Archive for October, 2009

Willie Nelson and Family at Patsy Cline Theater Dedication (10/29/09)

Saturday, October 31st, 2009



photo by:  Dennis Grundman
by J.R. Williams

WINCHESTER — Tickets were scarce and the wait was long, but Willie Nelson gave Winchester back its money and its time.

The country music legend was in town Thursday at John Handley High School to dedicate a brand-new theater to an old friend.

“The mayor just gave us a key to the city folks, so everything’s cool,” he said after taking the stage. “We’re glad to be here at the Patsy Cline Theatre.”

Community leaders, along with Charlie Dick, Cline’s widower, and his family joined former state Sen. H. Russell “Russ” Potts Jr. to cut the ribbon on the new venue.

photo by:  Dennis Grundman

Nelson called Dick “one of the best friends I ever had.”

Cline performed on the school’s theater stage at 15 years old for a talent show, something Dick, who now lives outside Nashville, said he remembers well.

“I didn’t know who she was at that time,” he said.

Dick said he hopes the theater will further seal Cline’s memory.

“I think this is great,” he said. “Her name will be kept in the public eye, hopefully for a long time.”

Nelson didn’t disappoint the sold-out crowd.

He came to Winchester on Thursday from New York, where he had performed with jazz musician Wynton Marsalis, event promoter Christian Schweiger said.

Nearly every tune brought people to their feet. Right away he played “Crazy,” the song he wrote that would stamp Cline’s memory into popular culture for decades.

Nelson played several of his classics, including “Whiskey River,” “Georgia On My Mind” and “On the Road Again,” with some Janis Joplin and Hank Williams thrown in for good measure.

It wasn’t Nelson’s first visit to Winchester; he was a guest at the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival in 1966.

Proceeds from Thursday’s show benefited the Winchester Education Foundation.

Tickets for the show were hard to come by — passes for the 1,327-seat theater sold out nearly as soon as they went on sale.

Interest stretched at least as far as Nashotah, Wis., where attendee Don Krull said he came from to see the show.

Kay Boyce, a fan from Clear Brook, said she landed tickets through the Willie Nelson Fan Club. She was there with Libby McTiernan, of Winchester, and Joanne Talley, of Strasburg.

“He’s my favorite,” Boyce said. “I hope he plays ‘[You Were] Always on My Mind.'”

He did.

McTiernan, a self-described lifelong fan, said she remembers where she was when she found out Cline was killed in a plane crash.

“I was on vacation in Florida … in a shop and heard it on the radio,” she said. “I thought it was terrible.”

She said the theater dedication was a fitting tribute to the Winchester girl who made it to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

“I think it should have been done a long time ago,” she said.


photo by:  Dennis Grundman

The show also featured a performance by the John Handley Hilltop Singers, who also sang “Crazy.” The audience also was treated to a slide show of photographs of Cline.

Judy Sue Huyett-Kempf, director of Celebrating Patsy Cline, was on hand to speak to attendees about the organization’s effort to renovate the singer’s childhood home.

“It’s a huge step forward in the recognition of Patsy from here,” she said.

The event was promoted by Tom Rooney, president of Rooney Sports and Entertainment, and Schweiger.

Willie Nelson and Family, Mescalero, NM (12/13/09)

Saturday, October 31st, 2009


Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino
287 Carrizo Canyon Road
Mescalero, New Mexico

EL PASO, Oct 29, 2009   Willie Nelson’s on the road again. He’ll be riding his biodiesel-fueled Honeysuckle Rose II bus to Mescalero, N.M., where he’ll play at 7 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Inn of the Mountain Gods.

Tickets for the tireless troubadour’s show are $40 for standing-room only; $65, $75 and $100 for floor seats, and $150 VIP. They’re on sale now at the resort and through Ticketmaster outlets, and 800-745-3000.

Mickey Raphael and Willie Nelson

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

woodland3 by you.

Janis from Texas for took this picture from backstage at the Woodlands, in Texas.
by Stratton Lawrence

At 76 years old, he could easily hang his bandanna on the wall, unbraid his hair and settle into a recliner.

But after half a century of performing, Nelson continues to tour and release new music at a breakneck pace, further securing his status as one of the most prolific performers and coolest musicians in history.

Who else pulls off their first reggae album (“Countryman” in 2005) in their 70s, openly advocates marijuana use and still maintains the respect of the entire music industry as one of the greatest songwriters ever to pen a verse?

Nelson already has released three albums this year. “Naked Willie” “unproduces” 17 of his songs from the 1960s, revealing the raw essence of the tunes before additional instrumentation and backing vocals were added.

