Archive for the ‘This Day in Willie Nelson History’ Category

Willie Nelson on Real Time with Bill Maher (January 24, 2013)

Friday, January 24th, 2020
“There has never been a recorded instance of an overdose of marijuana. I have living proof sitting beside me.” — Bill Maher

Willie Nelson & Family at the Paradiso (Netherlands) (January 23, 2007)

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Willie Nelson & Family at Municipal Auditorium (January 22, 1977)

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020

This day in Willie Nelson history: “Wanted the Outlaws” goes douple platinum (January 21, 1985)

Tuesday, January 21st, 2020

on January 21, 1985: “Wanted: The Outlaws,” featuring Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter and Tompall Glaser, certifies double-platinum, along with the “Waylon & Willie” album.

In 1976, the album was the first country album to receive the new platinum certification, signifying one million units shipped.

  1. My Heroes Have Always
  1. My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys (Waylon)
  2. Honky Tonk Heroes (Waylon)
  3. I’m Looking for Blue Eyes (Jessi)
  4. Suspicious Minds (Waylon and Jessi)
  5. Good Hearted Woman (Waylon and Willie)
  6. Heaven or Hell (Waylon and Willie
  7. Me and Paul (Willie)
  8. Yesterday’s Wine (Willie
  9. T for Texas (Tompall)
  10. 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.

Chet Flippo
Associate Editor
Rolling Stone

This day in Willie Nelson history: “Willie and Family Live” #1 (January 18, 1979)

Saturday, January 18th, 2020

On January 18, 1979, “Willie and Family Live” was at #1 on the country music album chart. The double album was recorded live at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Nevada in April 1978. EmmyLou Harris and Johnny Paycheck are featured on the album.

Side one
“Whiskey River” – 3:40
“Stay All Night (Stay a Little Longer)” – 3:24
“Funny How Time Slips Away” – 2:45
“Crazy” – 1:47
“Night Life” – 3:55
“If You’ve Got the Money (I’ve Got the Time)” – 1:44
“Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” – 3:33
“I Can Get Off on You” – 2:06

Side two
“If You Could Touch Her at All” – 3:00
“Good Hearted Woman” – 2:57
“Red Headed Stranger Medley” 14:25
“Time of the Preacher” – 2:13
“I Couldn’t Believe It Was True” – 1:03
“Medley: Blue Rock Montana/Red Headed Stranger” – 2:40
“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” – 2:29
“Red Headed Stranger” – 4:31
4. “Under the Double Eagle” – 2:43

Side three
“Till I Gain Control Again” – 5:59
“Bloody Mary Morning” – 3:33
“I’m a Memory” – 1:52
“Mr. Record Man” – 2:01
“Hello Walls” – 1:29
“One Day at a Time” – 2:05
“Will the Circle Be Unbroken” – 2:18
“Amazing Grace” – 5:12

Side four
“Take This Job and Shove It” – 2:52
“Uncloudy Day” – 3:40
“The Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line” – 1:29
“A Song for You” – 2:43
“Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms” – 1:56
“Georgia on My Mind” – 4:09
“I Gotta Get Drunk” – 1:22
“Whiskey River” – 2:42
“The Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line” – 2:12

This day in Willie Nelson History, “The Great Divide” (January 15, 2002)

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

On January 15, 2002, Lost Highway Records released Willie Nelson’s album, “The Great Divide.”

Track List:

Maria (Shut Up And Kiss Me)
Last Stand In Open Country
Won’t Catch Me Cryin’
Be There For You
The Great Divide
Just Dropped In (To see what condition my condition was in)
This Face
Don’t Fade Away
Time After Time
Recollection Phoenix
You Remain

Willie Nelson and his fans (Bossier City, Louisiana) (1/14/2012)

Tuesday, January 14th, 2020
horseshoe1 Thanks so much once again to Janis Tillerson, for sharing her photos of Willie Nelson, like these she sent from the January 14, 2012 show, at the Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City, Louisiana. Horseshoe2 horseshoe3 horseshoe4

This day in Willie Nelson History: “Wanted: The Outlaws” (January 12, 1976)

Sunday, January 12th, 2020

On March 30, 1976, the collaborative album “Wanted: The Outlaws”–featuring Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Tompall Glaser and Jessie Colter– is certified gold.

As Willie Nelson’s career gathered momentum and he began getting a national audience, Waylon Jennings and his producer/cohort Tompall Glaser noticed. Waylon was well on the way to success but so far he had experienced nothing approaching the magnitude of Willie’s accomplishments.

