Archive for 2007

2007 Was a Great Year to be a Willie Nelson Fan

Monday, December 31st, 2007


This is long, but when you start talking about what Willie Nelson did in 2007, it takes some space.  Willie Nelson had another amazingly busy year, with their never-ending tour, recording, and offering his time, money and vision to causes important to him. Willie  received honors in several areas this year:  for his music, his songwriting, his work for peace, his commitment to peaceful, conflict resolution, for his environmental activism, and an ice cream was named after him, with the proceeds going to benefit Farm Aid.   Who else does that?  This is a far-from-complete list of what Willie accomplished this year, but shows you some ways he spent his time.   And any mistakes included are mine alone, and I welcome any corrections anyone might have.  

Willie toured the United States, Canada, Scotland, Ireland, England, and The Nederlands.
On January 12th and 13th, Willie Nelson joined the Wynton Marsalis Quintet for four sold-out shows in NYC, organized by Jazz at Lincoln Center.  The show, billed as ‘Willie Nelson Sings the Blues’, was broadcast on the radio, and you can hear the entire concert at Wynton Marsalis’s website,  A friend sent me a copy, and it’s beautiful; they are all such amazingly talented artists.  Really, Willie could have a successful career singing rhythm and blues, exclusively.
Willie Nelson, joined by Jessica Simpson, Morgan Fairchild, Kinky Friedman, the Fort Worth Symphony and others, to perform at AetheriA – an Artclectic Evening on 2/10/07, with proceeds going to raise funds for art student scholarships
On March 20th, Willie Nelson, Ray Price and Merle Haggard released a 2cd set of newly recorded music.  It is a collection of country classics, and a couple new ones. It was produced by Fred Foster, on Lost Highway Records.  Then, if the album was not incredible enough, these three hall-of-famers did a tour in support of their album.  I hope we haven’t seen the end of that tour.  I got to see them twice, and I’d like to see them again. 
Performed at grand opening of RFD.TV theater in Branson, Missouri on March 28  
Performed at indie festival Coachella on April 29th, and at its country/bluegrass spinoff , Stagecoach, on May 5th.
Willie Nelson was invited to perform at a free concert in Choteau, Montana on July 3rd.  The concert was a gift from David Letterman, who wishes to remain anonymous, to the town of Choteau.  Only residents of Choteau, and Teton County, were invited to attend, and the demand for tickets, and invasion of country music fans really had the town buzzing.  I had someone offer to buy mine for $500, when I was leaving my motel, and others at the show who had paid a lot for theirs.  It was a wonderful concert.   
Willie Nelson and Family performed at the Gorge Amphitheater in George, Washington on the 4th of July, along with some alt country rockers:  Son Volt, Old 97’s, Drive-By Truckers and Amos Lee.

Performed at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival, in Illinois, to benefit the Crossroads Rehabilitiation Center, Antiqua (7/28/07)

