Archive for the ‘Birthdays’ Category

Happy Birthday, Raelyn Nelson

Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

raelynn

Happy birthday to the talented and beautiful Raelyn Nelson, Willie Nelson’s granddaughter.

Friday, July 6th, 2018

Happy birthday to the beautiful and talented Amy Nelson.

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Happy Birthday, Dallas Wayne

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018

Happy birthday to dear Dallas Wayne, singer, song-writer, musician, on air talent from Sirius/XM Radio.

And he’s got a new album out!

Happy birthday, Sturgill Simpson

Friday, June 8th, 2018

Happy Birthday, Connie Nelson

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

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family

Willie Nelson and Family

Happy birthday, Miss Tex

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

Happy birthday to Pat Wiley Keeney.

Happy Birthday, Anthony LoGerfo!

Monday, May 21st, 2018

Willie Nelson on the Porter Wagoner Show

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

WWW.RollingStone.com
by: Stephen L. Betts

Clean-cut songwriter shares newly written “She’s Not for You” and more in 1965 TV appearance.

By the early Sixties Willie Nelson was gaining a sterling reputation as a songwriter, with massive hits by Patsy Cline (“Crazy”), Faron Young (“Hello Walls”) and Ray Price (“Night Life”), among others. After a few successes as an artist at Liberty Records, he signed with Nashville’s RCA label, where producer Chet Atkins would be at the helm of many of his recording sessions, albeit with limited success.

Following his debut single for RCA, the now-perennial holiday favorite “Pretty Paper,” Nelson released “She’s Not for You.” Warning a friend about a woman who is a serial cheater, Nelson plays the role of “Old Faithful,” the guy who will take her back in spite of this flaw in her character. Unfortunately, record buyers at the time decided the song was not for them either, and it stalled just outside country’s Top 40 in the spring of 1965.

Nelson, however, was proving a popular guest on some of country music’s most visible TV showcases at the time, owing in part to the role he’d played in giving artists such as Porter Wagoner, who had one of the biggest of these shows at the time, a chance to have hit records with his tunes. During the above appearance on Wagoner’s show, Nelson performs “She’s Not for You,” playing acoustic guitar with an uncharacteristically steady beat throughout, employing little of the jazz-influenced timing that has become a signature for the now 85-year-old – who celebrated that milestone on Sunday, April 29th.

As with many of his songs, Nelson would revisit “She’s Not for You,” most notably on the album that finally got him out from under the thumb of RCA and Atkins’ “Nashville Sound” sweeteners. In 1973, the now-bearded Nelson, whose Family band had become a hugely popular concert attraction, recorded Shotgun Willie, his first LP for Atlantic Records and one of the very first to define the iconic “Outlaw” sub-genre in country music. The 1973 version features a tasty acoustic guitar solo from Nelson, performed on his trusty sidekick Trigger.

In a later segment from the same episode of the Wagoner show, Nelson performed the classic country-meets-the-apocalypse weeper “Darkness on the Face of the Earth,” a tune featured on his debut LP, 1962’s …And Then I Wrote, and recorded during the same two-day session during which he’d cut early versions of “Crazy,” “Hello Walls” and “Funny How Time Slips Away.”

Also included in this vintage clip is Nelson’s version of “Hello Walls” as well as the show’s musical closing with Wagoner, his band and show co-stars, including comedian Speck Rhodes.

In 1993, Nelson would revisit “She’s Not for You” on his exceptional Don Was-produced Across the Borderline LP, which also featured Paul Simon, Bonnie Raitt and Sinead O’Connor. “Darkness on the Face of the Earth” would be recut on 1998’s Teatro, produced by Daniel Lanois, and on the 2005 reggae LP Countryman.Willie Nelson’s latest album, Last Man Standing, was released Friday, April 27th.

Happy birthday, Billy Nelson

Saturday, May 12th, 2018

“Happy Birthday, Dad! We sure do miss you!!! ”

Raelyn Nelson

May 12, 1958  – Dec 24, 1991

Happy birthday Willie nelson, from Bruce Robison

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

Willie Nelson turns 85: A Visit With the King of Night Life

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

www.RollingStone.com
by:  Patrick Doyle

As he reaches his 85th year, Nelson is writing, touring and smoking more than ever. His band and family members weigh in on what drives the Red Headed Stranger.

“What else we got?” Willie Nelson asks. He’s sitting with his famous battered guitar Trigger at his recording studio, located on the Cut ‘N Putt golf course he owns in Spicewood, Texas. He’s deep into a session of Frank Sinatra covers for a future tribute album. Nelson’s producer Buddy Cannon has given him plenty of chances to call it a day (especially because the singer was up until 4 a.m. playing poker), but Nelson keeps asking the control room to cue up more tracks. At one point, last night’s poker guests – Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey – pop in, but even they can’t distract Nelson. “We’ll let you focus, Willie,” Harrelson says with a smile, leaving the room.

