Archive for January, 2012

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

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You can purchase your own shirt like this from:
http://www.willienelsonshop.com.

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Or in blue. Lots of other cool stuff there, too.

Willie Nelson and Sheryl Crow, ‘Today, I Started Loving You Again’

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Laid Back Willie Nelson

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Country America
March 1990

Willie Nelson, country music’s most famous “outlaw” is in church. Sitting in the front row, in fact, where he can catch every pearl of wisdom delivered from the pulpit… by Kris Kristofferson.

“Take that damn hat off in church!” Kris suddenly commands Willie, who obliges and does so with a sheepish grin.

What’s going on here? Nothing in real life, of that you can be assured. This is pure Hollywood. Texas-style, on location outside of Austin, where Willie and Kris have teamed for a new television movie entitled Pair of Aces. The two-hour melodrama aired in January on the CBS network.

In the film, Willie plays a wily burglary suspect who’s been released into the temporary custody of Kris’s character, a Texas Ranger nicknamed Rip — a man of such standing in the community that he also leads Sunday Bible study. Although neither man is particularly excited about the prospect of spending 72 hours in the other’s company, their relationship warms as the outlaw helps the lawman solve a series of grisly local murders.

During a break in the filming, Willie and Kris walk outside the church into the crisp morning air. Immediately, Willie is engulfed by onlookers, well wishers and autograph-seekers. Most are actual members of the small church who are working as extras for today’s scenes.

"I’ve waited 26 years for this picture,” says one man, sidling up to Willie as his wife takes a snapshot. A woman asks Willie to autograph a Bible. “Sign it ‘For David,’ ” she says. Another young woman comes up to shake his hand. “We have a saying at this church,” she tells him. “Whenever you enter here, you become a member — but it’s for sinners only.”

Willie smiles politely. “Well,” he says, looking her square in the eye. “I guess we all qualify for that!” The small group around him laughs heartily.

This singing, songwriting, move-starring celebrity maintains a grass roots appeal that belies his status as one of the world’s most instantly recognizable personalities. Much of his “common-man” image stems from his humble roots as a native son of the Texas soil, as well as his refusal to adopt the outward posturing of a superstar.

He grew up on Abbott, three hours north of his current home in Austin. Although he moved to Nashville for several years in the Sixties, he eventually returned to the Lone Star State ot drop permanent anchor.

Young Willie’s early days were spent laboring with his family in the broiling Texas sun, often working someone Else’s land. It’s a time he remembers well, if not particularly with fondness. “Hay baling,” he says, relaxing later that day in the quite privacy of his tour bus, “Was the hardest, hottest farm work there was. The hay got down your neck and itched, and sometimes the bales weighed 50 to 100 pounds. The first job I ever had was punching wires and stacking hay, and I got paid 15 cents a bales. I barely weighed as much as the hay bales I was stacking.”

One day he was picking cotton, busting his back and bloodying his fingers, when a sleep, air-conditioned Cadillac breezed down the road. Willie paused from his labor long enough to admire it — and the lifestyle it represented. Some day, thought, some day…

That day came over a decade ago, when Willie, after years of struggling as a singer/songwriter, finally broke into the music business with his 1975 single “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.” the song’s crossover success secured his reputation as a country music superstar. During the late Seventies and Eighties, he rode the airwaves with such solo hits as “On the Road Again,” “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys,” “Always on My Mind,” and, recently, “There you Are.”

He also became known as a vocal collaborator with dozens of other artists, such as Waylon Jennings (“Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to Be Cowboys”), Julio Iglesias (“To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before”) and Merle Haggard (“Poncho and Lefty”).

Willie also established himself as a movie actor, appearing in the films Thief, The Electric Horseman, Honeysuckle Rose, Red Headed Stranger, Barbarosa and Songwriters.

Burt even though he’s long been a part of the Cadillac crowd, so to speak, Willie is still out there in the field — in a figurative sense. His ongoing passion for the past five years has been the economic plight of American farmers. he currently serves as president and chairman of Farm Aid, an organization he helped establish in 1985 to provide assistance to poor an needy families whose livelihoods are dependent on agriculture. to dae, Farm Aid has distributed more than $9 million to farmers in distress through various educational, legal, emergency-help and outreach organizations.

“It has always been said that the farmer is the backbone of this country,” says Willie, “Bu now we’ve pretty much broken that backbone.”

Much of Farm Aid’s funding and most of its image raising, has been down through three massive star-studded concerts spearheaded by Willie in 1985, 1986 and 1987. Now he’s planning another concert. scheduled for April 7 at the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana, this may be the biggest Farm Aid concert yet. He’s also keeping himself busy designing a Farm Aid home video project and an album packages that will feature music from some of the rock and country stars who have readily joined him in the cause.

