On June 13, 1952 Hank Williams recorded “Jambalaya (On The Bayou),” at the Castle Studio in Nashville.
Goodbye Joe me gotta go me oh my oh
Me gotta go pole the pirogue down the bayou
My Yvonne the sweetest one me oh my oh
Son of a gun we’ll have big fun on the bayou
Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and file gumbo
Cause tonight I’m gonna see my ma cher amio
Pick guitar fill fruit jar and be gay-o
Son of a gun we’ll have big fun on the bayou
[ fiddle ]
Thibodaux Fontaineaux the place is buzzin’
Kinfolk come to see Yvonne by the dozen
Dress in style and go hog wild me oh my oh
Son of a gun we’ll have big fun on the bayou
Settle down far from town get me a pirogue
And I’ll catch all the fish in the bayou
Jambalaya and a crawfish pie…
[ fiddle ]
Later on, swap my mon, get me a pirogue
and I’ll catch all the fish on the bayou
Swap my mon, to buy Yvonne what she need-oh
Son of a gun we’ll have big fun on the bayou
Jambalaya and a crawfish pie…
On May 27, 2010, the Austin City Council voted to honor Willie Nelson, by naming portion of Second Street as Willie Nelson Boulevard.
And here’s Willie Nelson, on Willie Nelson Boulevard. Don’t you wonder if anyone walked by him thinking he was a construction worker, doing a double take, then telling his wife later, ‘I saw this guy today who looked just like Willie Nelson.”
On May 26, 2004, music video to Toby Keith and Willie Nelson song, ‘Beer For My Horses’ wins best video award at CBS’ 39th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay.
October 14, 2003
by Chris Neal
Like a lot of great country music tales, this one begins with whiskey. Willie Nelson and Toby Keith were on Willie’s bus, passing the bottle back and forth — to be precise, a bottle of Willie’s own signature brand, Old Whiskey River. They were having fun, but Toby had a serious question for his hero.
“I’ve got a project I’d love to talk to you about,” he offered. “It’s singing the second verse on a song that I think fits you like a glove.”
“What’s the name of it?” asked Willie. “Whiskey for My Men; Beer for My Horses,” replied Toby.
“Hell, let’s go cut it!” Willie exclaimed with a laugh. “It’d be hard to have a bad song with a title that good.”
Many months later, Willie’s judgment turned out to be right on. “Beer for My Horses” shot to No. 1 and stayed there for six weeks.
“Johnny Cash said one time that all that’s wrong with any of us can be cured with a No. 1 song,” said Willie. “And I think he was about right. I’m almost cured of everything.”
The ride actually began many years ago, way back in mid-Sept. 1976. Toby, then 15, made his way backstage when Willie was appearing in concert at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., as part of an “Outlaws” tour with Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter and Tompall Glaser.
At the time, Toby already idolized Willie, who was then riding high with the No. 1 Waylon duet “Good Hearted Woman” – a song Toby himself would sing with Willie months after Waylon’s death in 2002.
Toby still remembers meeting Willie that night, 27 years ago. “He was his usual polite self,” he smiles. “Willie is a real sweetheart. He takes care of everybody and wants everybody to have a piece of him.”
By the time they met again in the ‘90’s, Toby had followed in Willie’s footsteps to become a star himself. It happened that Toby’s guitarist, Joey Floyd, had played the part of Willie’s son in the 1980 movie Honeysuckle Rose, and still kept in touch. Joey made the introductions — and Toby and Willie’s friendship was off and running.
“I’d already heard his music before I met him,” recalls Willie. “I think he’s a great talent. He’s one of those guys coming along — well, I don’t know how young he is. Younger than me for damn sure.” (Toby is 42.)
“Probably the thing that ties us together most is the music,” says Toby. “But he’s got a great sense of humor, and so do I. We call each other all the time and tell our latest jokes, and we really have a good time when we’re hanging out.”
Perhaps the most notorious occasion the two spent “hanging out” was during this year’s ACM Awards. Tongues wagged after Toby was named entertainer of the Year at the evening’s end, but wasn’t around to accept it because he’d already left.
Where was he?
“I was up in my room, at the same hotel where the show was going on,” explains Willie. “I was watching it on TV. Next thing you know, there’s a knock on my door and there’s Toby. He said, “Hell, I ain’t gonna win.” I said, ‘OK, come in here and we’ll write a song or something.” So we got the whiskey bottle going around — again — and we were having some fun.”
“You can tell when it’s your night,” explains Toby, “And it didn’t feel like it was my night.”
So Toby figured that spending time with his friend and idol sounded better than waiting around to not win an award.