Nashville recording executives were quick to realize that Willie had indeed tapped into something big with this new, younger audience he had discovered. RCA vice-president Jerry Bradley was the first to hit upon a concept for an LP that might allow Waylon to penetrate this new market. Why not put together an album that would combine the talents of these “outlaws” — as they had come to be known for thier casual lifestyles and their insistence on working outside the traditional political system of the country music industry.

“Waylon was booking out as the Outlaws, he and Tompall and Jessi and Willie occasionally,” Bradley recalled to Martha Hume, “and Willie had just had a hit [“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”], and Jessi had just had a hit [“I’m not Lisa”], and Waylon had been having all kinds of hits, and none really as big as Willie or Jessi. So I told Waylon I thought we ought to do this Outlaws package and make his picture a little bigger and boost his image a little bit. He said, “Well, I wish you’d use Tompall’, I said, ‘Fine, if we can work things out with MGM [Tompall Glaser’s record label at the time], I’ll be glad to use Tompall.’”

Eight of the eleven tracks on the 1976 Wanted: The Outlaws LP were previously released material. Included on the album were two songs by Waylon, two by Willie, two by Jessi, one duet with Waylon and Jessi (a moving version of “Suspicous Minds”), and two duets with Willie and Waylon.

Most outstanding with the Outlaws LP is the ingenious packaging. The front cover is designed like an old wild west, “Wanted Dead or Alive” poster, and painted in sepia. When “Good Hearted Woman” was released as the LP’s first single, it shot to the number one spot, and stayed there for weeks. It sold phenomenally well; within a few months it had passed the million sales mark, became the first platinum country album and the biggest selling album in Nashville’s history.

On the strenth of the Outlaws LP, Waylon and Willie swept the 1976 Country Music Association Awards, winning Best Single (“Good Hearted Woman”), Best Album, and best Vocal Duo (“Good Hearted Woman”). Waylon did not appear to pick up the awards but Willie showed up at the normally stodgy, tuxedoed affair, all smiles, and bounded on to the stage to accept their trophies in his customary sneakers, head band, and flannel shirt.

“I think people in Nashville know less about what country is than anybody,” Jennings told John Rockwell of the New York Times. “They limit themselves… If we fought for anything, it was the right to be ourselves and not to be typecast.”

The full story in words and pictures of Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson by Bob Allen

Willie Nelson on the Marty Stuart Show (January 8, 2011)

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020
Eddie Stubbs started the show by introducing the guests. “From Nashville, Tennessee, the country music capital of the world and home of the air castle of the south, it’s time for The Marty Stuart Show, featuring Marty Stuart, the Rolls Royce of country singers Miss Connie Smith, the ole Tennessee Slicker Leroy Troy, along with all the Fabulous Superlatives: Cousin Kenny Vaughan, Handsome Harry Stinson, the Apostle Paul Martin, plus Gary Carter on the steel guitar, and today’s special guest, Country Music Hall of Famer Willie Nelson. Join us now for 30 minutes of fun and great country music. I’m Eddie Stubbs. Now how ’bout a Superlative welcome for our host, a Mississippi-pedigreed guiter pickin’ man,. here is Marty Stuart.” Eddie added, “Got the pedigree.” Marty said, “Thank you, Mr. Stubbs.” Marty and His Fabulous Superlatives performed “Branded.”
To see lots more pictures from Willie’s appearance on the show, and read stories about the show, visit:

Willie Nelson on CBS This Morning (January 2015)

Monday, January 6th, 2020

Willie Nelson & Family, Amarillo, TX (January 5, 2012)

Sunday, January 5th, 2020

photo:  Michael Norris
by Chip Chandler

In today’s Get Out! column, I bemoan the lack of really big concerts coming to town in the first half of this year.

But if last night’s Willie Nelson concert is the last great one we get all year even, I can’t complain.

Nelson was in fantastic shape last night, flying down the highways and byways of his career, hitting most of the expected highlights and taking a couple of fascinating detours.

He brought with him a tight band — “the whole damn family,” he cracked at one point: Son Lukas on lead guitar, son Micah on snare drum, sister Bobbi on piano, longtime harmonica player Mickey Raphael, and a guest appearance by longtime percussionist Paul English (who suffered a stroke a couple of years ago) on a couple of songs. Paul’s son Billy moved over from snare to bass, filling in, for now, for the late Bee Spears. Daughter Amy Lee Nelson even came out at the end of the show to sing harmony.

