Archive for the ‘Good causes’ Category

“Willie Nelson did something magical; something I will never forget.” — Alan Grayson, for US Senate

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015


Alan Grayson, a three-term U.S. Representative from Florida (D-Orlando), is looking forward to bringing his political, legal, and business experience to the US Senate.  He attended the Library of Congress event last Wednesday when Willie Nelson received the Gershwin Prize.   He sent this letter to friends and family after the event.

I wish that you could have been there with me last Wednesday night, at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. Willie Nelson did something magical. Something I’ll never forget. After that miserable anti-refugee vote earlier that day, he found the perfect way to honor our common humanity.

Willie received the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, bestowed by the Library of Congress. In his honor, a packed auditorium listened to covers of his great songs, performed by Neil Young, Paul Simon, Cyndi Lauper, and a dozen other amazing performers. At the end of that incredible show, Willie himself took the stage, with his two sons and a few others, and he performed three wonderful songs.

Willie could have played “On the Road Again,” “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before,” and “Crazy,” and left it at that. It was his night, receiving one of the highest honors America can bestow. But he knew that the House of Representatives had passed a terrible slam-the-door-in-their-faces bill just a few hours earlier, and that a number of Congressmen who voted for that awful piece of offal were in the audience. In fact, one of them, Kevin McCarthy, was sitting almost right next to him.

So Willie Nelson saved his best for last. He reached deep, deep down in his personal playlist, and pulled out a song from three decades ago. His last song that night was a musical slap in the face to those who had voted, just a couple of hours earlier, to turn away people in danger, in desperate need. The song is called “Living in the Promiseland,” and it starts like this:

Give us your tired and weak,
And we will make them strong.
Bring us your foreign songs,
And we will sing along.

Leave us your broken dreams,
We’ll give them time to mend.
There’s still a lot of love,
Living in the Promiseland.

The audience went wild. Absolutely, totally wild.

And I felt proud that I had voted against that stinking meadow-muffin of a bill, that putrid cow pie in the form of legislation. Proud to be in the audience, honoring that great man. Proud to be part of the worldwide community of decent human beings.

After the show, I went to Willie’s tour bus, joined him and his wife Annie, and thanked them both.

Willie Nelson, November 18, 2015: It could have been his night, and his night alone. But he made it our night.


Rep. Alan Grayson

So they came from a distant isle,
Nameless woman, faithless child.

Like a bad dream.

Until there was no room at all.
No place to run, and no place to fall.

Give us our daily bread,
We have no shoes to wear,
No place to call our home,
Only this cross to bear.

We are the multitudes,
Lend us a helping hand!
Is there no love anymore?
Living in the Promiseland.”

– Willie Nelson, “Living in the Promiseland” (1986).


donate and support Mr. Grayson

I am un-bought and un-bossed. I carry the banners of justice, equality, compassion and peace. My compass is the greatest good for the greatest number. With your help, and the help of all kindred spirits, we will continue this fight, and WIN!

This day in Willie Nelson history: Willie Nelson & Family performs for Leroy Bank depositors (11/14/1988)

Saturday, November 14th, 2015

On November 14, 1988, Willie Nelson performed a concert to benefit the Leroy Bank customers in Waco.

August 19, 1988

Waco (AP) — A Willie Nelson concert to benefit the depositors of a failed bank is back on track and scheduled for another coliseum, after the Baylor University president canceled the original show.

Plans for the singer to perform at the Ferrell Special Events Center were abandoned after Baylor University President Herbert Reynolds, citing “concern for the health and well-being of the American people,” canceled the program.

But concert promoter Tom Gresham of Austin said Wednesday that Nelson authorized him to proceed with plans for a concert at the heart O’ Texas Coliseum to benefit the depositors of the failed Leroy Bank, a private bank northeast of Waco.

Some of the 600 depositors who lost their savings at the bank responded happily Wednesday after hearing the news.

“Knowing Willie like we do and him being a local person, we though he’d find anothe rplace to have his concert,” said Otis Richardson.  “He’s a kindhearted fellow, not a greedy man.”