“That’s important to me, getting a chance to enjoy some of the stuff I grew up wanting to do,” he says. “But I did feel real bad when they said my name and “Entertainer of the Year.”
There’s always the upcoming CMAs, where “Beer for My Horses” is nominated for Single, Song, Vocal Event — and Music Video of the Year, for it’s imaginative clip featuring Willie and Toby as father and son police detectives chasing a killer.
The two are lining up tour dates together, including a New Year’s Eve show. Willie is currently making a new album with Toby’s producer, which will include at least one song Toby wrote. And both men say they’re reading and willing to duet again.
“I’ve had a lot of fun singing with Toby,” declares Willie. “He’s one of us.”
But one question remains: Do horses really like beer?
“Good God yeah” says Willie. “It’s got wheat, barley, corn — why wouldn’t a horse like it? It’s horse soup.”
On May 22, 1993 CBS aired “Willie Nelson The Big Six-0: An All-Star Birthday Celebration,” featuring Ray Charles, B.B. King, Paul Simon, Emmylou Harris, Bob Dylan, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Travis Tritt, Lyle Lovett, Marty Stuart, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson and more.
The video is available, from time to time, on ebay, and a fan has uploaded the entire show, in segments, to youtube. Here’s one part:
Willie Nelson and Sheryl Crow met first in 1999 when they were part of a New York tribute concert honoring Johnny Cash. Nelson and Crow opened their CMT Crossroads taping with “Jackson,” one of the songs they performed at the Cash tribute. As they did in New York, Nelson played Cash to Crow’s June Carter.
Their friendship has grown since their first meeting. Crow, raised in a musical household in Missouri, reveres Nelson as the “king of phrasing” and “the voice that was the soundtrack to my childhood.” Nelson regards Crow as a worthy musical colleague, an inheritor of his musical “outlaw” spirit and a fit audience for his dirty jokes.
Nelson played an electric guitar throughout the night instead of his battered classical acoustic, dubbed “Trigger.” (Crow said her instruments have no names, but she might refer to them as “my little money makers.”) “My guitar,” Nelson explained, “is on the way to Amsterdam [for a European tour]. I am following soon behind.”
The singers each took care to match the other’s vocal phrasing, casting sidelong glances at each other throughout their performance. Of “Let It Be Me,” Nelson proclaimed the duo “happy to be resurrecting a great song.” He toyed with the familiar phrasing and seemed to challenge Crow to do the same. “It wasn’t perfect, but it was tasty,” she said after the first take.
03. City of New Orleans
04. Let It Be Me
05. It’s So Easy
06. You Remain
08. Every Day Is A Winding Road
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
On May 18, 1986, the movie Stagecoach was shown, starring Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. Willie wrote the title song, which is wrote with David Alan Coe, who is also in the movie, along with June Carter and others.
On May 11, 1988, Willie Nelson performed at the celebration of Irving Berlin’s 100th Birthday. The two-hour event was taped at Carnegie Hall in New York, and featured celebrities from all forms of American entertainment and the performing arts in a tribute to America’s legendary songwriter.
Mary Ann Plunkett
U. S. Army Chorus
Boy and Girl Scouts
On May 9, 2006, Gotham Books released “The Tao Of Willie: A Guide To The Happiness In Your Heart.” Willie Nelson co-wrote the book with Turk Pipkin.
The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart (Unabridged)
by Willie Nelson, with Turk Pipkin
The funny thing about advice is that no matter how good it is, most people are gonna do what they want anyway. That’s why my general philosophy has been never to miss an opportunity to shut up. So now that I’m writing a book in which I’m constantly giving advice, I must remind you to read the warning label on my bottle of wisdom.
Because something works for me doesn’t mean it will work for you, especially in large doses.
When a doctor prescribes a medicine, he doesn’t suggest you take the whole bottle, and neither does my part-time gynecologist alter ego, Doctor Booger Nelson.
Speaking of Doctor Nelson, did you hear about the woman who was such a fan of country music that she has a tattoo of Merle Haggard done in a very delicate spot, high on her right thigh, and a tattoo of Waylon Jennings high on the other other thigh.
Worried that the two tattoos weren’t recognizable, she slips off her undies, lifts her skirt to a guy in a bar, and says, “Can you tell who that is?”
So the guy puts on his glasses, looks real close, and says, ” I don’t know who those other two guys are, but the one in the middle is Willie Nelson!”