Austin Freedom Fest (August 8th): Willie performed along with Asleep at the Wheel, Paula Nelson, Folk Uke and others at the Back Yard in Austin, at a benefit for NORML, the Marijuana Policy Project and WAMM, a Santa Cruz, CA hospice for medical marijuana patients.  I got to go, and Willie and Bee Spears set in for a lively set with Folk Uke, with Bee on his stand up bass.  Paula Nelson singing a moving version of Jackson, and I remember thinking, ‘Is she having as much fun as she look’s like she’s having?’  Funny thing, though, it seemed like there was no more pot smoking going on at the Freedom Fest, than at any of Willie’s shows.  Maybe that was just where I was sitting.  
Farm Aid 2007:  A HomeGrown Festival, on Randall’s Island, NYC, September 9th, with Neil Young, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp and a cast of thousands.
On September 10th, Willie and some family stayed an extra day in NYC, and performed at the Hard Rock Cafe Ambassadors of Rock Festival, with proceeds to benefit the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance, co-founded by Annie Nelson.  The festival was hosted by Woody Harrelson.
  Willie Nelson and Family Performed for “Concerts for a Cause,” in Illinois, to benefit the Peru, Illinois Catholic School, to raise funds to build a playground for their school (9/22/07)
Willie played at Gene Autry’s 100th birthday celebration in Los Angeles, on 9/29/07
Performed at the Big State Festival in College Station, Texas, featuring 40+ other country music acts, on October 14th.
Willie Nelson joined sons Lukas and Micah, and 40 Points, Tom Conway and Gypsy Pacific, Pat Simmons, Pat Simmons, Jr., Marty Dread and other artists, to perform at the Maui Music Festival, to benefit the scholarship program for the Maui Montessori School (11/24/07)
Willie was honored with the BMI American Icon award on December 6, 2007, in Nashville.  On hand were Kris Kristofferson, EmmyLou Harris, Jessica Simpson, Sheryl Crow, Nicole Kidman, Carrie Underwood, Vince Gill, and Willie’s families and friends, and fans. reports that Nelson’s Maui neighbor Kristofferson gave perhaps the most heartwarming tribute before he and Emmylou brought the house down with a duet on “Til I Can Gain Control.”  I hope somebody filmed that night, and I get to watch it sometime.
Willie was honored on 10/19/07 with the ‘Bridging Divides’ award, for his visionary aid to peaceful conflict resolution, at the Frank Erwin Center on the University of Texas campus. His children (except Lukas, away at school, I think) all sang ‘Peaceful Solution’ to their father, the song inspired and written by Willie and daughter Amy.
Willie and Annie Nelson were presented with the Camp Casey Peace Award (4/5/07)
Ben and Jerry’s named a new flavor in honor of Willie: Willie Nelson’s Country Peach Cobbler, and are donating a portion of profits to Farm Aid.  Willie appeared on the Stephen Colbert Report, for a taste test of his flavor against Colbert’s Americone Dream flavor.  Ambassador Richardson was called in to mediate, and then everyone joined Willie for a lively ‘On the Road Again.’  The show is available for sale, on Best of the Colbert Report DVD.
On November 1, 2007, Willie was honored with a Lifetime Achievement for Songwriter, by the American Music Association, at its 6th annual honors and awards, at the Ryman Theater, in Nashville.
Willie Nelson, Larry Butler Johnny Gimble, & Cindy Walker were voted into the Central Texas Music Hall of Fame. The awards were presented on March 29th, at the Heart of Texas Coliseum, in Waco.  I think Willie was on tour, and could not attend in person.
Willie’s album, You Don’t Know Me:  The Songs of Cindy Walker, received a 2007 grammy nomination for Country Album of the Year   
    The Willie Nelson Peace Research Institute launched in April 2007, as a portal of inspiration for living peacefully in the world. The site has links and information about how others are finding ways to live in peace, and actions they are taking to end war in the world.  Also, through the site, Willie and Amy Nelson offered the song they wrote, ‘A Peaceful Solution,’ to any person to record and share at the site, and have posted the video tapes and recordings at the site for everyone to enjoy.
Willie made his peace song, “Whatever Happened To Peace On Earth” available for download and purchase, with proceeds going to benefit the National Veteran’s Foundation
   Willie joined his family members and others in speaking out against horse slaughter in the U.S., and encouraged passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.  Taking it even further, Willie adopted horses that were going to be killed, and is raising them on his ranch.