Nelson grew up in Abbott.  Gresham estimates the concert could raise $35,000 for the depositors.

The show is scheduled for Nov. 14.

Willie Nelson supports the troops

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

Thank you to friend Kelly, from Texas, for this photo.

Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas (Feb. 2006)



Willie Nelson featured in Earth in Concert Exhibit (opens Nov. 12, 2015)

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015



Today our planet faces many challenges. As we lose important species every year, we also lose their unique contributions to their ecosystems, and the diversity of life on our planet—called biodiversity—shrinks. Scientists and environmentalists around the world are working in creative ways to protect biodiversity and ensure a healthy planet now and for future generations. Some very dedicated and concerned musicians are also helping.

The California Science Center, the GRAMMY Museum, and Global Wildlife Conservation have partnered to create a one-of-a-kind exhibit that examines the status of the Earth’s biodiversity, while exploring how artists like Sheryl Crow, Jack Johnson, Ziggy Marley, Willie Nelson, Sting, and Pharrell Williams have helped raise awareness of the global issues that present threats to our planet. Through original compositions, unique footage, and personal artifacts from well-known musicians, as well as multimedia and interactive exhibits, Earth in Concert: Protecting the Planet through Music examines Earth’s ecosystems and the health of biodiversity in our oceans, grasslands and forests.


Some things you’ll do:

  • Discover the diversity of species that settle on tropical coral reefs.
  • Help complete a new composition by musician Jack Johnson about reducing plastic pollution in the ocean to inspire others to action.
  • Listen to animal calls and match the sounds to the species that made them, just like real ecologists do to explore biodiversity.
  • Use sounds of nature to compose a wild symphony and discover how positive action works to keep the Earth in Concert.

Explore the contributions of leading artists and scientists as they use their talents to preserve our natural world. Earth in Concert opens at the California Science Center on November 12, 2015.

Free admission.

California Science Center
700 Exposition Park Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90037

(323) 724-3623

The California Science Center is located in Exposition Park at the corner of Figueroa Street and 39th Street, west of the 110 (Harbor) freeway.

The Science Center is adjacent to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and across the street from the University of Southern California.


Willie Nelson and Turk Pipkin donate copies of, “The Tao of Willie”

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

By Willie Nelson, with Turk Pipkin

Authors Willie Nelson and Turk Pipkin donated signed autographed of their book, “The Tao of Willie” to wounded warriors at Walter Reed Hospital last Christmas Day.



This day in Willie Nelson history: Fire Relief Benefit in Austin (10/17/2011)

Saturday, October 17th, 2015

fire relief

On October 17, 2011, Willie Nelson and Family joined the Dixie Chicks, George Strait, Asleep at the Wheel, The Avett brothers, Shawn Colvin and The Texas Tornados to help raise $500,000 in a fire-relief benefit at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.

Purchase a Biodegradable Cremation Urn from OneWorld Memorials; Help fund Breast Cancer Research

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015


Close friends of mine from OneWorld Memorials, in Minneapolis,  import and sell cremation urns, and this month in recognition of Breast Cancer awareness Month, they are donating  $5.00 from every purchase to the Breast Cancer Research Fund.


OneWorld Memorials  have been importing and selling cremation urns for many years, and they have a large variety of traditional urns for ashes made of metal, marble, glass, wood, paper, and other memorial products at their website.  If you, or anyone you know, are thinking about cremation, visit their website.  It is a good resource respecting cremation.  They also have urns for your pet’s ashes, as well.

Recently, OneWorld Memorials told me that they are working with a wonderful non-profit company, ProPueblo, dedicated to bringing fair trade and sustainable income opportunities to various South American communities.


One of the biodegradable urns are scattering urns.  Many people want to have their ashes scattered, and One World Memorials designed scattering urns, that are lightweight, and easy to hold.  These scattering urns are composed of strengthened balsa wood, with hand carved vegetable ivory butterflies to secure the lid with the attached twine.  The urns come in blue,  Red  and Natural.