All of America watched as the Flood of ’93 left thousands of Midwest families homeless. Heavy rains caused the Mississippi and Missouri rivers to rise up and overflow their banks, swallowing entire towns along the way. Eight million acres of crops were destroyed and 20 million acres were damaged. With their backs already against the wall due to heavy debt and low farm prices, Midwest family farmers had few resources left to deal with the effects of the flooding. In response to the flood, Farm Aid created the Family Farm Disaster Fund to support organizations that worked directly with farm families stricken by the flood. When farmers needed help to avoid foreclosure due to losses from the flood, Farm Aid-funded groups were there to help them save their farms.
Farm Aid VI, held in Ames, Iowa on April 24, featured performances by Bruce Hornsby, Sawyer Brown, Bryan Adams, Ringo Starr, Marty Stuart, Martina McBride, the Highwaymen, and Dwight Yoakam. Over 40,000 people attended.
Last year, on April 20, 2012, the city of Austin honored his famous citizen, Willie Nelson, with a bronze sculpture. Willie Nelson & Family performed at the unveiling in downtown Austin. Later that night, Willie Nelson performed at a Johnny Cash tribute concert, at ACL Live.
by: Jeff Newman
The USA For Africa album “We Are The World” goes platinum and double-platinum. Among the album’s many contributors: Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Kenny Rogers, Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Kim Carnes and Paul Simon
Harry Belafonte initiated the idea for a fundraising effort. His manager, Ken Kragen, Â suggested the multi-artist approach, inspired by the success of the British supergroup Band Aid and their 1984 fundraising single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”
The performers gathered at A&M Recording Studios in Hollywood, California, on January 28, 1985. Kragen selected the night of the American Music Awards to ensure as many artists as possible could attend. Jones famously advised them, in his written invitation, to “check your egos at the door.” In all, 45 musicians attended the recording session, including Bob Geldof, who had arranged the Band Aid effort in the United Kingdom. Lead vocals were rotated among 21 of the performers, including Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, Steve Perry, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.
Columbia Records donated their manufacturing and distribution costs to the effort. “We Are the World” hit stores on Tuesday, March 7, 1985 and all 800,000 copies sold out before the end of the weekend. It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at number twenty-one. On April 5 (Good Fridayin that year), more than 5,000 radio stations played the song at the same time. It became the United Statesâ€™ number one single on April 13 and held the position for four weeks.
The song went on to win 1985 Grammys for Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group.
Ultimately, the single sold 7.5 million copies in the US. It was released on an album, We Are the World, which sold over three million copies. In addition to “We Are the World,” the album included previously unreleased songs by Prince, Â Springsteen, Turner and other artists. It also included another famine relief fundraising song, “Tears Are Not Enough”, which was performed by Canadian upergroup Northern Lights.
Including revenues from the single, the album, the video and related merchandise, “We Are the World” raised about $50 million for famine relief
Lyrics, and Artists who sang them:
There comes a time when we heed a certain call (Lionel Richie) When the world must come together as one (Lionel Richie & Stevie Wonder) There are people dying (Stevie Wonder) Oh, and it’s time to lend a hand to life (Paul Simon) The greatest gift of all (Paul Simon/Kenny Rogers)
We can’t go on pretending day by day (Kenny Rogers) That someone, somehow will soon make a change (James Ingram) We’re all a part of God’s great big family (Tina Turner) And the truth (Billy Joel) You know love is all we need (Tina Turner/Billy Joel)
( CHORUS ) We are the world, we are the children We are the ones who make a brighter day so let’s start giving (Michael Jackson) There’s a choice we’re making we’re saving our own lives (Diana Ross) It’s true we’ll make a better day just you and me (Michael Jackson/Diana Ross)
Well, send’em you your heart so they know that someone cares (Dionne Warwick) And their lives will be stronger and free (Dionne Warwick/Willie Nelson) As God has shown us by turning stone to bread (Willie Nelson) And so we all must lend a helping hand (Al Jurreau)
( REPEAT CHORUS ) We are the world, we are the children (Bruce Springsteen) We are the ones who make a brighter day so let’s start giving (Kenny Logins) There’s a choice we’re making we’re saving our own lives (Steve Perry) It’s true we’ll make a better day just you and me (Daryl Hall)
When you’re down and out there seems no hope at all (Michael Jackson) But if you just believe there’s no way we can fall (Huey Lewis) Well, well, well, let’s realize that a change can only come (Cyndi Lauper) When we (Kim Carnes) stand together as one (Kim Carnes/Cyndi Lauper/Huey Lewis)
(REPEAT CHORUS AND FADE )
(additional ad-lib vox by Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, James Ingram)
On April 7, 1990, Willie Nelson hosted Farm Aid IV in Indianapolis. Elton John dedicates “Candle In The Wind” to AIDS patient Ryan White, who dies that night. Also on hand: Don Henley, Bonnie Raitt, Dwight Yoakam, Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Kris Kristofferson, Jackson Browne, John Mellencamp and Neil Young.
