An old photo hanging in the Wort Hotel shows a fresh-faced young man, a rakish smile hinting at an outlaw attitude. It takes a second or third glance before you realize it’s a familiar face, and maybe a few more before you identify him: Willie Nelson, circa 1962, in the Wort’s old Greenback Stage.
Willie has come back to Jackson many times since, but with 18 platinum and multi-platinum records, at least 20 #1 country hits, 8 Grammy awards and countless other honors to his name, the days of his playing small rooms are long gone. Until now. The Center for the Arts is proud to welcome the legendary artist back to Jackson Hole for an intimate evening in its 525-seat Center Theater.
A prolific recording artist and songwriter whose career spans six decades, his immortal hits include, “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” “Always on My Mind” and, with Julio Iglesias, “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before.”Â The man who penned Patsy Cline’s most famous tune, “Crazy,” has ventured into jazz – his 1978 album “Stardust” has gone platinum five times – and has a lengthy filmography both as an actor and a contributor to scores of soundtracks.Â In 1981, he received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song (“On the Road Again” for the film “Honeysuckle Rose”).Â His collection of Grammies includes the 2008 award for best country collaboration (“Lost Highway” with Ray Price), the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000 and the Legend Award in 1990.
A die hard activist, Nelson co-founded Farm Aid in 1985.Â He is a biofuel pioneer, a business partner in two bio-diesel plants, and runs his tour buses on vegetable oil.Â In January 2005 he headlined a benefit concert to help victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. He is an honorary trustee of the Dayton International Peace Museum, and in April 2007, he founded the Willie Nelson Peace Research Institute.
Wille’s most recent albums are “Moment of Forever” (released Jan. 29, 2008, on Lost Highway Records) and, with trumpet king Wynton Marsalis, “Two Men with Blues” (released July 8, 2008, on Blue Note Records).Â In addition, a four-disc, 100-song box set retrospective, “One Hell of a Ride,” was released in April.