2009 was an exciting year to be a Willie Nelson fan

What a year Willie Nelson had! I’m exhausted just typing this summary of how he spent some of his time in 2009. This is incomplete, but I’ve been working on it for days and I have to stop or it will be July before I post it and it still won’t be complete. And I’m already behind for 2010.

Thank you Willie Nelson for all your hard work and for a wonderful year of music and good times! Can’t wait to see what you do in 2010.

In 2009 ‘Naked Willie” was released,’ a collection of Willie Nelson music recorded in Nashville early in Willie’s career. Mickey Raphael helped produce this album, which included stripping away the strings, horns, and generally overproduced sounds used as part of the”Nashville Sound” and what they thought people wanted to hear at the time.
Willie Nelson joined Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel and recorded the late Jerry Wexler’s inspired project of an album of Texas Swing music. Willie and the Wheel toured together, appeared on the David Letterman show, and taped a segment for the Austin City Limits in celebration of it’s 35th season. The album showed up on many “Best of 2009″ lists, stayed on Billboard’s Top 100, and earned the blended group a grammy nomination.
Willie released an album of standards, titled “American Classic,’ which received two grammy nominations, including one for his duet with Nora Jones of ‘Baby, it’s Cold Outside.”
“‘Lost Highways’, a collection of some new and some previously released songs was released by Lost Highways records in 2009.
In September Willie joined producer T-Bone Burnett in a Nashville studio and recorded classic country hits with some of Nashville’s finest musicians. The album will be released in 2010. Also, I heard Willie recorded an album with Leon Russell, but no news on when that album will be released.
Willie Nelson and Family toured extensively, playing over 160 shows in the U. S., Canada Mexico, including outdoor festivals, casinos, opera houses, private parties, giant churches, out-door film festivals on the beach, ball parks, and private concerts, televisions shows, talk shows, movie premiers, fundraisers, and high school auditoriums.
Brought back by popular demand, in February Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis performed two shows in NYC at the Lincoln Center, Rose Room. Backed by the Wynton Marsalis Quintet, and Mickey Raphael, they were joined by Nora Jones and performed the music of Ray Charles. The concert was released as a DVD this year. Willie and Wynton were also invited to play the TJ Martell Foundation for Cancer, Leukemia and Aids Research Benefit and on a show honoring Bill Cosby.
In April, Willie was joined by Ray Price for several shows in eastern Canada. Also on the tour was Billy Bob Thornton and the Boxmasters.
bobob WN&F joined Bob Dylan and John Mellencamp for a 20+ city tour of minor-league ballparks around the US. The shows were a national hit, and fans and newspapers raved about getting to hear these superstars at the top of their game.
WN&F played their traditional Fourth of July concert in South Bend, Indiana, at the Coveleski Stadium. The show was part of the Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp summer ballpark tour, but on the Fourth of July Willie turned it into his picnic and closed out the show. It rained all day until Willie took the stage, then the sun came out and shined on us all.
Willie played several shows with the Dave Matthews Band, including a show at the world famous Fenway Park in Boston
Willie Nelson, Mickey Raphael and Asleep at the Wheel performed on Austin City Limits; the show aired November 14, 2009. WN&F first performed on the ACL stage for the show’s pilot, filmed in 1974, and recorded in 1975.
In September Willie Nelson and Mickey Raphael taped a segment for WTTW’s Sound Stage in Chicago. The show will air in January on PBS.
Willie Nelson, his sister Bobbie, son Lukas and Johnny Gimble performed a concert in May at Riverbend Center in Austin, Texas, to honor the release of Dr. Gerald Mann’s new book Oh, But You Can Begin Again!
Willie helped celebrate the opening of the Patsy Cline Theater in Winchester, VA. Patsy’s husband and daughter were there for the event.
In June, Willie and Nelson joined Turk Pipkin, at the 10th Annual Maui Film Festival. Willie was honored with Maverick award and performed before Turk Pipkin’s film, ‘One Peace at a Time’ was shown at the out-door festival. Willie was featured in the award-winning film. lei
In August, Willie played a “secret” show in Hawaii, as part of MySpace’s secret concert series, and held in celebration of Willie’s latest album, American Classic. Willie was joined by guitarist Tom Conway, and other talented local artists, in performing music from the album. Also on the bill was Band of Horses.
  Willie helped honor friend Kris Kristofferson when he was named BMI Icon, and joined other artists onstage to sing Kris Kristofferson tunes.
  Willie Nelson and Ray Price were guests on the Mike Huckabee show, on Fox television.
In December, Willie Nelson accepted B B King’s invitation to help him celebrate the grand opening of his newest Blues Club at the Mirage in Las Vegas.
Willie Nelson and Mickey Raphael performed at the Ryman Auditorium in November, along with a 9-piece country/bluegrass band, including fiddle, mandolin, banjo, acoustic guitars and upright bass. The group played music recorded earlier this year and produced by T-Bone Burnett.
Willie played several shows in 2009 at Willie’s Place Theater, at Carl’s Corner, Texas. In December, he invited his musical family back to Texas for a holiday show at Willie’s Place Theater, at Carl’s Corner, Texas, in December. Daughters Paula and Amy, sons Lukas and Micah joined willie at Carl’s Corner for their musical celebration, along with Ron Blackwood and the Blackwood Quartet, Billy Joe Shaver, The Boxmasters, Ray Price, and Willie Nelson and Family.