From the signature ballad he wrote for Patsy Cline to his love letter to life on the road.

Nelson remains focused as he reaches his 85th birthday, which he celebrates on April 29th. He’s still sharp: “Sometimes I forget lyrics to new songs or whatever, but normally I can remember them pretty good,” he says. During a break from recording, he says the Sinatra release is actually a ways off; before that, he will release an album of new songs, Last Man Standing, his 19th new album of the last decade, and the continuation of his most prolific writing kick since the Seventies. After Last Man Standing, he will reissue his 1973 gospel album The Troublemaker, with songs, like “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?” which still close his live show.

I want to re-release that one before the Sinatra album, to give me a chance to finish it,” he says. Nelson also still maintains a touring schedule that puts younger acts to shame, playing about 100 dates a year, two weeks on, two weeks off. The reason for the workload is simple. “I just enjoy playing,” he explains, “whether it’s on the stage, here in the studio, or wherever.”

The new song “Last Man Standing” is a tongue-in-cheek rocker about Nelson’s conflicted feelings about his status as country’s elder statesman: “I don’t want to be the last man standing / On second thought, maybe I do / If you don’t mind I’ll start a new line and decide after thinking it through.” “I was thinking about Merle, Leon Russell, Ray Price, Johnny Cash – all those guys gone on,” he explains. “You kind of wonder [about death]. I’ve been around a long time.”

Nelson’s influence is often overlooked because of his image as a weed-smoking cowboy caricature – the guy who shows up in Austin Powers or admitting to Larry King that he’s stoned on the air. But he’s a lot more than that. He is the most unique and versatile country artist of all time – a cowboy singer with jazz phrasing, playing Django Reinhardt guitar licks on a beat-up classical guitar. In the same way Miles Davis is considered the quintessential jazz artist because he explored almost every iteration of the genre over 50 years, Nelson has seen through every chapter of country music – first as a radio host and honky-tonk bandleader in the Forties and Fifties, then as a slick crooner in Sixties countrypolitan Nashville, then as the face of the outlaw country movement, something that happened after Nelson moved back home to Texas, grew his hair out and stopped caring about the charts. Nelson shook his career up once again by recording the first standards album, Stardust, against his label’s wishes. It went quintuple platinum.

Nelson’s pace is only surprising because just a few months ago he was questioning whether he would play in public again at all. In January, he walked offstage in California and canceled two months of dates, retreating to his place in Maui. Fans feared the worst. “I had the flu for, like, three weeks,” he says. “And that wasn’t no fun. I was a little uncertain about coming back and whether I could still do a show – it had been so long.”

The first show back was in St. Augustine, Florida on February 27th. The band didn’t know what to expect. “Willie came out of the gate just smoking,” says his harmonica player, Mickey Raphael. “We were all a bit nervous coming back out after so much time off, but the first night felt like we had never stopped playing. I couldn’t have been happier. I’m thinking to myself, ‘Ye of little faith.’ He blew us all away and all we had to do was hold on.” Asked what was going through his mind, Nelson is less sentimental: “I was just trying to remember ‘Whiskey River,’” he says with a smile. “We did it then; we did three or four more good shows shows in a row, so I got my confidence back.”

The tour wrapped at the Luck Reunion, a mini-festival at Nelson’s home, a mock old-West town he had built for the 1986 movie the Red Headed Stranger. After a day that included Kurt Vile and Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Nelson’s ’94 pickup could be seen snaking down his long dirt driveway, past fields of horses, pulling up next to the stage. Nelson strapped on Trigger and led an audience through singalongs like “Crazy,” “Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” and “On the Road Again.” (I wondered if Nelson had any reservations about opening his home to 3,000 fans, and he laughed. “Nah, that’s cool,” he says. “It’s a good place to play because it’s close to the house.”) Nelson noted that a lot of young faces had probably never seen him play before. He also had fun because he was joined by his kids, Lukas and Micah. “There’s no better feeling,” he says, “than having kids working with you and doing a good job.”

By his own quick math, Mickey Raphael has played more than 5,400 shows with Nelson since he joined 45 years ago. The harmonica player is essentially the bandleader, and the biggest piece of advice he gives to musicians sitting is, “You have to watch him.” Nelson does not technically have a set list – though he always starts with “Whiskey River” and ends with a gospel medley – and he will routinely cut songs short, extend solos, or even repeat songs if he feels like it. “Every night is a gamble, like walking a high wire without a net,” Nelson says. Adds Raphael, ”If you’re reading a chart or singing or playing it by rote – you’re screwed.”

