Archive for June, 2011
December 29, 1977
Pine Bluff, AR
We had an opportunity to visit with Willie before the concert began and we are happy to report his ankle is doing fine and he looked great. In keeping with the winter weather, Willie had exchanged his T-shirt for a plaid flannel shirt and his tennis shoes for lace-up hiking boots. Willie showed us a turquoise watch band he had, quote “Took right off ole’ Johnny Rodriguez’s wrist”, and it’s a beauty. Willie said he had a good feeling about this tour and I think he is right, for the night before, at the Tarrant County Convention Center, Ft. Worth, TX, 10,000 fans gathered to hear Willie and Family and this night in spite of heavy ground fog and a weather forecast calling for sleet, the Convention Center at Pine Bluff was filled to capacity.
Jerry Jeff Walker got the evening off to a great start with “Bo Jangels”, “L.A. Freeway”, “Desperados” and “Redneck MOther” among many others. The crowd brought Jerry Jeff back for an encore that closed with “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”
Willie, in his usual great form, and the fans on their feet from the very beginning with “Whiskey River”, “Hello Walls”, “Funny How Time Slips Away”, the “Redheaded Stranger” album, “Me and Paul”, “If You’ve Got the Money”, “Good Hearted Woman”, “Until I Gain Control Again”, Leon Russell’s “My Song” and many, many more ending with the great gospel songs, “Uncloudy Day” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” Willie didn’t get a chance to leave the stage. These fans were not ready for that and they let him know it with shouts of, “More Willie”, “We love you”, “Willie”, bringing him back for an encore of “Whiskey RIver” once more “Milk Cow Blues” and “Goodnight Irene.” The Hat swapping had been as brisk as the pace set by Willie and Family’s music and fans were all around the stage by the end of the concert. Although Willie’s bus was only a few feet from the stage steps, it took him some time to get back to it as he stopped to sign autographs and talk with the fans. A great evening, thanks to Willie and Family.
— Jan Coney
Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown Tour 2011 at the Las Palmas Race Park in Mission, TX tonight has been cancelled.
Due to insufficient production capabilities at the Las Palmas Race Park, the Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown Tour 2011 stop in Mission, Texas, today (June 30) has been canceled. We hate to disappoint enthusiastic fans, but we believe this is the only responsible action at this time. While we are currently working with the local promoter to possibly reschedule the event, ticket buyers can contact the point of purchase for refund information. Further details about any reschedule will be available at www.countrythrowdown.com.
The show scheduled for tomorrow (July 1) in Corpus Christi, Texas, at The Concrete Street Amphitheatre will go forward as scheduled, and tickets are still available for purchase for that show through Ticketmaster at
by: Eric Woods
Forget the new term triple threat, country music icon Willie Nelson is not only a singer and songwriter, but also a producer, a movie and television actor and an activist.
As a musician, Nelson may have garnered a lot of gold and platinum, but as an activist he’s also raised a lot of green, especially with his efforts to assist farmers through Farm Aid events, his partnership to promote the usage of biodiesel and through his work as the co-chair of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
Nelson was born in Abbott, Texas, in 1933 and showed promise as a musician early on as he wrote his first song at age seven and started playing local honky-tonks by age 13. Then his brother-in-law later invited Nelson to join his band, The Bohemian Fiddlers. At one time Nelson was even part of Ray Price’s touring band as a bass player. Price recorded one of Nelson’s songs, “Night Life.”
Nelson later joined the United States Air Force, but was discharged after only a few months due to chronic back problems. He then studied agriculture at Baylor University, but dropped out after two years to continue his music career.
Over the past six decades, Nelson has recorded numerous albums and has written hits such as “Funny How Time Slips Away” for Billy Walker, “Hello Walls” for Faron Young and the hit that really cemented his fame as a songwriter: “Crazy,” which was recorded by Patsy Cline.
As a performer in Nashville, Nelson went through the clean-cut cookie cutter country scene before finding himself moving to Austin in 1971, becoming one of the driving forces behind the evolving Austin music scene. At the time, Nelson started to experiment with his own style and vibe.
