On August 2, 1979, the duet album, ‘One for the Road’ sung with Leon Russell, is certified gold.
Archive for the ‘Awards and Honors’ Category
On April 28, 2014, Wilie Nelson – the musician who’s known for his renditions of On the Road Again, To All the girls I’ve Loved Before and Always on My Mind, among other songs — received his fifth-degree black belt in the modern Korean martial art of gong kwon yu sul. the ceremony took place at Master Martial Arts in Austin, Texas, a studio operated by Sam Um. The following day, the country music legend turned 81.
Nelson, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, has practiced martial arts for much of his life. He began with Kung Fu lessons when he was a songwriter in Nashville, Tennessee. The past 20 years have seen him focus on the Korean arts, including tae kwondo and gong kwon yu sul. Nelson often can be seen practicing his techiniques, even when he’s on tour.
The Top 20 Concert Tours ranks artists by average box office gross per city and includes the average ticket price for shows in North America. The previous week’s ranking is in parentheses. The list is based on data provided to the trade publication Pollstar by concert promoters and venue managers.
1. (1) Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band; $1,478,686; $97.32.
2. (2) Bruno Mars; $1,184,010; $88.65.
3. (3) Cher; $1,142,788; $91.05.
4. (4) Dave Matthews Band; $1,081,476; $54.60.
5. (New) Romeo Santos; $813,990; $82.04.
6. (5) Journey/Steve Miller Band; $714,809; $55.56.
7. (6) James Taylor; $692,328; $72.69.
8. (7) Cirque du Soleil – “Michael Jackson: The Immortal”; $651,829; $86.18.
9. (8) Tim McGraw; $476,912; $36.13.
10. (9) Backstreet Boys; $410,876; $49.34.
11. (10) Florida Georgia Line; $375,544; $40.43.
12. (13) Widespread Panic; $286,517; $45.11.
13. (11) Lana Del Rey; $256,465; $46.91.
14. (12) Eddie Izzard; $253,997; $58.02.
15. (14) Brantley Gilbert; $219,399; $30.76.
16. (15) Willie Nelson/Alison Krauss + Union Station feat. Jerry Douglas; $209,588; $58.47.
17. (18) Heart; $199,965; $68.26.
18. (17) Il Divo; $199,663; $65.14.
19. (16) Foreigner/Styx; $196,648; $42.70.
20. (20) Rob Thomas; $157,353; $68.70.
Willie Nelson might be 81 years old, but the years haven’t slowed him down. The icon’s latest album, “Band of Brothers,” hit number one when it came out just a few weeks ago. Here’s a behind the scenes look at our Person of the Week singing one of music’s biggest hits – “Crazy.”
Thanks to Brad Wheeler, from Salt Lake City, from KRCL 90.9FM, for the photo.
Band of Brothers, the new Willie Nelson studio album, is entering the Billboard 200 best-selling albums chart at #5, marking Willie’s highest debut and highest position on America’s popular albums chart since Always On My Mind peaked there for four weeks at #2 in 1982.
Willie’s latest is also debuting at #1 on the Billboard Country chart, making Band of Brothers his first #1 Country album since The Promiseland hit the top slot in 1986.
With Band of Brothers sitting high on the nation’s Pop and Country charts, Natural Renegade, a Willie Nelson retrospective collection originally released in 2007, has also returned to the charts, coming in at #7 on the Top Catalog albums chart.
Willie’s second Top 10 album in less than a year–its predecessor, To All The Girls…, entered the Billboard 200 at #9 (and the Country chart at #2) in October 2013–Band of Brothers premieres 14 studio tracks including nine brand-new songs composed by America’s quintessential pop/country songwriter. Willie’s first album of predominately newly-written original material since 1996?s Spirit album, Band of Brothers is already drawing praise from music press and fans alike as a welcome return-to-form from the master tunesmith.
All 14 tracks on Band of Brothers are new recordings and none of the songs have been previously recorded by Willie Nelson.
“We have had many, many great musical performers and music acts on this stage, and this theatre has seen the best of the best,” said host David Letterman recently, introducing Willie Nelson to his Late Show audience, adding, “No one better than this guy….”
It’s a sentiment echoed by NPR, who devoted a section of their online music home page to a “first listen” to Band of Brothers and conducted an extensive, lively interview with Willie on “All Things Considered” on June 15, with host Arun Rath calling the artist, simply “such a great songwriter.”
“The master songwriter turns in his strongest tunes in ages,” wrote Rolling Stone. “A minute into Willie Nelson’s new set of songs – largely self-penned for a change – it’s clear the man who wrote Patsy Cline’s ‘Crazy’ 50-some years ago has lost neither verve nor cojones.”