Another example of the sustainable products is the small keepsake urns, carved from nuts designed to hold a little bit of cremation ash.  These keepsake urns for ashes can be kept or given to family or close friends who would like a keepsake to maintain a connection to their memory.  The keepsakes are hand carved by skilled artisans from vegetable ivory a completely natural and sustainable nut that come from indigenous palm trees. The nut is considered by many to be the perfect alternative to animal ivory.  Two styles of the keepsake urns are available:  hummingbird and dolphin.

I think many, like me, consider cremation a practical alternative to traditional, expensive  ground burial. Willie Nelson has a good idea, in his song, “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die.”   People try to live simply when they are alive, and they’d  like to leave a small footprint on the planet when they die.

When you visit a traditional cemetery, it looks so beautiful, green and manicured like a park, but hidden below the surface is buried thousands of pounds of steel, brass, wood, glue, plastic from hundreds of caskets, human remains preserved with toxic formaldehyde, clothing, leather  and jewelry.  Cremation and scattering, burying or keeping the ashes in an urn is a practical alternative.  There are  biodegradable urns that breakdown naturally over time when buried in the ground, or set out to sea.


If you want to make a donation to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and help the company with their campaign to raise funds for Breast Cancer Awareness month,  you don’t have to make a purchase; just follow this link to donate and the money will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation:,l.

Neil Young, “PLEASE Go to New York City to let your voice be heard on October 8th” (Vermont GE Food Labeling law case)

Monday, October 5th, 2015

Official Music Video for “A Rock Star Bucks A Coffee Shop” by Neil Young + Promise Of The Real from the upcoming New album ‘The Monsanto Years’.   Order Now

Mothers Want To Know What They Feed Their Children!

Historic Showdown on Food Safety versus multi national corporate interests
THIS THURSDAY October 8, 2015 in New York!

“When the people of Vermont voted to label food with GMOs
So that they could find out what was in what the farmer grows,
Monsanto and Starbucks, through the Grocery Manufacturer’s Alliance,
Sued the State of Vermont to overturn the People’s will.

Monsanto and Starbucks,

– A Rockstar Bucks a Coffee Shop, Neil Young

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit set the argument date for the appeal in Grocery Manufacturers Association vs. Sorrell, the Vermont GE Food Labeling law case, for October 8, in New York.

This is the case that will set precedents and determine whether GE foods are able to be labeled in the U.S. In accordance with the will of the public as they are in 64 other countries. This Case has 1st Amendment/consumer transparency ramifications beyond GE foods as well.

Eight states, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Washington all filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circut in NYC in support of Vermonts GMO Labeling Law.

PLEASE Go to New York City if you are able to let your voice be heard.

I am playing in the beautiful state of Oregon on that day and would be there in NYC if I could but ?#?IStandWithVermont? as so many do!
Stand Up and Save the Earth.
Be Counted
Let your voice be heard!




This day in Willie Nelson history, “Harvest the Hope” (9/27/2014)

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

photo:  Matt Ryerson
by: Carolyn Cunningham

The setting may seem strange, but this past Saturday, Willie Nelson and Neil Young transformed the middle of a cornfield into Harvest the Hope benefit concert. The concert organized by Art and Helen Tanderup at their farm in Neligh, Nebraska hosted 8,000 people who flocked to hear Willie Nelson and Neil Young sing in protest of the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline. The proposed pipeline would travel 1,179 miles from Alberta to southern Nebraska, would go straight through the Tanderup farm, and the historic Ponca Tribe “Trail of Tears”.


Six years ago is when TransCanada first proposed the Keystone XL pipeline and since then farmers, ranchers, Native Americans, and environmentalists have held multiple meetings to oppose the pipeline. The biggest fear is that there would be a spill that would cause irreversible harm to the Ogallala Aquifer. “As caretakers of our land, family farmers know best what’s good for it,” said Willie Nelson, Farm Aid co-founder. “We stand with these family farmers fighting for their land, livelihood and community.”