“I seem to be getting all the publicity for it,” says Willie, who is quick to cite rock musicians John Mellencamp and Neil Young, country singer John Conlee and others as his compatriots in the cause.

“Whenever you hear ‘Farm Aid,’ you usually hear my name, but there aer a lot of guys who are still very active in it.”

The farm crisis is not simply a faddish concern, explains Willie — its a society-threatening quagmire that continues to worsen.” Since 1985, we’ve seen 400,000 farmers give up there farms. Obviously we are not making that much progress.

New national farming legislation that will be introduced later this year has become a personal rallying point for Willie. “I have heard a lot of family farmer say that what they need out of the 1990 Farm Bill is legislation taht would allow them to make enough money to pay their bills and plant and harvest their crops – enough to break even and make a living. That’s all they’re asking.

“If we don’t correct his problem, it’s going to cost us the world. If you look back at the cities’ problems of unemployment, poverty, drugs, you name it — you can trace it back to where the first farmers were forced into the cities to find jobs, and overcrowding developed. It’s as if, after we got through kicking the Indians around, we started kicking the family farmer.”

“When the farms go under, the whole community goes under; the house, the schools, the hospitals. After all the small businesses go under, all those people are forced into the next biggest town, and the problem starts to repeat iteslf. The only way the situation can be reversed is to make farming an attractive enough business so that the children of our children will want to do it.”

If he hadn’t had direct farming experience of his own when he was younger. Willie admits he probably wouldn’t have the awareness he does today about the precarious state of American agriculutre. “I would just be like most people in this country who have no idea of what is happening. They don’t hve time to think about that. They’ve got their own problems, and I understand that. But they should take time to think about where their food is coming from — is there’s going to be plenty of it, or will we be paying a dollar for a slice of bread?”

Willie, with his laid-back lifestyle, may at first seem like an unlikely candidate for such large-scale activism. “I have never taken the time to look up the definition of the word ‘activist.’ It sounds to me like the definition would be ‘somebody who acts,’ and that would be me. That would also include everyone of the artists who performed at any of the Farm Aid concerts, every one of the volunteers and all of those people who sent money and paid for tickets. It makes us all activists.”

“I would be a little scared to jump out there and say, for instance, ‘I think that all Repbulicans are great,’ or ‘All Democrats are great.’ I don’t think I’m ready to get that general with my acitvism. But there are certain issues that I believe people should act on, especially if its going to affect their family or the future of the world. To me, being an activist means ‘positive action.’”

His first love, and still foremost, is the music that he’s been making for over four decades. Even with Farm Aid, it’s been Willie’s musical role that has provided the axis for his involvement. “Playing music is what I do,” he says. “All these other things are just other things. I really believe there’s safety in numbers. The more things you get started, the less worriying you can do. Plus, I do seem to get bored pretty quickly, which means I’m always looking around for something new.”

He hopes that his music, his movies, his crusade for Farm Aid and his whole public image send a message of inspiration. “There are not enough people who realize the value of a good positive attitude” he says. “If I had a message that I would pass on to people, it would be that they don’t have any idea how much a positive attitude can change their lives.”

How would he like to be remembered, after the records, the films, Farm Aid and everything else is past and gone? He thinks for a moment, and then a smile creases his face. ”I’d like them to say, ‘He put on a good show.’”

This day in Willie Nelson history: American Music Award (Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain) (1/31/1977)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

On January 31, 1977, Willie Nelson was presented with an American Music Award for Favorite Country Single for “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain

Monday, January 30th, 2012

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Willie Nelson, Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, and some other guys I don’t know, ‘Stay All Night’

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Willie Nelson and Bea Spears, Grand Junction, Colorado

Monday, January 30th, 2012

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September 19, 2011

Willie Nelson & Family on Tour

Monday, January 30th, 2012

February 1, 2012 Sunrise Theater Ft. Pierce, FL
February 2, 2012 Ruth Eckerd Hall Clearwater, FL
February 3, 2012 Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall Sarasota, FL
February 4, 2012 Circle Square Cultural Center Ocala, FL
February 7, 2012 Anderson Music Hall Ft. Lauderdale. FL
February 8, 2012 Florida Theater Jacksonville, FL
February 9, 2012 Forum Civic Center Rome, GA
February 10, 2012 Beau Rivage Biloxi, MS
February 11, 2012 Anderson Music Hall Hiawassee, GA
February 12, 2012 Tabernacle Atlanta, GA
March 3, 2012 Plaza Theater Performing Arts Cntr El Paso, TX
March 4, 2012 City Bank Auditorium Lubbock, TX
March 6, 2012 Desert Diamond Casino Sahuarta, AZ
March 7, 2012 Balboa Theater San Diego, CA
March 8, 2012 Chumash Casino Santa Ynez, CA
March 9, 2012 Fantasy Springs Resort Indio, CA
March 10, 2012 The Smith (Private/Invite Only) Las Vegas, NV
March 12, 2012 Comerica Theater Phoenix, AZ
March 13, 2012 Walt Disney Concert Hall Los Angeles, CA
March 15, 2012 Fox Theater Oakland, CA
March 16, 2012 Silver Legacy Casino Reno, NV
March 17, 2012 Silver Legacy Casino Reno, NV
June 5, 2012 Schermerhorn Symphony Center Nashville, TN

