Alison Krauss was one of the many artists who gathered in Washington DC in November 2015, to honor Willie Nelson, when he received the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Songs.
Archive for the ‘Awards and Honors’ Category
On March 11, 2002, Willie Nelson was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame. He was presented by Lyle Lovett and Billy Gibbons.
Willie Nelson’s musical reputation is matched by his sterling songwriting (“Crazy,” “Nightlife,” “On The Road Again”) but when he appeared in 1979’s THE ELECTRIC HORSEMAN with Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, a character actor for the ages was born. His first starring role was in 1980’s HONEYSUCKLE ROSE with Amy Irving and Dyan Cannon, filmed around Austin, followed by the western BARBAROSA (1982) and the underrated SONGWRITER (1984).
Numerous TV parts came to the Abbott native while film roles such as RED-HEADED STRANGER (1986), GONE FISHIN’ and WAG THE DOG (1997), and STARDUST (2000) kept his big screen image popular. Nelson’s downhome appeal is most evident when he plays himself (AUSTIN POWERS: THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME, 1999) and he rallied a grieving nation performing “America The Beautiful” on AMERICA: A TRIBUTE FOR HEROES.
The Texas Film Hall of Fame, which operates under the auspices of the Austin Film Society, was co-founded in 2001 by Louis Black, the editor of The Austin Chronicle, and Evan Smith, Editor-In-Chief and CEO of The Texas Tribune and former editor of Texas Monthly. Every year, at a gala held at Austin Studios, on the site of the city’s onetime municipal airport, the Texas Film Hall of Fame inducts or honors Texans who’ve made a significant contribution to film or filmmaking, as well as non-Texans who’ve made significant strides in the advancement of the Texas film industry. Classic Texas films are also honored, with a member of the cast or crew accepting on behalf of his colleagues. In 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005, the gala was emceed by Ann Richards, the former governor of Texas, who died on September 13, 2006. The 2007 gala commemorated her passing by celebrating her life and her passion for film, emceed by New York columnist and 2001 Inductee Liz Smith. www.AustinFilm.org
“Thank you Rep Richard Raymond of Laredo and the Texas Legislature by proclaiming it Bobbie Nelson Day in Texas.
What a great honor! Thank you!”
Buddy Cannon and Willie Nelson, 2017 Grammy Award Winners “Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin”Thursday, February 23rd, 2017
by: Juli Thanki
Longtime producer Buddy Cannon hit a career milestone on Sunday night: his first Grammy Award.
“Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin,” which Cannon co-produced with Matt Rollings (a man he describes as “one of the best musicians that’s ever been in this town”), was named Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, beating out releases by Andrea Bocelli, Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand, and Josh Groban.
“It was a heavy category for sure,” Cannon said on Monday. “If I pulled myself out of the equation and looked at the names of all five nominees, Willie is as strong as any of them. I thought we had a chance.”
Cannon didn’t fly to Los Angeles for the awards show. Instead, he had a jam session with his mother, 92-year-old harmonica player and songwriter Lyndel Rhodes, then came home to watch the pre-telecast ceremony on the Grammy website. “It’s Matt’s first (Grammy win) and my first. We were both just bouncing off the walls,” he said.
After 10 years of making records together, Nelson and Cannon have it down to a science. “It’s like riding a bicycle. We do our thing. It’s easy, and it makes me nervous as hell every time,” Cannon admitted. “I don’t know why. Getting ready to go in and record your hero, it just makes me nervous.
“His songs have always been an inspiration for me as a songwriter. His singing and his guitar playing have been inspiring to me as a musician. I think anything I do has a little bit of Willie’s influence in it. It’s very gratifying to know that one of your heroes just happens to be a great guy who loves to laugh and have a good time.”
While many other Grammy winners celebrated their victories well into the night, Cannon didn’t even take a coffee break: “I’m working on a record for a band my daughter sings in called the Likely Culprits, and I’m co-producing it with Ronnie Bowman. As soon as the announcement came that we’d won the Grammy, Ronnie knocked on my door, we went upstairs and went to work.”
Willie Nelson wins Grammy for “Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album” for “Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin”Monday, February 13th, 2017
Nelson’s Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album win was announced during the 2017 Grammys Premiere Ceremony, which was streamed online before the televised awards show. Unfortunately, Nelson was not at the award show to accept his award; in recent weeks, he’s canceled a number of concerts due to an undisclosed illness.
Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin is a collection of songs penned by George and Ira Gershwin. Songs on the album include “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “I Got Rhythm” and “Love is Here to Stay,” among others. Wilson partners with Cyndi Lauper for “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” and with Sheryl Crow for “Embraceable You.”
by: Linsday Liepman
AUSTIN, Texas — Willie Nelson’s guitar is almost as iconic as he is. Trigger is named after Roy Rogers’ horse and has been by Willie’s side since 1969. Mark Erlewine is the Austin man that has kept Trigger going for almost 40 years.
Off the beaten path of Burnet Road, in a back warehouse, the science of sound marries the art of music in Mark Erlewine’s guitar shop.
“Whenever a guitar comes in, the first thing I do is tune it to pitch and measure the action at the 12th fret,” said Mark.
Erlewine is one of three boys and had an ear for music early on. His mother was also a musician, playing piano and singing and recognized that her son had a talent.