In December, Willie donated $40,000 to the town of Vancouver, Washington, a town where he once worked as a disc jockey, and self-produced a record that he sold to fans, before moving to Nashville.
   Willie filmed a Public Service Announcement which aired in Georgia, against dog fighting, and seeking stronger anti-dogfighting laws and enforcement.
In March, Willie launched the Pednerales Record Label with nephew Freddy Fletcher, Producer James Stroud and manager Mark Rothbaum, and signed 40 Points, a band formed by sons Lukas and Micah.   
  On the cutting edge of technology, last summer Willie started offering live recordings of concerts on usb drive flash/memory sticks.  Fans could purchase the recording at the show and take it home with them after the show. has the recordings available for purchase on their web site, for fans who didn’t get to go to the shows.    
Willie published the book, ‘On the Biodiesel Road Again:  ‘Biodiesel and the Future of the Family Farm’   
Willie wrote the forward for friend Johnny Bush’s book, ‘Whiskey River (Take My Mind)’
Willie filmed a music video for his song ‘You Dont’ Think I’m Funny Anymore,’, a nw song on his new album, Moment in Time.  On 10/17/07 Willie hosted a ‘Bad Boy Lawnmower Race’ at his ranch in Austin, Texas, and invited family and friends to take part, including Jessica Simpson, Luke, Owen and Andrew Wilson, Dan Rather and Woody Harrelson.  The new album is scheduled to be released in early 2008, and the video will be released shortly after that.  
    In 2007 Willie parternerd with nephew Freddy Fletcher, Magic Johnson, and others in a new downtown Austin development.  Willie and Freddie have lent their advisement and financial supprot to a new venue for Austin City Limits and 2,200 seat performance/music hall.  
Willie called in to the Bill Mack xm Satellite Cowboy radio show, on Willie Wednesdays, talked with Bill and Cindy Truman and fans, told stories and kindly sang Happy Birthday about a million times, when asked.   
  • Last of the Breed, 2-CD set, with Ray Price and Merle Haggard
  • Moment in Time, produced by Kenney Chesney and Buddy Cannon to be released early 2008
  • ‘Always Seem to Get Things Wrong’, on Soundtrack to Ethan Hawke Movie, The Hottest State
  • Sings on Soundtrack to Wendell Baker Story
  • Sings on Soundtrack to Dylan Movie, I’m Not There
  • ‘I hear you Knocking’, on tribute album for Fats Domino, Goin’ Home album
  • co-wrote, ‘I’ve Got a Right to Dream’ with Mariah Carey, for her new movie, Tennessee
  • ‘If I Were a Carpenter,’ duet with Sheryl Crow on Anchored in Love tribute to June Carter Cash
  • ‘I give’, duet with Shawn King, on her album In My BackYard album
  • ‘One Paper Kid’, on EmmyLou Harris boxed set, Songbird
  • ‘Imagine,’ on Save Darfur, album of recorded songs by John Lennon
  • ‘Willie’s Song’, on John Anderson’s, Easy Money
  • ‘On the Road Again’, on Deanna Carter’s, The Chain
  • ‘Funny How Time Slips Away’ Duet with Linda Ronstad, on Simpson’s The Yellow Album
  • ‘On the Road Again,’ included on All Time Greatest Country Music Road Songs
  • Recording Academy of America,
  • narrated “Hidden Kitchens of Texas” radio show on National Public Radio.
  • Surfer Dude, starring Matthew McConaughey
  • Swing Vote, starring Kevin Kostner
  • Blonde Ambition, starring Jessica Simpson
  • Dukes of Hazzard: the Beginning released
  • Toby Keith reported he has written screenplay for his movie “Beer for my Horses,”, which includes a part for Willie (if his schedule allows)
  • appears in documentary “Kiho ‘Alu (Loosen the Key) Keola Beamer,” , emmy award winning documentary on history and music of slack key guitar
  • featured in Daniel Lanois film, This is What Is
  • Fighting With Anger, filmed in Austin (not yet released)
  • The Unforseen, Robert Redford’s documentary about the environmental effect of development around Barton Springs, Texas
  • Glen Campbell’s Good Time Hour released
  • Colbert Report, (3/20/07)
  • David Letterman Show
  • TV Land’s Tribute to Hee Haw (4/14/07)
  • Viva Las Vegas, about how Elvis Preseley re-invented Las Vegas
  • Opry Video Classics, Time Life DVD collection of classic broadcasts (Funny How TIme Slips Away, Night Life (1965))
  • The Journey, Kenny Rogers Story
  • Appeared in PBS show, Paul SImon:  The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song (6/27/07)
  • “American Voices:  A Conversation with Dan Rather and Willie Nelson”, on HDNet
  • PBS Television Now series, presented Willie Nelson and Biodiesel Fuel (1/1/07)
  • ‘The Ecoist’, featuring environmental activists Willie Nelson, Darrell Hannah, Paul Newman, Robert Kennedy, Jr., aired on Sundance Channel’s, The Green, new primetime show focusing on environmental topics (4/17/07)

