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

This day in Willie Nelson history: “Half Nelson” awarded Gold Album status

Monday, April 6th, 2015


On April 6, 1987, Willie Nelson received a gold album for his duets compilation, “Half Nelson”.

Track List:

1. “Pancho and Lefty”, with Merle Haggard
2. “Slow Movin’ Outlaw”, withLacy J. Dalton
3. “Are There Any More Real Cowboys?”, with Neil Young
4. “I Told a Lie to My Heart”, with Hank Williams
5. “Texas on a Saturday Night”, with Mel Tillis
6. “Seven Spanish Angels” Ray Charles
7. “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before”, with Julio Iglesias
8. “They All Went To Mexico, with Carlos Santana
10. “Half a Man”, with George Jones

This is one of the songs from the album.  You can listen to all the great duets here:

This day in Willie Nelson history: Leon Russell @Grand Ole Opry House, with Willie Nelson (April 2, 1979)

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015


On April 2, 1979, Leon Russell makes his first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry House, playing piano with Willie Nelson.   Crystal Gayle was in the audience.

This day in Willie Nelson History: “Crazy” chosen for inclusion in Library of Congress (3/19/2004)

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

On March 19, 2004, the Library of Congress adds 50 titles to its National Recording Registry. The new additions include Willie Nelson’s, “Crazy”, sung by Patsy Cline; “Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison,”and Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys’ “New San Antonio Rose,” plus music by Chuck Berry, The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen and Carole King.

This day in Willie Nelson History: Dripping Springs (3/17/1972)

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015


On March 17, 1972, Willie Nelson performed in Dripping Springs, Texas, along with Waylon Jennings, Loretta Lynn, Roy Acuff, Buck Owens, Kris Kristofferson, Tex Ritter and Tom T. Hall.

This day in Willie Nelson history: Farm Aid V (Irving, Texas) (1992)

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

March 14, 1992

Willie Nelson’s Farm Aid V plays to about 40,000 fans in Irving, Texas, with Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Joe Walsh, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lorrie Morgan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ricky Van Shelton, The Kentucky HeadHunters, Hal Ketchum and Paul Simon.

Economic Recovery starts in the Heartland with Family Farmers” was Farm Aid’s theme for 1992. Farmers Home Administration sent out 40,000 foreclosure notices to troubled farms. The impact of the loss of these farms on rural communities was devastating. Every five farms that closed down took one small business with them. Small towns across America were being boarded up. Schools, hospitals and farm houses were left empty.

Willie Nelson and Farm Aid helped to bring this to the attention of the new Clinton Administration. Farm Aid joined family farm organizations in expressing hope for greater access to this administration in order to change federal policies to support family farming.

Arc Angels
Asleep At The Wheel
Bandaloo Doctors
Eddie Brickell
Mary-Chapin Carpenter
Tracy Chapman
Mark Chesnutt
John Conlee
Joe Ely
Geezinslaw Brothers
Georgia Satellites
Johnny Gimble
Arlo Guthrie
Merle Haggard
John Hiatt
Waylon Jennings
Kentucky Headhunters
Kris Kristofferson
Little Village
Lynyrd Skynyrd
John Mellencamp
Lorrie Morgan
Willie Nelson
Bonnie Raitt
Michelle Shocked
Paul Simon
Texas Tornadoes
Ricky Van Shelton
Joe Walsh
Jimmy Webb
Neil Young

This day in Willie Nelson history; induction into Austin Film Society Hall of Fame (3/11/2002)

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

On March 11, 2002, Willie Nelson was inducted into the Austin Film Society Hall of Time.  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.


This day in Willie Nelson history: “Neil Young: Heart of Gold” premiere in Nashville

Monday, March 9th, 2015


Neil Young: Heart of Gold (2006)

On March 9, 2006, Willie Nelson attended a screening of the film “Neil Young: Heart Of Gold” at Nashville’s Green Hills 16, along with Neil Young, Emmylou Harris, Jeff Hanna, Kim Carnes, Jon Randall and musicians Al Anderson, James Burton, Spooner Oldham and Ben Keith



This day in Willie Nelson history: “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” #1 on Billboard

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015


On March 4, 1978, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings recording of “Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” is number one (and stays there for four weeks).

This day in Willie Nelson history: Mardi Gras (Feb 26, 2006)

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

On February 26, 2006, Willie Nelson rode in the Krewe of Bacchus Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans as Grand Marshall. Willie Nelson and Family performed that night at the Bacchus Ball.