“Willie & the Wheel,” a collaboration with the group Asleep at the Wheel, is a swing dance concept album produced by “Mr. R&B,” the late Jerry Wexler. “American Classic” brings in Diana Krall and Norah Jones for a record of jazz standards.

Band member Mickey Raphael has played harmonica with Willie and the Family Band for a quarter century, and he’s got stories to tell. He jokes about the time their bus pulled up to a festival in northern California with a full Hell’s Angels escort, only to be turned around by the police at the gate who didn’t recognize the band.

Willie pulled out his American Express card to prove his identity and gained them all entry.

“Willie’s a true renaissance man,” Raphael said. “He’s not afraid to take chances. He’s got the time.

“What’s he going to do, sit at home and watch TV?”

The Family Band jumped on tour with Nelson this fall for a stretch of shows with Dave Matthews after Nelson spent the summer touring with Bob Dylan and John Mellencamp.

“It hardly ever stops,” Raphael said. “It just gets perpetual. We just keep on going.”

In addition to the three concept albums Nelson has released this year, the Family Band has already laid down a double album worth of new studio material.

“He’s so prolific. There’s so much stuff,” Rapheal said. “But you can’t put out 10 records all at once, even though he seems to do that.”

Touring with the Family Band means Willie can draw from his entire song catalog. Raphael says they never step on stage with a set-list.

“We’ll start with ‘Whiskey River,’ then maybe ‘Beer for my Horses’ or ‘Stay All Night,'” he said. “Willie just plays the songs, and we just follow him.”

Willie Nelson & Family

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: Koger Center, 1051 Greene St.

TICKETS: $58 and $45

INFORMATION: (803) 251-2222 or

Farm Aid 2009

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

faneil by you.

Thanks to Pat/ Miss Tex, from Texas for sharing this picture she took of Willie Nelson, and Neil and Peggy Young, at Farm Aid in St. Louis, MO on 10/4/09.  She posted it at Willie’s Fan Club site,


Pat took this pic of Cherie and me at Farm Aid.

Free! a copy of Lost Highways Sampler album, with Willie Nelson singing ‘Lost Highway’

Saturday, October 31st, 2009


T for Texas, T from Tennessee

Lost Highway, Willie Nelson
Country Roads, Ryan Bingham
The Rose Hotel, Robert Earl Keen
Pantry, Lyle Lovett
Waiting on the Stars to Fall, Hayes Carll

For a limited time, Lost Highways Records is giving away free copies of their  Lost Highway Sampler: T For Texas T From Tennessee.  

The free album can be found here:

After you watch this video of Willie Nelson and Kurt Nilsen sing ‘Lost Highway’ you will want that album!

Willie Nelson and Family, Choctaw, MS (10/23/09)

Saturday, October 31st, 2009


Thanks so much to Katrina and Lane, for sharing their pictures from the Willie  and Family in Choctaw, MS at the Silver Star Convention Center on 10/23/09.





Willie Nelson Doll on the Road Again, in Mississippi

Saturday, October 31st, 2009


Thanks to Lane and Katrina for sending this picture of Willie Doll at the show in Philadelphia, MS, at the Silver Star Convention Center.

Willie Nelson and Darrell Royal

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Texas Monthly
by Darrell K. Royal

“I first started seeing him when he’d play the package shows that would come to the City Coliseum in Austin.  They’d have a headliner, like a Johnny Cash, and then a bunch of other people.  Willie had recorded by then and had a following in Texas, but he was down the ticket.

Now, that’s my kind of music, so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.  He was playing at the Broken Spoke one night.  I went, and I got a table near the back.  The crowd wasn’t big, but it was a crowd.  The people were dancing, and then they stopped and walked up to the stage.  I realized that they didn’t want to dance  — they wanted to hear Willie.

At intermission, he came back to my table.  I don’t know how he knew I was there; I never asked.  He said hello, and I asked him what he was doing after the show.  He said, “Nothing.”  I said we could go share a drink and visit.  He said that would be fine. 

I was a member of the UT faculty, so I took him to the faculty club — it was called the Forty Acres Club back then.  We visited until three o’clock in the morning.  I don’t remember what we talked about, but we didn’t have any slowing down in the conversation.  That started things, and the friendship has grown.

I remember, before Willie got big, before ‘Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain’, wanting a bunch of my friends to hear him.  So I said, “Willie, let’s do an evening of just you and the guitar.”  There was a little place over in east Austin called the Back Door — it was run by a man and his wife.  She did the cooking.  There were two or three tables in the restaurant part, and you could go in there and get great Mexican food.  In the back, they had a dance hall — it could seat maybe two hundred people. 