Selling out in 90 minutes, Farm Aid’s fourth concert in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 7 brought 70 artists together with farmers, environmental and consumer advocates. A new message emerged from that effort: the well-being of our land, food and water supply depends on a network of family farmers who care about how our food is grown.
The concert was televised live on The Nashville Network, and a two-hour highlight was re-broadcast to ten million viewers on CBS. In additional to Willie Nelson & Family, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, the musical line-up included Bonnie Raitt, Kris Kristofferson, Jakcson Brown, Elton John, Don Henley, Dwight Yoakam, Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Crosby Stills & Nash, and Garth Brooks. Elton John dedicates “Candle In The Wind” to AIDS patient Ryan White, who dies that night.
Willie Nelson and Kimmie Rhodes perform “Just One Love” live at the Farm Aid concert in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 7th, 1990. Farm Aid was started by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp in 1985 to keep family farmers on the land and has worked since then to make sure everyone has access to good food from family farmers. Dave Matthews joined Farm Aid’s board of directors in 2001.
For more information about Farm Aid, visit: http://farmaid.org/youtube
On March 30, 1976, “Wanted: The Outlaws”, with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Tompall Glaser and Jessi Colter — is certified gold. This album was the first country album to receive the new platinum certification, signifying one million units shipped.
In 1976, the album was the first country album to receive the new platinum certification, signifying one million units shipped.
My Heroes Have Always
My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys (Waylon)
Honky Tonk Heroes (Waylon)
I’m Looking for Blue Eyes (Jessi)
Suspicious Minds (Waylon and Jessi)
Good Hearted Woman (Waylon and Willie)
Heaven or Hell (Waylon and Willie
Me and Paul (Willie)
Yesterday’s Wine (Willie
T for Texas (Tompall)
Put Another Log on the Fire (Tompall)
It’s unfortunate that there still has to be a sampler, or primer, or golden book of some of the best singers working anywhere, but apparently not everyone has gotten the message yet. Maybe this album can introduce you to some people you would have liked to have known sooner but just didn’t have the opportunity to meet.
These are some special people, very special. They’ve been waiting in the wings for years, too many years, to assume their proper places in the structure of American Music. When it became apparent to them that their proper places were perhaps being unduly delayed becasue of certain resentments harbored against them because of their real and imagined unconventionality, they — by God — decided to take matters into their own hands. There resulted a rather difficult period of figurative doors being smashed and general confusion and namecalling in Nashville. When the smoke cleared and the fallout returned to earth, there was effected a major shift in country music. “Progressive Country” (for want of a better term) was on the map, and was here for good. And these are the people responsibile for that. Call them outlaws, call them innovators, call them revolutionaries, call them what you will. They’re just some damned find people who are also some of the most gifted songwriters and singers anywhere.
They are musical rebels, in one sense, in that they challenged the accepted way of doing things. Like all pioneers, they were criticized for that but time has vindicated them.
Tompall Glaser was one of the first in Nashville to chart his own musical course and it was lonely for him for years but now he is beginning to receive the recognition due him.
Waylon Jennings, as the most visible of the progressive country pack, has been quietly fighting for years in his own way for acceptance. Both he and Jessi Colter (who, coincidentally is also known as Mrs. Waylon Jennings) were authentically ahead of thier time. Now, the times have caught up with them.
That streak of rugged individualism that is the unifying bond for these musical outlaws is nowhere more evident than in Willie Nelson’s life and times. Unquestionably one of the finest songwriters who ever lived, Willie was known for years only to other writers and to a slowly growing cult of followers. All that has changed now. “Miracles appear in the strangest of places,” Willie sings in Yesterday’s Wine,” one of my favorites from his collection of remarkable songs, and that’s true. When I first started keeping track of Willie and Waylon and Jessi and Tompall, I (along with their other cult followers) felt almost responsible for them since they weren’t that well known to the public and the music industry as a whole didn’t like to acknowledge them. They didn’t wear Nudie suits and thier music didn’t confirm to the country norm of songs of divorce and alcohol and life’s other little miseries. The only thing that worried me was that I knew these people were born scrappers and really loved fighting for acceptance. What would happen to them, I wondered, when they inevitably won (as I knew they would)? Would they like so many who struggle just for the sake of the struggle, grow fat and lazy when they grew successful?
There was no need to worry. This last year each of them has gotten better, writing better, and singing with breathtaking confidence.
They’re the cutting edge of a brand of American music that I find the most satisfying development in popular music in the past decade. It’s not country and it’s not country-rock, but there’s no real need to worry about labeling it. It’s just damned good music that’s true and honest and you can’t ask for more than that.