Both Nelson and Young have fought for the rights of farmers through out their careers. Between the two men they have thirteen Grammys, nine Juno awards, an Oscar nomination, one induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and one induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame. Nelson and Young along with John Mellencamp started Farm Aid in 1985. Farm Aid is a non-profit organizations whose main goal is to help farmers stay on their land. With that in mind Nelson and Young’s opposition to the pipeline does not come as a surprise, because of how it would displace farmers like the Tanderups’.

Thank you, Jenny from OK, for the video!

Opening for Willie Nelson and Neil Young was Frank Waln a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. The pipeline would also go through the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s land. Waln was there to show his opposition to the pipeline as well as perform. The twenty five year old Columbia College grad credits his roots as a major influence in his music. Waln, who was raised by a single mother, brought his mother on stage to perform a song that he wrote for her called “My Rock”. All of the songs Waln performed were inspired by some part of his life growing up as a part of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

Performing in front of 8,000 excited fans Willie Nelson and Neil Young performed songs from their earlier albums as well as newer material. Neil Young wrote a new song specifically for the occasion rightfully titled “Who’s Gonna Stand Up?”. Young’s new song was the finale of the concert where he asked the crowd to join together and sing with him. As the final notes closed out the song a sense of hope filled the corn field as 8,000 people stood together to fight against the pipeline.


Press Conference

Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, sing for Dennis Kucinich (1/3/2004)

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Willie Nelson and Family at Celebrate Brooklyn benefit (Aug. 12, 2015)

Friday, August 14th, 2015

article and photos by Lindsey Rhoades

Though his touring life as one of country music’s most celebrated icons has taken him all over the world, Willie Nelson’s heart is still in Texas. With his birth state’s flag draped large behind him and The Family Band he’s toured with since the Seventies, Nelson took the Celebrate Brooklyn! stage just as the sun set over Prospect Park. His legendary locks have long since faded to gray, but Nelson will always be known as the Red-Headed Stranger, a travelin’ man with a million stories to tell and a way of telling them through songs that have captivated audiences all over the world.

At 82 years of age, his voice isn’t what it used to be; he doesn’t sing the way he does on those old recordings so much as he speaks his lyrics more like an afterthought, asking the audience for help with a wave of his arm or by holding his hand to his ear. Beginning his set nonchalantly with “Whiskey River” from his 1973 breakout albumShotgun Willie, Nelson quickly asserted himself as a singer-songwriter first and foremost. Whatever weird cultural hero he’s become as an outspoken proponent of marijuana legalization and self-confessed stoner, the simple truth of his life’s work came through in hits like “Good Hearted Woman,” “Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” and “On The Road Again.” He wasted no time in playing these early on in the set, as if to remind all the city slickers on the lawn that no matter what they’d heard about Willie, he remains a simple man with a beat-up guitar, a true performer at heart.

Part of the reason Nelson’s persona is so enduring is because the earmarks of it have gone largely unchanged in the last four and a half decades since he shunned popular country and branded himself an “outlaw,” in turn defining a sub-genre around that identity. Whether it’s the two long braids that hang down his shoulders – just last year, a pair he clipped in 1983 and gifted to Waylon Jennings to commemorate his fellow outlaw’s sobriety sold at auction for $37,000 to an undisclosed bidder – or the crocheted red, white and blue guitar strap tethering him to “Trigger,” his beloved Martin N-20, Nelson’s had a long time to get comfortable with his identity, and he wears it proudly, no matter how worn out it might seem. Trigger is the perfect example. The only thing more shocking than the state of the cherished, gashed acoustic guitar is the golden tones he somehow manages to produce with it despite its condition. On “Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground,” from 1981’s Honeysuckle Rose, the sound it made was so beautiful it was nearly heartbreaking.