After some issues with label RCA, Nelson signed with Atlantic records and released his first album on the label in 1973 called, “Shotgun Willie.” Shortly after, Nelson released his concept album, “Phases and Stages,” which was included reflections on Nelson’s divorce. On one side of the record he sings from a man’s perspective and on the other side, a woman’s.
Nelson used the momentum he had built in Austin as well as the lessons learned from “Shotgun Willie” to move on to Columbia Records, recording the 1975 album, “Red Headed Stranger.” The album was immensely popular as well as a commercial success. Nelson recorded “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” which was a Fred Rose cover, on “Red Headed Stranger,” and it became a No. 1 hit.
Nelson had several hits follow Blue Eyes, including “Whiskey River,” “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys,” “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground,” “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before,” with Julio Iglesias and “Seven Spanish Angels” with Ray Charles. Then came the Eagles cover, “Take It to the Limit” and the iconic duet, “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” both with fellow outlaw, Waylon Jennings. The singers would later be a part of the country supergroup The Highwaymen, which also included Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson.
As for his other artistic endeavors, Nelson made his debut on the big screen in the 1979 film, “The Electric Horseman,” starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. Nelson contributed a few songs to the soundtrack.
He also starred in “Honeysuckle Rose,” and “The Big Bounce,” and then was featured in two films with country star Toby Keith called “Broken Bridges” and “Beer for My Horses,” which is based on Keith and Nelson’s duet that also shares the same title. Those are just a few of Nelson’s film credits.
As an author, Nelson has written several books including “Willie: An Autobiography,” “The Facts of Life: and Other Dirty Jokes” “On The Clean Road Again: Biodiesel and The Future of the Family Farm” and he co-authored a fictional novel with Mike Blakely called, “A Tale Out of Luck.”
As with any outlaw, Nelson has had his scrapes with the law, including his problems with the federal government in 1990 when the Internal Revenue Service seized all of his assets to cover his $16.7 million dollar tax debt. To help pay the debt, Nelson released, “The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories?” which is a stripped down two-disc set mainly recorded with nothing but Nelson and his guitar.
Then there’s his reputation as a marijuana user.
Nelson has also been arrested several times over the years for marijuana possession, with the most-recent arrest last November when the U.S. Border Patrol detained him at a checkpoint in Sierra Blanca, Texas. Allegedly, Nelson was in possession of six ounces of marijuana.
After some interesting turns, including a possible deal to slap Nelson with a $100 fine and haul him into court to sing “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” the matter was settled and Nelson was ordered to pay a $500 fine plus court costs in the amount of $280.
IF YOU GO
What: Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown Tour 2011
Featuring: Willie Nelson, Jamey Johnson, Jack Ingram, Lee Brice, Randy Houser, Brantley Gilbert, Craig Campbell, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real
When: 2 p.m. , Friday, July 1, 2011
Where: Concrete Street Amphitheater, 623 Power St., Corpus Christie, TX
By Kelly Dearmore
American icon Willie Nelson really hasn’t slowed down. Whether it’s the amount of albums he records with any number of musical partners, his still-relentless touring schedule or hell, even his pot-related arrests, the braided shaman from Abbott is a man who loves hitting the road.
Obviously, the road still loves him, too. Thousands still flock to Nelson’s shows in all corners of the country.
The only sign of a possible slowdown for the Red-Headed Stranger? His legendary Fourth of July Picnic.
In 2007, Willie disguised a bill with Son Volt and the Old 97’s in Washington state as a so-called picnic, while in 2009, he simply slapped the picnic label onto the Austin stop of his ballpark tour with Bob Dylan.
For this edition, Willie brings his tour through the Fort Worth Stockyards on July 4th. While it’s basically a spruced-up version of the Country Throwdown package tour bearing his name, he has at least included friends both new (Jamey Johnson) and old (Ray Price) into the mix so that any signs of aging can melt away into the baked dirt of a Lone Star holiday.
Read entire article here.
Thanks to John Herring, for another great video of Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real, filmed at Help Ride Bike & Music Festival Temecula, California, on October 23, 2010.