Archive for April, 2009
While there is some conjecture over what day his birthday actually is, April 30 is the common day that we celebrate the great Willie’s birthday. Today begins his 77th trip around the Sun, something that represents how many of us who know him, think of the man.
Willie Nelson is the nicest, smartest, funniest, most creative and hardest-working person I know, and that’s saying a lot considering all the other artists I’ve worked with over the years. He’s always ready with a joke, is happy to meet almost anyone, and can play a mean guitar all night long while singing some of his 3,000 songs in a beautiful and honest voice.
Willie is also friend to the downtrodden people on the fringe of society or any idea that might improve the quality of life for ALL people, whether it’s alternative energy, organic farming or simply calling for people in authority to be honest and fair. He has made friends with many politicians over the years, but it’s the poets and dreamers, the characters, that make up his closest associates. And they usually have pretty great nicknames too.
While there will be many tributes, I think everyone should just listen to some Willie today. If you have a cassette, 8 track, cd or lp, put it on. As far as radio stations online, I would recommend the Austin stations KGSR and KUT, but you may also want to scope Willie’s own radio station, Willie’s Place, on Sirius XM. Their birthday special “The Spirit of 76? is on all day today, and a concert featuring Ray Price along with Willie and Family will be broadcast this Saturday from Carl’s Corner, Willie’s truck stop near Waco. There is a 3 day free trial w/Sirius Xm that will enable you to catch the whole thing gratis if you are into it.
Willie Nelson is the greatest and I am honored to wish him a Happy 76th birthday, with best wishes for many more.
For videos, and much more from John and Earbender:
Happy Birthday Willie – Sirius/XM
April 29th, 2009
Happy Birthday Willie: The Spirit of 76!!
Thurs 4/30 12:00 pm ET
Willie’s Place celebrates Willie Nelson’s 76th birthday today with a full afternoon of special programming. “The Satellite Cowboy” Bill Mack will be digging deep into his personal archives for some of his favorite, and funniest, interviews with Willie, his friend of over 40 years.
“The Big D” Dallas Wayne will be broadcasting live from the Sirius XM studios at Willie’s Place in Carl’s Corner, TX, where he will be joined by some of Willie’s classmates from nearby Abbott High School for a very special “Willie Roundtable” conversation. And, of course, it’s Willie’s Place, so you never know which of his many musical friends made might call in to offer their birthday wishes.
Phosphorsecent: To Willie
Thurs 4/30 9:00 pm ET
In a nod to Willie Nelson’s 1975 tribute to his friend and mentor Lefty Frizzell, To Lefty From Willie, Brooklyn-based indie rock band Phospherescent has released an enchanting collection of covers titled To Willie. The Red Headed Stranger is so enamored with the album that he invited the group’s leader Matthew Houck and other bandmembers to visit with him prior to a recent gig in New Jersey, and now the band returns the favor with this special gift on Willie’s 76th birthday, an exclusive session from the Sirius XM studios in New York.
Willie & The Wheel
Fri 5/1 9:00 pm ET
In honor of Willie’s 76th birthday weekend, Willie’s Place will replay this complete concert performance from Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel, originally broadcast live this past February from the Night Life Theater at the Willie’s Place truckstop in Carl’s Corner, Texas. The show features an opening set from Ray Benson & Asleep at the Wheel, followed by an extensive show with Willie including classic Western Swing selections from the album Willie & The Wheel and other fan favorites.
LIVE from Carl’s Corner
Sat 5/2 4:00 pm-midnight ET
Willie Nelson is celebrating his 76th birthday weekend in style, with a day-long free concert at the Night Life Theater at the Willie’s Place truckstop in Carl’s Corner, TX, and Sirius XM’s Willie’s Place will be carrying all of the festivities live on the air. In addition to a set with his band, Willie will be performing songs from the album Memories of Hank Williams Sr. with his long ime friend Larry Butler, and the legendary Ray Price will also be saluting the original “Drifting Cowboy” with songs from his new album Hank & Me. Willie’s son Lukas will be sitting in with him, and his daughter Amy Nelson will also on hand with her band Folk Uke, a duo with Arlo Guthrie’s daughter Cathy. And Sirius XM’s own Dallas Wayne will be doing a set including songs from his new album I’ll Take The Fifth, as well as sharing MC duties with “The Satellite Cowboy” Bill Mack.
All of us at Legacy Recordings and the entire Sony Music family wanted to wish Willie Nelson a Happy 76th Birthday today!
To help celebrate, be sure to enter the ultimate-guitar.com contest to win tickets to see Willie and the family out on the road and a copy of his latest release, Naked Willie.
Here is a video of Mickey Raphael talking about the project at:
by Kirstin Binder
Nelson’s biggest achievement to date is founding Farm Aid along with fellow musicians John Mellencamp and Neil Young in 1985. Although it started as a simple benefit concert, it’s since turned into a huge organization that has raised more than 33 million dollars. With giant corporations edging out small family farms, the foundation’s goal is to help these small farmers and prevent their land from being developed. They also support organic farming and create awareness about buying local to support the farms’ hard work.
Today the three founders sit on the board of directors along with musician Dave Matthews (among others). Recently, as President of Farm Aid, Nelson even wrote a moving letter to President Obama regarding the importance of family farms and eating fresh, local food. And the tradition of the benefit concert has continued with an annual music show where dozens of superstar performers eagerly participate.
In addition Nelson is also passionate about horses and supports Habitat for Horses, which rescues neglected and abused horses as well as those headed to slaughter. He’s also written to congress in support of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.