***** Always check with the venue or www.WillieNelson.com to confirm any shows listed here.

Willie Nelson & Family in Ocala, FL (2/4/12)

Monday, January 30th, 2012


Willie Nelson in concert at Silver Springs March 4, 2006.

www.ocala.com

Country-music legend Willie Nelson has performed in Ocala before, namely to thousands of fans at Silver Springs. But few locals have seen him as he will perform Saturday night at On Top of the World’s Circle Square Cultural Center, in the intimate 800-plus seat venue.

Willie Nelson campaigns with Dennis Kucinich

Monday, January 30th, 2012

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The Chronical Telegram has posted lots more pictures from Willie Nelson’s campaign stop in Ohio, in support of Dennis Kucinich in his re-election bid.  See them all  here. 

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Willie Nelson Pick of the Day: Willie and the Dead

Monday, January 30th, 2012

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Willie Nelson and Dennis Kucinich

Monday, January 30th, 2012

www.macon.com

LORAIN, Ohio– Country music icon Willie Nelson has come to Ohio to sing out in support of an old friend, U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (koo-SIH’-nich).

Nelson performed a sold-out benefit for the congressman on Sunday in Lorain, about 25 miles west of Cleveland. The star previously campaigned for Kucinich during his bids for president.

Willie Nelson, ‘Remember Me’

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Willie Nelson performs and raises funds to Benefit Dennis Kucinich (1/29/2012)

Monday, January 30th, 2012

http://morningjournal.com
by:  Jason Henry

Dennis and I go a long way back,” Nelson said. “He’s always been a friend to the farmers, to me, to anything I was interested in seeing done, he’d say ‘What can I do to help?’”

Their shared anti-war stance is a large part of the bond, Nelson said. Marijuana decriminalization is another.

“I like Dennis’s stand on the drug laws and how we should revisit those and stop all of the killing and dealing down on the border,” Nelson said. “Bring our troops home from overseas, put them down there on the border and let’s stop that. We can save thousands of lives by doing this.”

Though politics shrouded event, the actual concert had few mentions of the primary.

Kucinich briefly thanked everyone for coming and turned the show over. Nelson opened with “Whiskey River.”

LORAIN — As Willie Nelson walked on stage at the Lorain Palace Theater yesterday afternoon, the crowd shot to their feet and began to cheer.

He hadn’t said a word; his presence alone elicited the response. The energy in the room elevated rapidly from chatty anticipation to crazed excitement in a split second with cries of joy and whistling.

Behind the country star a massive American flag draped, but on both sides of the stage the day’s message read: “Dennis Kucinich for Congress.”

The event allowed U.S. Rep. Kucinich a chance to promote himself to the people of Lorain. As guests shuffled through the doors of the Palace Theater, Kucinich and his wife, Elizabeth, waited to greet them.

In the heated bid for the Ohio’s coastal 9th District, Kucinich and Democrat primary opponent Rep. Marcy Kaptur continue to battle for Lorain County.

Just a week before the concert, Kaptur opened an office downtown and secured endorsements from city officials. Kucinich opened his own Lorain headquarters at 610 Broadway last night, including an invitation to stop by with each ticket.

In a press conference before Nelson’s performance, Kucinich responded to a statement by Kaptur’s office that said Kaptur brought jobs to the area while Kucinich brought singers.

The concert brought 21 stagehands jobs, Kucinich responded, in addition to the 40 Palace staff members working the event.

Kucinich referenced his history of protecting steel jobs, in particular a rallied effort in 2001 in Cleveland that kept the LTV Steel mill blast furnace hot until a buyer could be found.

Behind the country star a massive American flag draped, but on both sides of the stage the day’s message read: “Dennis Kucinich for Congress.”

The event allowed U.S. Rep. Kucinich a chance to promote himself to the people of Lorain. As guests shuffled through the doors of the Palace Theater, Kucinich and his wife, Elizabeth, waited to greet them.

In the heated bid for the Ohio’s coastal 9th District, Kucinich and Democrat primary opponent Rep. Marcy Kaptur continue to battle for Lorain County.

Just a week before the concert, Kaptur opened an office downtown and secured endorsements from city officials. Kucinich opened his own Lorain headquarters at 610 Broadway last night, including an invitation to stop by with each ticket.

In a press conference before Nelson’s performance, Kucinich responded to a statement by Kaptur’s office that said Kaptur brought jobs to the area while Kucinich brought singers.