Kevin Smith, the band’s newest member, learned this lesson when he joined mid-tour, after the death of longtime bassist Bee Spears in 2011. A seasoned Austin bass player, Smith was “just jobbing around town” when Raphael called him at 8 a.m. one day, asking him to play the gig that night. “They weren’t terribly kind to me – they just did their regular thing,” Smith says. “And it went well and Willie walked past me and slapped me on the shoulder and said ‘Way to go.’ And that was pretty great.”

Other variables can affect Nelson’s performances too. He recently started his own cannabis company, Willie’s Reserve. Since he considers himself the “CTO” (Chief Tasting Officer), Nelson was trying out several strains before a show. This may be why, Raphael says, Nelson unknowingly re-started his set toward the end of a show. “We were three quarters into the show and he does ‘Stay all Night,’ which might have been the second song,” says Raphael. “He just lost his place. Then he does that by rote, so he did, like, the first 15 minutes of the show again. I didn’t tell him till he asked me. He said, ‘Have we done, ‘Good Hearted Woman?’ ‘Yeah.’ I don’t say anything unless he asks me.”

“He’s also 85,” says Raphael. “I’m surprised he remembers what he does without the dope.”

Mortality has always been one of Nelson’s least-favorite subjects. “He doesn’t talk about it at all,” says Raphael. “He didn’t go to Roger Miller’s funeral. He didn’t go to Waylon’s funeral. We just don’t talk about death around him, especially because a lot of his friends are punching out.”

So it was surprising when, during the sessions for Last Man Standing, Nelson introduced a new song, “Something You Get Through.” Nelson had sung about death jokingly on recent albums – on last year’s great “Still Not Dead” (“I woke up still not dead again today / the Internet said I had passed away”) or on another new song, “Bad Breath” (“Bad breath is better than no breath at all.” “Bad Breath”prompted critic Steven Hyden to observe, “Apparently, someone dared Willie to write a perfect, heartbreaking lyric about halitosis.”) Still, Raphael was unprepared for “Something You Get Through,” which begins:

“When you lose the one you love / You think your world has ended / You think your world will be a waste of life / Without them in it / You feel there’s no way to go on / Life is just a sad, sad song / But love is bigger than us all / The end is not the end at all / It’s not something you get over / But it’s something you get through.”

“I got chills,” says Raphael. “I thought, ‘OK, this is going to be a classic. I don’t care about any of the others.” Raphael left the studio, both to give Nelson space and because Raphael was raw from the losing of his longtime girlfriend to cancer. The lyric – “It’s not something you get over / But it’s something you get through” – was just the latest example of what Raphael sees as Nelson’s gift: “That’s his genius. That’s why he can write ‘Night Life and I can’t. I knew ‘Night life ain’t no good life but it’s my life.’ But I didn’t write it. He just sees things that are just there. You often can’t see the forest for the trees – sometimes things are so blatantly obvious and you miss them. He just knows how to look and see things.”

“I love and adore you! Happy 85th” — Sheryl Crow

Monday, May 7th, 2018

“Not gonna lie – one of THE most exciting moments of my life!!!” — Reese Witherspoon

Saturday, May 5th, 2018

I ?? ya Willie!! Happy birthday!

Happy Birthday Willie Nelson

Saturday, May 5th, 2018

Willie Nelson, “Songbird”, with Ryan Adams

In October 2006, Lost Highway Records released Songbird, a collaboration between Willie Nelson and Ryan Adams. The album was produced by Ryan Adams and recorded with the Cardinals, who back up Willie on all 11 tracks, along with Mickey Raphael, on harmonicas.

The album incudes a diverse range of covers: “Stella Blue”, by Jerry Garcia and Roert Hunter, “$1000 Wedding”, by Gram Parson, “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, and the title track, written by Christie McVie, whic originally appeared on Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album.

Willie and Ryan both wrote new songs just for this album. Willie wrote “Back to Earth”, and Ryan wrote, “Blue Hotel”. Also, there are several of Willies classics on the album: “Sad Songs and Waltzes”, from Shotgun Willie, and “We Don’t Run”, from Spirit.

Track List:

Rainy Day Blues
Songird
Blue Hotel
Back to Earth
Stella Blue
Hallelujah
$1000 Wedding
We Don’t Run
Yours Love
Sad Songs and Waltzes
Amazing Grace
Christmas in Prison

Happy birthday to the still-way-cooler-than-all-of-us Willie Nelson

Saturday, May 5th, 2018