They all kept up phenomenally with Nelson, whose singing darted and slid and slipped around the words of his songs, stripping everything down to the bare essentials. Nelson’s guitar playing was, if anything, stronger than ever (or maybe I could just hear it better this time).

The highlights: A rolling jazz version of “Me and Bobby McGee,” tender and spare versions of “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” and “Always on My Mind” and a couple  crowdpleasing newer tunes, “I Ain’t Superman” and “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die.”

Willie Nelson and Lukas Nelson @ Charley’s (12/18/2010)

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019

Thanks so much to my friend and Willie Nelson fan Shelly, who sends me stories from seeing Willie Nelson at Charley’s in Pa’ai, on Maui.

Howzit Linda!

Last year, after coming back to Honolulu from celebrating New Year’s Eve 2010 with a Willie Nelson and family concert on Maui, I regaled my friend Charles Bateman with stories, and made him promise to go with me the next time there was an indication Willie would perform on Maui again.

So there were indications Willie might perform with his son, Lukas at one of the two concerts Lukas and Promise of the Real were to give at Charley’s on December 17th and 18th. We took our chances and decided to try for the Saturday nite concert rather than the Friday night one. Once we finally landed in Maui after an excruciating 6 hour delay, we ended up buying the last ticket (single) sold at the bar for the concert.

As we went off to eat dinner before the concert, Charles tried to introduce doubt about who was going to use the ticket to get in. I immediately pulled the car over and told Charles that this was not a matter that I would be able to joke about. Silently, I pondered how difficult it would be to get a man as big as Charles out of the vehicle and leave him in the sugar cane field so that this question would be settled for certain.

He seemed to get the message and didn’t joke about it again, and we went off to dinner still with some tension between us. At 8pm we, or I should say I, was let into Charleys for the concert. Later, Chuck would have great luck buying a ticket from a scalper for a few extra dollars.

Once Chuck was in, I gave him a tour of the place, pointing out all the platinum records, the giant-sized Trigger, and other Willie Nelson memorabilia in the bar. We sidled up to a good location near the stage and readied ourselves for the predictable onslaught of the usually stoned, peace-lovin, and aloha-livin’ Maui folks fighting their way up to be close to the stage for the possibility of seeing Lukas Nelson and a legend.


Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real took the stage some time around 10:45 and played great songs from their new album. Like his father, Lukas has a humble and gracious stage presence that belies his tremendous talents as a musician.

Meanwhile, Willie’s other son, Micah began embellishing a surfboard with his unique artistic skills, transforming a typical surfboard into a trippy, mind-bending board.


Somewhere around midnight, a stage hand made his way to the creaky old screen door at the back of the stage, slowly opened it, and Willie Nelson appeared and an electric guitar was given to him. The crowd went ecstatic, screaming with enthusiasm. Willie flashed us a pleased grin in reply, winked at a few friends, and the band broke into “Whiskey River.”

Lukas and his fellow band members, just in their twenties, did a remarkable job playing Willie’s country classics that are decades older than them; “On the Road Again,” “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys.” Father and son did some impressive dueling guitar work, facing each other, and it appeared Willie purposely flubbed a portion of the duel to make Lukas look like the victorious guitar virtuoso. They both laughed at this display of Willie’s humanity on guitar.

Soon the music turned back to Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real tunes, and Willie sang and played along, lending a real resonance to the songs. Lukas then spoke of the importance and love of family and his parents in his heart-rending song, “Mothers and Fathers”. Annie Nelson, standing on the side of the stage was visibly pleased as was Willie.

Both parents seemed equally pleased and proud when Lukas dazzled the crowd, and particularly a group of 4 young women smitten with him, when he showed off his ability to make music with his instrument and his mouth. The girls seemed close to collapsing by the end of this display.

Micah finished with his surfboard creation and joined the band, adding a third drummer to the final set of music. The boys threw in a couple of Christmas standards for the season, and then wrapped up the evening with a combination of Willie and Lukas songs somewhere around 1am. The crowd dispersed glowing, and mellowed back to their normal Maui selves. All those who pushed and shoved, spilled drinks on each other, hugged and kissed and said aloha.

Willie Nelson & Billy Joe Shaver on the Late Show with David Letterman (December 17, 2014)

Tuesday, December 17th, 2019

Willie Nelson Holiday Tour 1981

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

This day in Willie Nelson history: “Highwayman” recorded in Nashville (December 6, 1984)

Friday, December 6th, 2019
highwaymen On December 6, 1984, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson record “Highwayman” at Nashville’s Moman Studios. Among the musicians on the session is guitarist Marty Stuart.