The New York Times called Band of Brothers “…a serenely feisty autumnal statement from the singer, who formed his sage, grizzled persona decades ago. [...] his relaxed, quavery, behind-the beat vocals and his acoustic lead guitar always made him a voice of maturity. The sly versatility of his style has allowed him to cruise through many albums of collaborations, covers and tributes to vintage country music. But ‘Band of Brothers’–with nine of its 14 songs written by Mr. Nelson and Buddy Cannon, the album’s producer–is set in the present. At 81, Mr. Nelson has more right to be autumnal than ever. That doesn’t mean he’s retreating….”
“Of course when it comes to country nonconformists, Nelson not only wrote the book, he published it and put it on the shelves. Country’s original Outlaw has spent decades proving it’s possible to be an icon and an iconoclast at the same time,” wrote CMT in a review of Willie Nelson & the Family’s recent performance at Radio City Music Hall, testifying to Willie’s on-stage power and charisma. “Watching Nelson work his magic as he did at Radio City is a thrilling experience….as if Nelson was venturing ever further on a high wire without losing his footing.”
RollingStone.com put together the “100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time,” which included both new and old. Willie made the list at #48 with “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” from his 1975 album Red Headed Stranger. He also made #10 with his friend Waylon Jennings for “Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.” You can see the entire list @ RollingStone.com
Willie and Bobbie Nelson stand in front of the sculpture of Willie Nelson that was commissioned by the City of Austin, and will be placed on Willie Nelson Boulevard, in Austin, near the Austin City Limits/ Moody Theater. Photo thanks to Turk Pipkin.
On May 20, 2009, Willie Nelson is named the Texas State Musician for 2009 by the Texas Commission on the Arts has named Willie Nelson the 2009 Texas State Musician.
WHEREAS, The Texas Commission on the Arts has announced the 2009 and 2010 appointments for the positions of State Poet Laureate, State Musician, State Two-Dimensional Artist, and State Three-Dimensional Artist; and
WHEREAS, Honorees are chosen for the exceptional quality of their work and for their outstanding commitment to the arts in Texas; nominees must either be native Texans or have resided in the state for at least five years; in addition, they must have received critical recognition from state, regional, and national publications, and they must have attained the highest levels of excellence in their respective disciplines; and
WHEREAS, The 2009 Texas State Poet Laureate is Paul Ruffin, a Distinguished Professor of English at Sam Houston State University; the author of six acclaimed books of poetry as well as several volumes of fiction and nonfiction, Mr. Ruffin has published poems in hundreds of journals and anthologies; he is also the founder and editor of The Texas Review and the director of Texas Review Press; and
WHEREAS, Willie Nelson is the 2009 Texas State Musician; this legendary Texas performer was playing the guitar at the age of 6 and performing at 10; after establishing himself in Nashville as a hit songwriter, he returned to Texas and soon became world-famous as an interpreter of his own songs and as an icon of the outlaw country music movement; he has further distinguished himself as a film and television actor and entrepreneur, as well as an ever-popular touring concert artist who has been involved in numerous charity events such as FarmAid; and
WHEREAS, The 2009 Texas State Two-Dimensional Artist is Rene Alvarado; born in Mexico, he came to the United States with his family as a boy, and his work powerfully evokes the values and heritage of his native country, finding universal resonance in the rich particularity of Mexican culture; his work has been featured in galleries and exhibitions throughout Texas and the Southwest; and
WHEREAS, Eliseo Garcia has been selected as the 2009 Texas State Three-Dimensional Artist; his inspiring bas-relief sculptures pay homage to the importance of family, love, and spirituality while reflecting the ancient cultural traditions of the Aztec and Mayan civilizations; often carved out of Texas limestone, his works are on permanent display in arts centers, hospitals, libraries, and other public buildings across the state; and
WHEREAS, Fort Worth native and Denton resident Karla K. Morton has been named as the 2010 Texas State Poet Laureate; a songwriter and children’s book author as well as a celebrated poet, Ms. Morton performs her poetry across the state and has recorded her poems with musical accompaniment; she is a founder of the Denton Poet’s Assembly and a member of the board of directors of the Greater Denton Arts Council; and
WHEREAS, Sara Hickman of Austin will be the 2010 Texas State Musician; this talented singer-songwriter has recorded many critically acclaimed albums; the daughter of a painter and a weaver, the multitalented Ms. Hickman is also a painter; she supports many social causes through her work and regularly performs and records music for children; and
WHEREAS, Austin painter Marc Burckhardt has been named as the 2010 Texas State Two-Dimensional Artist; born in Germany and raised in Texas, Mr. Burckhardt combines European imagery with thematic material from contemporary American life; his mischievous wit is enhanced by his adoption of the glazing and varnishing techniques of the old masters, and his work has been featured in galleries and shows around the nation and across the world; and
WHEREAS, The 2010 Texas State Three-Dimensional Artist will be John Bennett, who began sculpting figures in 1976 and cast his first bronze in 1985; acclaimed for his sculptures of women, he has created works depicting women from all walks of life, from Old West legend Annie Oakley to 98-year-old Alice Reeves, a former schoolteacher and granddaughter of a slave; one of his pieces was selected by the Women’s Museum for display at the White House in 1999; and
WHEREAS, The men and women who have been selected to hold these prestigious posts for the next two years have all greatly contributed to the vibrant cultural life of the Lone Star State, and Texas is indeed fortunate to be home to these talented artists; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the 81st Legislature of the State of Texas hereby honor the 2009 and 2010 appointees to the positions of State Poet Laureate, State Musician, State Two-Dimensional Artist, and State Three-Dimensional Artist and extend to each of them sincere best wishes for continued creativity and achievement.
