitation-only promotional event Friday afternoon at the Grand Antique artists collective in Logan Heights.

Rather, his statement was one of musical purpose and tenacity, of reaching deep into songs he has performed countless times and investing them with new emotional resonance.

That he succeeded so well Friday made his concert a triumph. This holds especially true coming on the heels of his Jan. 6 performance here at Harrah’s Resort SoCal ended abruptly within a few minutes, after which the flu-stricken Nelson canceled a string of subsequent concert dates. After getting back on the road again, he ended his May 26 concert in Charlotte, N.C., before playing a single song, later citing a stomach bug as the reason.

So the fact that this legendary Texas troubadour performed with such gusto at Humphreys was all the more impressive, especially on such a sweltering night. Retiring, as Nelson stated in an interview earlier this year with AARP The Magazine, is something he has no intention of doing.

His Friday performance did not include “Crazy” or “Night Life,” but Nelson has written many more classic songs than he can include in a single show. Two of them, “I Never Cared for You” and “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground,” were given exquisite readings by Krauss and her seven-piece band during their sublime, 76-minute opening set.

Nelson scored equally well with such tender ballads as “Always On My Mind” and “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” as he did when romping through Hank Williams’ “Move It On Over” and his own “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” and “Woke Up Still Not Dead Again Today.” His oh-so-supple rendition of “Georgia On My Mind” was infused with an elasticity of phrasing more often heard in the work of singular jazz artists, such as trumpet giant Miles Davis (who aptly named a 1970 composition of his “Willie Nelson”).

A guitarist who can run hot and cold, Nelson was in good form Friday, executing fleet lines in his heartfelt interpretation of Django Reinhardt’s smoldering instrumental, “Nuages.” For good measure, Nelson playfully quoted the trademark electric piano line from Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say” twice during his six-string solos, first during his spry version of Tom T. Hall’s “Shoe Shine Man,” then again during “Move It On Over.”

Nelson was ably backed by a six-piece band that included his sister, Bobbie, on piano, his son, Micah, on percussion, rhythm guitar and backing vocals, and Mickey Raphael on harmonica, who at times seemed to be simultaneously channeling the spirits of Charlie McCoy and Toots Thielemans.

The supremely tasteful opening set by the angelic-voiced Krauss was a master-class in musical excellence, pacing and the art of understatement. Her gorgeous singing on “Ghost in This House” and “Now That I Found You” was expertly matched, note for note, by her ace band, which — like her — soared even when performing at a near-hush.

Read article, see photos here.

August 13th, 2018

This day in Willie Nelson history: Farm Aid XXVI (Kansas City, MO) (August 13, 2011)

August 13th, 2018

by SharonOnTheMove


I took this one; such a sweet look

I took this photo

photo: Mary Francis Andrews


photo: Mary Francis Andrews

Willie Nelson & Family in Springfield, IL (August 12, 2014)

August 12th, 2018
  • Willie Nelson performs Tuesday at Sangamon Auditorium.

    Country music legend Willie Nelson is 81 years old and probably more active than people half his age.

    Last year, Nelson was scheduled to perform at Sangamon Auditorium, but that show was postponed after Nelson wasn’t feeling well after the most recent Farm Aid fundraising concert. That postponed show was rescheduled for Tuesday at the auditorium at the University of Illinois Springfield (see accompanying information for details).

    That may have been the only thing that slowed down the singer who made “On the Road Again,” “Whiskey River,” “Always On My Mind” and many, many other big hits.

    Since the last time Nelson was scheduled to perform in Springfield:

    He released his first album of mostly new material that he wrote himself since 1996. “Band of Brothers” features nine new Nelson-composed songs.

    He was inducted in the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class – and was inducted by friend and recent Academy Award winner, actor Matthew McConaughey.

    “There would be no Austin City Limits without Willie Nelson,” McConaughey said.

    Nelson was the first Austin City Limits performer in 1974 on what is now the longest-running television music program in the U.S. It airs on PBS.

    Fellow country icons Emmylou Harris and Lyle Lovett joined the “Red Headed Stranger” on stage for a string of hits including “On the Road Again” and “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die.”

    “It means a lot. It’s Austin City Limits and Austin — the music capital of the world,” Nelson said on his bus before the show.

    Blues rockers Buddy Guy and Kenny Wayne Shepherd ended the night by joining Nelson on stage for a blistering rendition of “Texas Flood.”

    Austin, Texas, had previously celebrated Nelson with a street named after him, and an 8-foot bronze likeness.

    And shortly after the Austin City Limits honor, Nelson received his fifth-degree black belt in the martial art of Gong Kwon Yu Sul.

    Nelson didn’t show off his chops but Grand Master Sam Um assured a packed room that the “Red Headed Stranger” could hold his own against anyone. As is typically the case wherever Nelson goes, other celebrities were close: this time Austin resident Lance Armstrong tiptoed past parents of other students to see his fellow Texan honored.

    “Honestly, I was surprised to be getting this degree,” Nelson said on his bus before the ceremony. “I don’t know what else is out there. I never thought about anything beyond second-degree black belt.”

    The singer gives martial arts a lot of credit for his clean bill of health. Although off stage he’s more famously known for more mellow interests — like smoking pot — Nelson said he stays physical whenever possible. He’s also a runner and avid bike rider.

    “I’m pretty healthy at 81. I think a lot of it has to do with the exercise that you do,” Nelson said. “I think martial arts is one of the best exercises you can do. Mentally, spiritually, physically, everything. I’m sure that’s helped.”

    When Nelson initially showed up to his studio, Um said he worried about the musician’s heart because of his age. Then the instructor got a glimpse of his lifestyle over the next 20 years.“He has more stamina than I do,” Um said.

    Nelson donated many of his platinum records, manuscripts and creative documents to the University of Texas.  UT’s Dolph Briscoe Center for American History on Thursday announced Nelson’s gift.  The Willie Nelson Collection in Austin will be the focus of an upcoming exhibit. UT officials say the collection includes letters and photos from fellow musicians including Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard and Lionel Richie. The items also pay tribute to Nelson’s fans and their gifts and notes to him over the years.

August 12th, 2018