But what I find the most intriguing is his interest in biodiesel, a clean-burning fuel that can replace regular diesel in the giant, gas guzzling trucks that cross the continent. It all started with his wife filling her diesel Volkswagen Jetta with restaurant grease. Then he bought a Mercedes and filled it up with 100% vegetable oil from grease traps. He loved the gas mileage, loved how the car ran and didn’t mind that his tailpipe smelled like French fries.
Quoted as saying “There really is no need going around starting wars over oil. We have it here at home,” Nelson is trying to change the way we see fuel. Made with vegetable oils, his company’s BioWillie fuel can be used without any modification to diesel engines and is being marketed at truck stops. The benefits are three-fold: it reduces our need on foreign oil, it’s environmentally friendly and it can help profit farmers. Which, of course, stems back to Nelson’s original activist roots.
Thanks to http://blogs.nashvillescene.com for posting this 1981 video of Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash talking about the music business and outlaw music movement.
‘To Willie, Love Phossy’ — Phosphorescent part of Willie Nelson’s 76th Birthday Celebration on Willie’s Place on Sirius/XM radio tomorrow nightWednesday, April 29th, 2009
It could happen
that in a still-sunny
NYC late afternoon
you’ll get off of a motorcycle
in way downtown Manhattan
with only a mind to get your boots fixed
at a shop you know down there
Your phone will beep in your pocket
to say that you’ve missed a call
and when you check it
there’ll be a voicemail
from a number called ‘Unknown’
As you walk down
the busy street
between those tall buildings
and among all that bustle
you’ll listen to the message
and this is what you’ll hear:
“Hey Matthew, it’s Willie.
Just calling to say Hi”
You’ll freeze in your tracks
as this wise old Texas voice
comes through the line
and skips any explanation of
how he got your number or
anything like that
but just goes right on to tell you
in his soft mischievous twang
How much he likes the album
of his songs
It could happen that your eyes
will unexpectedly well up a little
when you realize what’s going on
As you stand there in the shadows
of those tall buildings;
as you watch all the people hustling;
as you watch the sunlight slanting
through the cross streets.
It’s could happen, then
that he’ll say he’s gonna be nearby
in New Jersey in a couple of days
to play a show
and hopes that y’all will get a chance
to run into one another
And it further could happen that you’ll go
and he will invite you onto his tourbus
just to meet and chat and tell a few jokes
and meet the family
And he’ll invite all your bandmates onboard too
and you’ll all pass around that famous vaporizer
and he will honestly be the sweetest
most gracious host
Then you’ll watch from the crowd
as these giants play an astonishingly great set;
Willie’s moves on the guitar are like none other at this point
and Bobbie and Paul are laying down such
subtle perfection on piano and drums
And that voice which you’ve heard
since as long as you’ve been aware of music at all
will echo through the hall
as strong and heavy as human life itself
And, friends, it will be a true, true pleasure.
Matthew and his band will be part of the celebrations at Willie’s Place Sirius/XM radio tomorrow, in honor of Willie’s 76th birthday, and here is Willie talking about the band’s session recorded for Willie’s Place Sirius/XM right Here.****
Thanks to Jeremy Tepper, of Sirius/XM Radio for this picture
Bill Mack has announced that Willie Nelson will be calling in to talk with fans today for Willie Wednesday! Here’s your chance to call in and talk to Willie Nelson! The phone number is 877-394-5543, or 877-3WILLIE. Good luck getting through; lots of fans trying to get through.
If you aren’t a Sirius XM subscriber you can sign up for a free 3 day trial below:
Matthew Houck and Phosphorescent help celebrate Willie Nelson’s Birthday on Sirius/XM Radio tomorrowWednesday, April 29th, 2009
Matthew Houck and Phosphorescent visited Willie Nelson on his bus when Willie Nelson and Family were on tour in New Jersey earlier this month.
Sirius/XM Radio reports that Willie invited them personally to perform on SIRIUS XM Radio channel “Willie’s Place” as part of Willie Nelson’s 76th birthday celebration.
Phosphorescent To Willie, album, a tribute to the music of Willie Nelson. Styled after Willie’s own tribute to Lefty Frizzell, the 1975 album, To Lefty, From Willie, has received glowing praise from sources as far and wide as Country Weekly and Vanity Fair to Mojo and The Fader. Not just a tribute album, Phosphorescent lovingly renders 11 tracks pulled deep from Mr. Nelson’s catalog of song.
All along Matthew Houck said that his tribute wasn’t just a good idea he had, but rather something he’d always known he needed to do. When preparing for the album’s release, Matthew shared his thoughts with me about his first memory of Willie Nelson’s music:
“I can remember being in the back seat of my parents’ car in Alabama and hearing “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys” sung by Willie Nelson. I must have been three or four years old. That huge-sounding, sad, sad song did something to me. It took something out of me. Or put something into me I don’t know which. There was a gravel driveway and a gate. My father was out of the car, opening the gate and then we were driving over the gravel. Every song I’ve ever sung has something to do with this moment.”
And now a new voice has joined in the choir of high praise for the album – the voice belonging to Willie Nelson himself! Last week Dead Oceans received an invite from Willie Nelson’s Sirius XM Radio Channel, Willie’s Place (located on the dial on Sirius 64, and XM 13,) for Phosphorescent to perform as part of the channel’s festivities celebrating the 76th birthday of the Red Headed Stranger.
Also last week, Phosphorescent’s Matthew Houck and his entire band of merry musicians were personally invited by Willie to come to New Brunswick, NJ to attend a Nelson performance. Upon arrival, they were invited onto his tour bus where Mr. Nelson was extremely generous and sweet, and shared some very kind words about To Willie. You can read Matthew’s own telling of the encounter on his myspace page linked Here.