This day in Willie Nelson history: Willie Nelson receives Honorary Doctor of Music Degree from Berklee College of Music (5/11/13)Sunday, May 11th, 2014
by: Johanna Kaiser
Some of the most respected names in music celebrated the next generation of singers, songwriters, performers, and producers Saturday at Berklee College of Music’s commencement ceremony.
Award-winning musicians Carole King, Willie Nelson, and Annie Lennox joined 6,000 students, friends and family members at Berklee’s commencement ceremony at Agganis Arena Saturday morning to receive honorary doctorates of music.
During her commencement address, Lennox, best known as a member of the duo Eurythmics and for her solo music career, looked back on her journey to becoming a famous singer-songwriter.
“I didn’t even know that such a thing was possible,” she said, recalling her parents paying for music lessons even when it was hard to make ends meet, her first instruments, and some of her first performances.
Lennox, who has won four Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, an Academy Award, the American Music Awards Lifetime Achievement, Billboard’s Century Award, said she hoped her story would inspire the graduates and show them the “value of unorthodoxy.”
From The Beatles to The Rolling Stones, from Marvin Gaye to Aretha Franklin, Lennox recalled the musicians of the 1960s and 1970s that inspired her and to the delight of the more than 1,050 graduating students she even belted out lines from songs some of their songs—including on by fellow honoree King.
“I realized that I had to unlearn just about everything I had been taught about music and embrace the spectacular notion that I actually was a singer-songwriter and I was going to my own thing in my own way,” she said
Lennox, King, and Nelson for the joined students for a concert Friday night where students paid tribute the musicians and performed with Nelson and longtime collaborator Kris Kristofferson.
“The history of music has been good, but the future is even better thanks to you folks,” Nelson told the more than 1,050 graduating students—the largest graduating class in school history–after receiving his honorary degree.
Berklee president Roger H. Brown congratulated the students on their achievements, but urged them to use their success to benefit others.
“Not only did they excel in music, but they used their music to do something good in the world,” Brown said. “I hope you students will take note of that.”
King has worked with environmental groups to support forest wilderness preservation, and Nelson co-founded Farm Aid to assist American family farmers. Lennox is an ambassador for UNAIDS, Oxfam, Amnesty International, and the British Red Cross, and has worked to prevent gender-based violence and the spread of HIV around the world.
“So let us go and work and expand that spirit of creative and harmonious community far behind the confines of our small campus,” Brown said.
Lennox, who dropped out of the Royal Academy of Music in London and worked as a waitress before forming the Eurythmics with David Stewart, reminded the graduating students, who ranged in age 19 to 57, that they could go anywhere from here.
“Wherever you think you’re heading right now, you might turn out to take a completely different route down a completely different path,” she said. “And what looks like the end might actually be the start of a brand new beginning.”
by: Sarah Rodman
His songs have no doubt healed many hearts over the course of his legendary career, but now it’s official: Willie Nelson is a doctor.
On Saturday, the Berklee College of Music in Boston awarded Willie an honorary doctor of music degree. He briefly addressed the graduates, telling them, “The history of music has been good, but the future is even better thanks to you folks.”
Willie got to know some of the students Friday night (May 10) when he took part in the annual commencement concert, jamming with them on his tune “Night Life” and Hank Williams’ “Jambalaya (On the Bayou),” for which he was joined by good friend Kris Kristofferson. Kris also surprised Willie on Saturday when he donned a cap and gown to help bestow the doctorate honors onstage.
In a chat on his bus before the show, Willie said he was humbled to receive the honors and tickled that the students were so well-versed in his music. “I’m naturally shocked and surprised that this whole thing is happening to begin with, and to have a bunch of young musicians that are very knowledgeable of your music and are playing it, that’s very good.”
When asked what advice he might have for the aspiring musicians, Willie said he only ever gave one piece of advice: “Don’t take my advice, do what you want to do. If it’s something that you believe in, don’t take no for an answer.”
It’s a philosophy that has served him well.