There’s so much more, but I wanted to get this done by the end of 2007, so I have to quit!

Happy New Year Willie Nelson, Family, Fans and Friends.  I wish you all the best in 2008 and that your dreams all come true.  Be nice to each other, and yourselves.

Hope to see you at a concert soon!


Fire at Charley’s Restaurant and Bar in Pa’ia

Sunday, December 30th, 2007  

Maui officials said that a fire reported at 12:56 a.m. today caused an estimated $200,000 in structure damage and $150,000 in damage to the contents of Charley’s Restaurant and Bar in Pa’ia. There were no injuries reported and the business was not open at the time.

Five fire engines responded and the fire was extinguished at 2:42 a.m. The cause of fire is under investigation.

[I hope Giant Trigger and other Willie items are okay.]

Willie Nelson to Play 6th Annual Country Fever Music Festival in Pryor, OK

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

American country music icon Willie Nelson will play the Sixth Annual Country Fever Music Festival, June 12 -15, as announced by Country Music Festivals, Inc. Nelson will perform at the Country Music Fever Festival at the Catch the Fever Festival Grounds, four miles north of Pryor, OK off Highway 69.

Country Fever Music Festival amasses today’s biggest country music stars — mixing legends with the rising stars of country music over four days on three stages. Among the stars already announced with Nelson at 2008’s Country Fever Music Festival are Gretchen Wilson, Sugarland and Dierks Bentley

The Catch the Fever facilities include over 3,400 assigned and numbered seats, as well as general admission on the lawn for over 40,000 people. The grounds also feature over 4,000 campsites, on site parking, bathroom facilities, a convenience store, and overnight security provided by Mayes County Sheriffs Department. Country Fever also has a Picture Alley that allows anyone in attendance to approach the stage during any performance and take photographs of a favorite artist at close range.

Through January 7th, a holiday special will offer a one-day, general admission pass for only $45, plus applicable tax and service charge. Early bird discount prices are also available on all four-day passes for general admission, V.I.P., or reserved seating.

Willie Nelson’s Smile

Friday, December 28th, 2007

Always Now, by Willie Nelson

Friday, December 28th, 2007


Thanks to Neckywoudje for posting this video at YouTube of Willie singing ‘Always Now’ at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, on January 23, 2007.  This beautiful song will be on Willie’s new album, “Moment of Forever” set to be released on January 29, 2008.

1. Over You Again
2. Moment Of Forever
3. The Bob Song
4. Louisiana
5. Gravedigger
6. Keep Me From Blowing Away
7. Takin’ On Water
8. Always Now
9. I’m Alive
10. When I Was Young And Grandma Wasn’t Old
11. Worry B Gone
12. You Don’t Think I’m Funny Anymore
13. Gotta Serve Somebody 


Shelby Lynn, Willie Nelson, Shooter Jennings

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

Vanity Fair Magazine
November 2006

Willie Nelson honored at Environmental Superconference (2003)

Thursday, December 27th, 2007


Each year the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section of the Texas State Bar Association chooses a theme for the Environmental Superconference. In honor of Willie Nelson’s 70th birthday, “On the Road Again,” was the theme for the 15 th annual Environmental Superconference which took place August 7-8, 2003.

Willie sent a video greeting to the 500 attendees of the sold-out conference and his songs introduced each speaker. For example, “Blue Skies” introduced a panel on air issues, and “If You’ve Got the money, honey, I’ve Got the Time,” set the tone for a panel discussion on Brownfields and revitalization issues.

The ENRLS is a comprised of lawyers who practice or have an interest in environmental and natural resources law.

Sold Out! Willie Nelson and Family (Aberdeen, Scotland)

Thursday, December 27th, 2007


The Willie Nelson and Family Show in Aberdeen, Scotland on May 6, 2008, is sold out, but tickets are still available for these shows:

May 7, 2008

Caird Hall

Dundee, Scotland
May 8, 9, 2008

Clyde Auditorium

Glasgow, Scotland


Celebrate New Years with Folk Uke and the Paula Nelson Band

Thursday, December 27th, 2007


Monty Montgomery Band
Paul Nelson Band
Folk Uke
New Years Eve
The Saxon Pub
1320 South Lamar
Austin, Texas

For more information:
Tickets are on sale now at

Willie Nelson, at Poodies Hilltop Bar and Grill

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

You can see many more great pictures at


Willie Nelson Road

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

Willie Nelson honored by UT Project on Conflict Resolution (10/19/07)

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007


The Willie Nelson Peace Research Institute (] posted this video taken of Willie Nelson’s family singing the song written by Willie and daughter Amy, ‘A Peaceful Solution,’ at the University of Texas’ tribute to Willie Nelson on October 19, 2007.

by Jan Janner

The University of Texas’
Project on Conflict Resolution: 
The Willie Nelson
Bridging Divides Award Celebration

“Tonight we recognize and thank Willie Nelson for his inspiration at bridging divides and seeking peaceful solutions.  Willie Nelson is widely recognized as one of America’s most enduring cultural icons.