I said, “Willie, we can have this thing.  We’ll charge ‘em twenty-five dollars a ticket.”  Willie said, “Nobody’s gonna pay twenty-five dollars a ticket.”  I said, “Yeah, they will.” He said, “We could do it, but you’re not going to be able to sell any tickets for that.”  Well, he filled up the room, all word of mouth.  We had lawyers, doctors, people of all professions.  I’m amazed at the people over the years who have said, “Boy, we remember Willie at the Back Door — it was great, and wouldn’t it be great if we could do it again?”  Willie had a great time too.  We gave him a better payday than he ever imagined.

Willie and I have a lot in common — not everything, but a lot.  He’s not really a big football fan.  He played high school football over there in Abbott.  Maybe he was a center. They called him Little Red.  I call him Little Red every now and then.  We both like to golf.  Willie can keep his ball in play, and he’s a good player.  And we play chess.  He’s good.  He has a chessboard on his bus.  I used to beat him pretty regularly.  Lately he beats me.  I think he’s gone uphill and I’ve gone downhill.

Willie knows that he can count on me if there’s some way I can help him.  I know I can count on Willie.  For instance, I had a charity golf tournament for thirty years.  Willie played it all thirty.  How’s that for friendship?  There’s no telling what that cost him.

These days I don’t see him quite as often as I used to.  I’ll call him and visit with him sometimes when he’s on the road.  I call him at three or four in the afternoon — that’s a good time to catch him.  Sometimes he’s on the bus or moving between gigs.

People sometimes wonder how the two of us can be friends.  They do.  And I haven’t tried to explain it.

[Darell K. Royal was the head coach of the University of Texas football team from 1957 through 1976.]

Willie Nelson, George Strait

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Austin American-Statesman
April 19, 1990

Willie Nelson, George Strait and Former University of Texas football coach Darrell Royal played at theLegends of Golf pro-am Wednesday.  On Wednesday, at Barton Creek Country Club, the celebrities played and the crowd stood around begging for autographs. 

The pro-am play was a prelude to the Seniors PGA Tour tournament that begins today and is destined to draw a far different crown from Wednesday’s.

The Wednesday crowd was sprinkled with those who didn’t know a Hole in One from the Ace in the Whole Band.  those were spectators who would have trouble differentiating bogeying from a boogying.

But these were people who across a fairway, had to trouble recognizing Willie without the bandanna, and George without the cowboy hat.

Budrock’s ‘Crew’s Views’ at Willie Nelson’s Web Site

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

crew1 by you.

Budrock “Buddy” Prewitt has posted more Crew’s Views at Willie Nelson’s website,

Lots of fun pictures and stories!    Visit the Pedernales PooPoo to see his posts.

Another satisfied Willie Nelson Fan

Friday, October 30th, 2009


“Wow … Willie I have watched you and your family for 28 years tonight was just as good as the first time!!!! Thank you Willie for staying over and you held my hand for a fleeting moment and Bobbi thanks for signing my 1984 tour shirt!!! When people asked who you were … I said just the “best piano player in the world” and you are.

Thank you Willie for a great show … Catch you next year as I have not missed you in 28 years xoxoxo”

— Tam
    Charlotte, NC

Willie Nelson and Family at the Patsy Cline Theater Dedication, in Winchester, VA (10/29/09)

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Photos by Rick Foster

Willie Nelson and Family performed in Winchester, Virginia last night, at the dedication of the Patsy Cline Theater, at the Handley High School.   Tickets to the show in the 1327 seattheater show was sold out, and proceeds will benefit  the Winchester Education Foundation, and help raise funds for academic programs, scholarships, athletic equipment and uniforms and other projects to benefit the students.  This was Willie Nelson’s second show in Winchester — the last time was in 1966, when he played the Apple Blossom Festival.   
winchester2 by you.

winchester1 by you.

Patsy Cline’s husband Charley Dick and daughter Julie Fudge attended the dedication.

To see more pictures and read comments from folks who attended:

I opened for Willie Nelson (Winchester, VA 10/29/09)

Friday, October 30th, 2009

All photos by:  Rick Foster

The Hilltop Singers, of Winchester, Virginia, opened for Willie Nelson and Family last night in Winchester, Virginia, at the dedication of the Patsy Cline Theater.  Gloria Law is the choral director for the group.

On The Road Again: Willie Nelson

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Willie Nelson receives ‘Bridging Divides’ Award (10/19/07)

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

On 10/19/07 Willie Nelson was presented with the ˜Bridging Divides” award in Austin, for his visionary aid to peaceful conflict resolution, at the Frank Erwin Center on the University of Texas campus. Several of his children  sang “Peaceful Solution” to their father, the song inspired and written by Willie and daughter Amy.