About halfway through the set, Nelson stopped to introduce another permanent fixture of his career: his backing band, known as The Family. His sister, Bobbie, played a little piano ditty while he identified each of them one by one – Kevin Smith on upright bass, who joined after the death of Bee Spears in 2011; Mickey Raphael on harmonica; and the English brothers, Billy and Paul, on the drums. While Billy, like Smith, is a relatively new addition to The Family (he signed on five years ago to help Paul out after a stroke made it difficult for him to continue drumming on his own), The Family plays as a seamless ensemble, almost as an extension of Nelson himself. As tribute to that, Nelson sang “Me And Paul” about his rough days on the road with the drummer. He removed his cowboy hat just before he did so, replacing it with a red bandana he wore for the remainder of the show.

While “Me And Paul” acts as straightforward autobiography, the rest of the set taken as a whole also makes a great rough sketch of Nelson’s best moments. He took ownership of songs that he penned that were made famous by others, like “Crazy” and “Funny How Time Slips Away,” written in years when he was still struggling to make it in Nashville. But he also had a way of making others’ songs his own, as with “Always On My Mind,” for which he won a Grammy in 1982. He paid tribute to the greats that came before him with “Georgia on My Mind,” and “Shoeshine Man,” among others, as well as a medley of Hank Williams classics.

Perhaps openers Old Crow Medicine Show said it best as they played to a bandshell that was already full of old-time country fans: Kicking off this leg of Nelson’s tour as a supporting act was, said Ketch Secor, a “Hillbilly Dream Come True.” Though it’s rare to find hillbillies in the Big Apple, Willie Nelson’s Celebrate Brooklyn! performance brought out the hillbilly in all of us, if only for one lovely evening.

Willie Nelson, Old Crow Medicine Show perform at benefit for Celebrate Brooklyn TONIGHT!

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

by:  Andy Beta

Friends of Celebrate Brooklyn Benefit
Prospect Park Bandshell
62 West Dr., Brooklyn, NY

Willie Nelson began his country music career penning hits for the likes of Patsy Cline and Ray Price, but in the 1970s, albums like “Redheaded Stranger” and “Stardust” became smash successes. Once branded an outsider and then an outlaw by Nashville, Mr. Nelson embodies the true spirit of country music, whether he’s collaborating with Snoop Dogg,Kid Rock, or Merle Haggard.

With a six-decade career and 200 plus albums, Willie Nelson is the creative genius behind the historic recordings of Crazy, Red Headed Stranger and Stardust. This iconic Texan has earned every conceivable award as a musician and amassed reputable credentials as an author, actor and activist. His latest releases include Heroes (May 2012), which showcased new songs and deep country classics and spent five weeks at #1 on the Americana Radio Chart; Let’s Face The Music And Dance (April 2013); To All The Girls…(October 2013); as well as a book titled Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die, which landed in the Top 10 on The New York Times‘s best-seller list. This man has done nearly everything exceptplay the Bandshell, so let’s show him a lotta love the Brooklyn way.

Adding another feather in this cap, recent members of the Grand Ole Opry Old Crow Medicine Show (OCMS) will be joining the lineup. Since their humble beginnings nearly 15 years ago busking on corners in New York, the band has gone on to tour the world; sell over 800,000 albums; become frequent guests on A Prairie Home Companion; play renowned festivals like Bonnaroo, Coachella, and the Newport Folk Festival; and most recently win a Grammy for their 2014 album Remedy. With their boundless energy and spirit, it’s always a good time when OCMS is on the stage.

About BRIC

BRIC is the leading presenter of free cultural programming in Brooklyn, and one of the largest in New York City. We present and incubate work by artists and media-makers who reflect the diversity that surrounds us. BRIC programs reach hundreds of thousands of people each year.

Our main venue, BRIC Arts | Media House, offers a public media center, a major contemporary art exhibition space, two performance spaces, a glass-walled TV studio, and artist work spaces.

Some of BRIC’s most acclaimed programs include the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival in Prospect Park, several path-breaking public access media initiatives, including the newly-renamed BRIC TV, and a renowned contemporary art exhibition series. BRIC also offers education and other vital programs at BRIC House and throughout Brooklyn.