In life and art, Mr. Nelson symbolizes the nobility of the common man.  His advocacy on behalf of a myriad of causes springs from a deep well of compassion.

As a musical crusader for peace, not only is he a caretaker to the underprivileged and dispossessed, but a voice of reason.  His contributions to the common good and good time music remain a singular achievement.

May we all leave tonight inspired to work for constructive conflict and peaceful cooperation.”

Another Favorite Picture (2007) (Dee, Willie Nelson, and Alice, at the Atlanta Airport)

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

WillieTatoos/Dee flew to Atlanta to see a Last of the Breed Show last August.  Sweetheart/Alice picked her up.  Dee didn’t believe Alice when she said she and Willie would pick her up.

Willie Nelson Turns 70

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

“Things have never been better for me – I’ve never been happier.  I’ve gotten to the point where I’m healthier than I’ve ever been and go through life moment by moment, day by day with a positive attitude. I’m blessed with having the greatest bunch of people to work and live with. I called them, the family; some are biologically my family, and the rest I love like family. I hang out with people I like, create music I like, and pretty much do what I like. What more could you ask for?”

Willie Nelson, CMA Entertainer of the Year 1979

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

In 1979 the Country Music Association ratified what everybody already knew: Willie Hugh Nelson was named Entertainer of the Year, the highest award country music can give.  Of the five nominees — Kenny Rogers, Barbara Mandrell, the Statler Brothers and Crystal Gayle — Willie was probably the dark horse.  The clear favorite was Kenny Rogers, riding the huge success of ‘The Gambler.”

After sitting through the entire awards show and watching Kenny Rogers grab every award in sight, Willie figured he was off the hook.

“I thought Kenny was about to clean sweep,” Willie says.  “So I was surprised.  I was shocked.”  He was wearing his usual jeans and a neat cowboy shirt, his long hair pulled back in braids.  He took the microphone and thanked the audience modestly, started to turn away, then turned back to the audience.

“When you talk about entertainers,” Willie said, “Entertainers for years, not just one year, but entertainers over the years — I like to think about people like Little Jimmy Dickens, Faron Young, Ferlin Husky and all those people, and “I’d like to see these guys up here one of these years, because they certainly deserve to be.”

The applause was deafening.

Afterwards, Willie spoke again about his heroes, country music stars from the 1950’s who had a tremendous influence on the country music stars of the 1970s.  If Willie Nelson had his way, they would never be forgotten.

Later, he was asked if he thought he was singing with more confidence.  He paused for a long time before he answered.

“Yes, there’s a lot to that,” Willie said.  “There were a lot of years when I felt like I was singing to myself.  A lot of times I was. There was me and two couples out on the dance floor, and that was it.  The crowds have gotten bigger, and as the crowd gets bigger, your confidence grows.  Maybe you’re doing it right.”

Again, it seemed that Willie Nelson’s career couldn’t get any bigger.  Even The New York Times gushed the praises of the leather-tough singer from Texas.

“He plays with the vibrant enthusiasm of a Fats Waller,” wrote Al Rheinhart in the Times, “With the gleeful fulfillment of an artist who has finally found his audience, and through them, himself.  He is truly happy to be there, playing is music, and it shows.”

“An objective look at the present state of Willie Nelson’s nearly three-decade-long career indicates that he not only learned form the error of his ways, but he’s in fact gone a step further and turned them all into triumphs,” wrote Willie-watcher Bob Allen in country Music Magaine in 1980.  “For at least the last three years, some journalists have been predicting that his career was bound to peak any second now, and that it would all be downhill from there.  But the fact is it just seems to be gaining more and more momentum, almost by the day, and his universal popularity continues to grow.”

Willie, as usual, was philosophical — “I feel like I’ve made all the mistakes,” he says, “and I hope I’ve learned from them.”

by Michael Bane