The concert brought 21 stagehands jobs, Kucinich responded, in addition to the 40 Palace staff members working the event.

Kucinich referenced his history of protecting steel jobs, in particular a rallied effort in 2001 in Cleveland that kept the LTV Steel mill blast furnace hot until a buyer could be found.“There are 1,700 jobs that we saved as result of rallying the community to save the steel mill,” he said. “The mill today just added 150 jobs. So we have 1,850 jobs at our mill.”

Later that night, he’d stress the importance of industrial jobs at his office’s opening ceremony.

We have to remember our strategic industrial base: steel, automotive, aerospace, shipping. That’s what made America great, that’s what keeps America a world power and that’s what we have to pay attention to,” he said.

Earlier though, Nelson, sitting beside Kucinich at the conference, had a better solution for the battle with Kaptur. First noting the public’s positive reaction to President Obama’s recent rendition of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” Nelson proposed his plan.

“Have you maybe thought of a duet?” Nelson said.

Kucinich’s political “Fun Raiser” packed the theater with 1,400 regular tickets and sixty “meet-and-greet” tickets sold. Individuals who bought the $100 tickets got a chance to meet Nelson and Kucinich.

Each ticket holder got a photo with Kucinich and Nelson as well as a chance to get items signed. The people in line for the meet brought stacks of records, guitars, pictures and for one man, an arm waiting to be tattooed.

James “Big Ed” Roberts, of Big Ed’s Tattooing in Elyria, had Nelson sign his arm with a plan to make it more permanent.

“We’re going to straight over to the studio and he’s going to ink the name in there,” Roberts said. The tattoo, being completed by Therapy Ink in Amherst, marked Roberts’ decades of love for Nelson’s music. Roberts said he’s listened to Nelson since he began performing in the 1950s.

“I’ve been to several of his concerts, but just never got a chance to meet him,” he said.

The meet-and-greet fulfilled a lifelong dream of Andrea Sabol, of Cleveland, who created a “wish list” when she was diagnosed with cancer. Meeting Nelson fulfilled one of her goals.

“I’m crying,” she said. “This is very, very exciting. He’s a legend.”

Her girlfriend Sandy Salobecke found out about the event and purchased tickets for both of them. Sabol and Salobecke walked away from Nelson crying. It was worth the money, both agreed.

“It was great, it was such an opportunity,” Sabol said.

While some splurged to meet a legend, the low priced concert tickets aimed to give everyone an opportunity to see the legend perform.

“This is one of the most beautiful theaters in Northern Ohio and in the state for sure,” Kucinich said. “It’s a perfect setting for Willie Nelson. Lorain is a community that appreciates his music.”

Kucinich said he pitched the concert to Nelson as an economical event.

“I told him ‘These are hardworking people; people are kind of struggling to makes ends meet’ and that I think he has people here who would appreciate his music a lot and he said ‘sure,’” Kucinich said with a laugh. “So I made a pitch for Lorain and just said this is where we want to have it.”

The two became friends when Nelson contacted Kucinich after the Congressman delivered a speech entitled “Prayer for America” in 2002.

“From that moment on, once we met, we became very close friends,” Kucinich said.  

At the press conference, the two bantered. As Nelson and Kucinich sat down, Nelson complimented Kucinich on his dressy attire.

“I heard Willie Nelson was coming to town, so I dressed for the occasion,” Kucinich joked.

“I wore my best T-shirt,” Nelson replied, motioning to his plain black shirt.

Nelson said he often calls Kucinich to get feedback on songs and the two share similar stances on issues.

Dennis and I go a long way back,” Nelson said. “He’s always been a friend to the farmers, to me, to anything I was interested in seeing done, he’d say ‘What can I do to help?’”

Their shared anti-war stance is a large part of the bond, Nelson said. Marijuana decriminalization is another.

“I like Dennis’s stand on the drug laws and how we should revisit those and stop all of the killing and dealing down on the border,” Nelson said. “Bring our troops home from overseas, put them down there on the border and let’s stop that. We can save thousands of lives by doing this.”

Though politics shrouded event, the actual concert had few mentions of the primary.

Kucinich briefly thanked everyone for coming and turned the show over. Nelson opened with “Whiskey River.”

Willie Nelson, Lance Armstrong endorse Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell for re-election

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

photo thanks to www.supertouchart.com

www.statesman.com
by:  Sarah Coppola

Singer Willie Nelson and seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong have endorsed Mayor Lee Leffingwell as he runs for re-election.

Nelson said in a statement that Leffing-well “has done a real good job of helping keep (Austin) a special place.” Armstrong said the mayor “has been a strong leader, and I think he deserves a second term.”

Leffingwell is facing no major opponents this year, though former City Council Member Brigid Shea has said she’s considering challenging him.

The election will be in May.