“When I first started guitar, I rented a guitar in Wheaton, Maryland. And it was the worst playing guitar I had ever had. And I thought ‘Is it me? Is guitar going to be this much of a challenge? Or could this play better?’ And that…was really the first time I tried to figure out and took an interest in guitars,” said Mark.
He answered the call to Austin in 1974 from Ann Arbor, Michigan where he owned a guitar repair shop.
“This was like the Mecca. Armadillo World Headquarters,” said Mark.
He spent a few nights sleeping on the table saw of his first shop on Guadalupe and would post flyers for his business along the drag. There was no AC in the shop. Mark would sweat and work on guitars. He was young and ambitious.
“I was right down the street from the Austin City Limits TV studio so often bands would come in that needed some work,” said Mark.
One day Poodie Locke came in with a repair order for B.W. Stevenson’s guitar.
“That was an introduction to people in the business,” said Mark.
At the end of the 1970s Mark met Willie Nelson for the first time at the Austin Opry House located on Academy Drive just off South Congress. Today it houses a software company and is still the site for Arlen recording studios. Poodie, Willie’s stage manager, took Mark through a series of back hallways to a private bar.
“Willie was sitting there at the bar. Introduced me and Willie said, ‘yeah I just want you to keep this guitar going for me. As long as it’s going, I’ll be going,'” said Mark. “I thought, ‘I can do that.'”
But Willie’s request wasn’t for repair.
“Willie wants Trigger to wear along with him,” said Mark.
Don’t tough the frets. Be careful of each signature but keep it playing. Willie was starting to wear a second hole in the wood.
“Trigger looked much younger then, as did I,” said Mark.
Willie and Trigger have played more than 10,000 shows. Between gigs, Trigger will come back to Mark for a list of repair work. He’s replaced 12 to 13 sets of tuners over the years and made sure Trigger’s iconic sound is still intact. The Martin N-20 guitar is Brazilian rosewood on the back and sides with a Spruce top.
“Much of his life is there handling Trigger,” said Mark.
Mark has a love song of his own waiting to be written. His wedding photo to wife Dianne is tucked in his toolbox at the shop where they both work. She takes care of the books after leaving the corporate world in 2009.
“I do love it when people come in and they put the guitar up on the case and open it up and start talking about it. I’ll usually wander up to the front just to listen,” said Dianne Erlewine.
They’ve been married for a dozen years and the stories keep coming.
“Jimmy Vaughn comes out and winks at him and I’m like, you know him?” recalls Dianne about one of their first dates.
“Sting or Bob Dylan’s guitar. Something I listen to and admire, yeah that’s exciting,” said Mark.
He never knows who will walk through his door.
“No…not until the credit card, says John Fogerty. And I said you know I play a lot of John Fogerty songs,” said Mark.
He’s made custom guitars for Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill of ZZ Top, Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, Johnny Winter, Don Felder and Joe Walsh of The Eagles, Paul McCartney and more. But for every famous face, he’s mended guitars for local musicians and possibly even repaired one marriage.
“She put it over his head and they were seeing a counselor now and they think things would get better but they were hoping we could put this thing back together for them. It’s symbolic of their relationship,” said Mark.
He was able to repair that guitar but others have to be pronounced dead. Not Trigger though. Mark spent time in December working on Trigger while Willie and the band rested for the holidays. Mark himself has had surgery for carpal tunnel on both hands. The guitar reflects the wear and tear too. Just like Willie wants it.
“I think Trigger will be there til the end. I really do,” said Mark.
You can learn more about Mark’s work at www.erlewineguitars.com.
When Willie Nelson recorded his concept album Red Headed Stranger in Garland, Texas, in 1975, he insisted on simplicity for the tracks. But according to the books Willie, by Michael Bane, that simplicity proved a bit too much for the studio musicians and his record label.
As Willie recorded the song, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” he stopped the session, played through the tune with just guitar and vocal and asked the band to play only what was necessary. Several of the musicians, realizing that they basically had nothing to do, voluntarily got up and left the session.
Willie remembers that his record label was also not exactly receptive to the bare-bones product. “They expected more Shotgun Willie, something more tempo,” he says in the book. But the label released the album along with the sing, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” which surprisingly started climbing the charts. It became Willie’s first No. 1 hit in October of 1975.
“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” was also responsible for another Willie milestone. On Feb. 28, 1976, Willie picked up his first Grammy award, winning the honor for Best Country Vocal Performance, Male.
Congratulations, Willie Nelson: 2017 Grammy for “Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin — ‘Best Traditional Vocal Album’Sunday, February 12th, 2017
Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin”
photo: Lukas Nelson
Congratulations to Willie Nelson, for winning 2017 Grammy for his album, “Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin”
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album Nominees
**Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin, Willie Nelson
Cinema, Andrea Bocelli
Fallen Angels, Bob Dylan
Stages Live, Josh Groban
Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway, Barbra Streisand
On February 10, 1986, “The HighwayMan” album, is certified gold for Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson
2. The Last Cowboy Song
3. Jim, I Wore A Tie Today
4. Big River
5. Committed To Parkview
6. Desperados Waiting For A Train
7. Deportee (Plane Wreck At Los Gatos)
8. Welfare Line
9. Against The Wind
10. The Twentieth Century Is Almost Over