In addition to making cultural programming genuinely accessible, BRIC is dedicated to providing substantial support to artists and media makers in their efforts to develop work and reach new audiences.

BRIC is unusual in both presenting exceptional cultural experiences and nurturing individual expression. This dual commitment enables us to most effectively reflect New York City’s innate cultural richness and diversity.


Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson support Fight for Access and Realm of Caring

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

The Realm of Caring is a 501c3 non-profit organization that has been formed to provide a better quality of life for those affected by disorders and diseases, including but not limited to, Cancer, MS, HIV/AIDS, Epilepsy, Parkinson’s, through the use of concentrated cannabinoid extracts. Each client’s progress is monitored through an Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved observational research study. Through the observational research studies, the Realm of Caring is able to educate the general public as to the positive effects of cannabinoid supplements.


About Fight for Access

Congress will decide on H.R. 1635, and its senate companion bill S. 1333, a landmark bill to remove CBD (cannabidiol) and hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, where both are classified as Schedule 1 substances.

This bill will help families gain access to non-psychoactive cannabis extract that is already changing the lives of thousands of Americans who suffer from debilitating conditions. Research will also flourish. We are calling on you to ask your legislators to co-sponsor these bills and become a champion for families in need.


Help write history

Support the Charlotte’s Web Medical Access Act H.R. 1635 & Therapeutic Medical Access Act S.1333 by asking your politicians to co-sponsor these bills.


Win a piece of history

When you join the #FightForAccess, you are also entered to win a rare collectible. On May 2nd Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather went head to head in the “Fight of the Century.” Prior to the fight, both boxers signed only five gloves together. When you take action by calling, writing or sharing your story, your name will be entered into a raffle to win one of these gloves. Get a bonus entry by meeting personally with your representatives. (Limit 4 entries per person)


This is your chance to make history

But you have to take action now… we need your voice and we need as many co-sponsors as possible for this bill. Don’t let this window of opportunity close for our children and for generations to come. This is your chance to be a part of history.



Bid on a chance to Meet Willie Nelson on his Tour Bus at Farm Aid Concert 2015

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015


This could be you! It’s not you, it’s Joe Nick Patoski, but Willie Nelson is offering a chance to meet him on his bus!


Meet with Willie Nelson on His Tour Bus at the Farm Aid 30th Anniversary Concert in Chicago on September 19, 2015.  Includes a Private Backstage Tour,  and 2 VIP tickets to the show.

Meet with Willie Nelson on His Tour Bus at the Farm Aid 30th Anniversary Concert with a Private Backstage Tour, 2 VIP tickets from Willie’s Personal Allotment and More!

Grab a friend and head to the 30th Anniversary of Farm Aid on September 19th to join the ranks of rock royalty to meet with Willie Nelson on his legendary tour bus. Access to his home on the road is usually reserved for Willie’s family, friends and the occasional superstar or luminary.

As Willie’s guest you will receive:

  • 2 Tickets to Farm Aid 2015 from Willie Nelson’s personal allotment
  • A private, escorted backstage tour of Farm Aid 2015
  • A visit with Willie Nelson on his legendary tour bus at the show
  • A photo on the bus with Willie
  • The opportunity to have one personal item autographed
  • An official Farm Aid 2015 “Artist’ laminate pass signed by Willie Nelson

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get personal access to an American legend and get a behind the scenes glimpse into his world.

Proceeds benefit Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance, Farm Aid and Reverb.

Donated by: Willie Nelson
For more information, to bid:

Save our Humus! – the essential top layer of our soil (Graeme Sait at TEDxNoosa)

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Learn all about Humus, the layer of soil essential for healthy food production which is being gradually depleted by unsustainable farming practices. Graeme Sait a lifelong human and soil health educator explains how 467 billion tons of carbon has been released from the soil into the atmosphere, and that we urgently need to return that carbon to the soil, and start replenishing the humus in order to reverse the impact.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)