  Willie Nelson was honored by the Texas Heritage Songwriters’ Association in March, and performed with other honorees Guy Clark, Michael Martin Murphey and Allen Shamblin at the Fifth Annual Homecoming concert in at the Paramount Theater, in Austin.
The Texas State House named Willie Nelson the 2009 state of Texas muscian, when they honred the states official state poets, musicians and artists.  
  In 2009 the U. S. House of Representatives passed HR-650 , calling counry music a “uniquely American art form” and invoking the names of Willie Nelson.
Willie’continued to make himself available to fans through Willie’s Place, on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio.. On most Wednesdays, Willie calls in and takes calls from fans. Also, Willie’s Place features lots of Willie Nelson & Family music, with live broadcasts of WN&F Shows from Willie’s Theater, and a WN Concert in Hawaii in August. In Feb, Willie was in the studio, along with Bill Mack and Ray Price.
Willie Nelson was nominated for three grammys in 2009: Best Americana Album: Willie and the Wheel Album, with Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel; “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” Best Traditional Pop Collaboration with vocals, with Nora Jones; from American Classic. The American Classic is nominated for grammy for best traditional pop vocal album.
In October, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews headlined the annual Fundraising concert held this year in St. Louis, Missouri, to benefit the family farmer and promote the good food movement.
Besides Farm Aid, Willie Nelson gave his time and money and talents to many good causes, including William Shatner’s 19th Annual Hollywood Charity Horse Show a benefit for Ahead With Horses and Camp Max Strauss, with Paul Simon, at the 2009 Children’s Health Fund Benefit, in may in NYC, and joined Wynton Marsalis to perform at the T.J. Martell Foundation’s 34th annual fundraising gala, which is devoted to research to find cures and treatments for leukemia, cancer and AIDS. Willie joined other musicians and lent his music to an album to raise funds to draw attention to mountaintop removal coal-mining. He autographed guitars, photographs, tennis shoes, and hand-wrote the lyrics to ‘On the Road Again’ to be auctioned off for fundraising projects, let his music be used to save animals, and wrote letters to support dairy farmers and wild horses.
Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis were invited to perform at the annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor ceremony in Washington, honoring Bill Cosby. The show aired on PBS in November 2009.
Matthew Houck/Phosphorescent recorded an album of songs wirren or made famous by Willie Nelson. WN invited Matthew to perform at Farm Aid, then joined him on stage for ‘Reason to Quit.”
Willie Nelson and Mickey Raphael recorded “This Train” on Ziggy Marley’s album “Family Time, and on Sang with Pat Simmons album. Willie contributed songs to other albums and soundtracks too, including soon-to-be-relesaed “Valentines Day.” and on the Woody Harrelson movie, “Zombieland”., and Mariah Carey’s, ‘Tennessee Move. Hushabye Baby was released, which featured instrumental versions of Willie songs, as lullabys for babies.
Willie was featured on many magazine covers, including the February issue of Texas Monthly supplement called Texas Bound for Music. WIllie wrote forward to new book, ‘Hidden Kitchens of Texas ‘, the forward to “Oh, But You Can Begin Again”, contributed to a book on Ray Price, ‘Yes Indeed’, one by Amy Goodman’s book, ‘Breaking the Sound Barrier, and gave a mango salsa recipe to the Austin City Limits Book, ‘Music in the Kitchen.’ Also, in 2009, Shirley Collie Nelson wrote a book about her life in music, and included stories about her marriage to Willie Nelson, titled “Scrapbooks in My Mind.”
sandart1 Artists continue to portray Willie Nelson in their paintings and sculptures, sketches.
Willie stays close to his fans. Every Wednesday he calls into Willie’s Place on Sirius/XM Radio, and takes calls . At end of his shows, when the venue permits (no barricade) Willie sticks around and autographs anything fans hand him — albums, books, hats, boots, body parts (yeah, girls are still offering Willie their breasts to sign). He shakes hands, holds babies, and lets himself be hugged, kissed, photographed, touched — really, it’s exhausting to watch him sign from the stage for an hour or more, after he’s just put on such an incredible show.
Willie stayed in pop culture’s eye in television and on the internet. Cult fvorite televisions show “Lost” played Willie Nelson’s ‘Shotgun Willie’ during their season five premiere, and they also chose Willie Nelson singing “Amazing Grace” as the soundtrack to their promotional videos for their final season that starts next February. Willie’ Nelson was referenced in the final show of Monk (“Trudy really loved Willie Nelson), a promotional video for Snoop Dogg’s “FatherHood”, and he was referenced on a reality tv show about pawn shops. Willie’s song, ‘On the Road Again’ was featured on the video game ‘Guitar Hero’. Willie did an interview on Twitter, and Snoop Dogg”s referenced Willie a few times, with a message posted on his Twitter that Willie Nelson was the only person who could outsmoke him: “only person that ever smoked me out is willie m*$&f%*! nelson!!! straight O.G.” that went viral.
I think my favorite project was the music video he wrote, directed and produced to his song, ‘Shoeshine Man” on his bus, all by himself.
I take that back. My favorite thing was when Willie filmed scenes for a movie at his western town of Luck, Texas, in December, and I got to watch him!

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