This day in Willie Nelson History: 2002 Olympics Closing Ceremony (Salt Lake City, Utah)

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

On February 24, 2002, Willie Nelson performed “Bridge Over Troubled Water” during the closing ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. Martina McBride and Donny and Marie Osmond also performed at the ceremonies.

SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 24— Beneath the snowy Wasatch Range and in front of a bedazzled, swaying crowd of 44,929, the 19th Winter Olympics came to a dynamic and celebratory end tonight. Fears of terrorism long gone, protests of days past shelved for the night, athletes from 78 nations marched into Rice-Eccles Stadium in a rambunctious mood and took their seats for the most ornate conclusion ever to a Winter Games.

After 17 days, 234 medals and all the theater and human majesty in between, Utah bade farewell to the sporting event it wanted so desperately. The state and its people were rewarded with a reinvigoration of the Winter Games — and by a closing ceremony collage of colors, music and harmony.

In a gaudy and grand celebration, canisters of fluorescent pastel paint were dumped on the ice by dancers, à la Jackson Pollock. Huge white beach balls descended from the stands. Monstrous helium balloons, carrying gyrating gymnasts dressed as skiers and snowboarders, hovered overhead.

Earth, Wind and Fire played and sang, an unannounced Willie Nelson broke into a soulful rendition of ”Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and 780 children in Eskimo parkas carry ing lanterns ended one segment with ”Happy Trails to You,” as they skated in a long, straggling line, off the ice and into a chilly night.

The sentimental portion of the program over, a pyrotechnic barrage began north of the stadium. Workers at 11 launch sites in the valley around the stadium ignited $1 million worth of fireworks — 10,000 shells that spectacularly lit the mountains for nearly five minutes as the Olympic anthem blared through the stadium.

Dr. Jacques Rogge, the International Olympic Committee president, called the first Winter Olympiad in the United States since 1980 ”unforgettable” and ”inspiring.”

”People of America, Utah and Salt Lake City, you have given the world superb Games,” Rogge, the successor to Juan Antonio Samaranch, said during his first closing ceremony speech.

He had vowed beforehand not to echo Samaranch’s ”best Olympic Games ever” remark, bestowed on Sydney, Australia, in 2000 but not on Atlanta four years earlier.

Keeping with the tone of the evening, Mitt Romney, the Salt Lake Organizing Committee president, praised the Olympians, the fans and more than 30,000 volunteers. He also seemed to encapsulate Utah’s dual feelings of ecstasy and relief by opening his remarks with ”Salt Lake City . . . we did it!”

A mosaic of American pop culture took turns entertaining the masses. Seventy-five-foot dinosaurs straight from the ”Lion King” set design peered over the stadium, trying out their comedy. The voices belonged to the Utah siblings and icons Donnie and Marie Osmond. Musical acts ranging from Christina Aguilera to Bon Jovi to Harry Connick Jr. to Kiss sang and played well into the night.

Most longtime observers of the closing ceremony said the festivities were on par with the most impressive end to any Summer Games they had witnessed and beyond any imaginable conclusion to a Winter Games.

The three-hour party began when the flag was raised by five American Indian war veterans, one for each of Utah’s indigenous tribes. The national anthem was sung a capella by ‘N Sync. A boy band seemed only apropos, with such attention paid to a younger audience and its fascination with newfangled winter sports like snowboarding and moguls skiing.


This day in Willie Nelson history: Willie Nelson performs for soldiers @Brooke Army Medical Center (2/17/06)

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Staff and patients gather on three levels to watch Willie Nelson and his band perform Feb. 17 at Brooke Army Medical Center.  — Photo by Brian Guerra
by Nelia Schrum and Andricka Hammonds

SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 23, 2006 - When the 2006 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo pulled up stakes Feb. 19, it left the wounded warriors recovering at Brooke Army Medical Center here and hospital staff with fond memories of Texas and cowboy hospitality.

Texas legend Willie Nelson and his family band treated the hospital to a concert in the Medical Mall Feb. 17, playing to a packed audience of staff and patients. Opening with his hit, “Whiskey River,” he sang signature ballads like “On the Road Again,” “Crazy” and “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys.”

Nelson played for 90 minutes. Following his performance, he signed autographs and posed for pictures with patients and staff for another hour.

The Willie Nelson band played at BAMC in February 2005 performing 11 numbers. But Nelson had to cut his performance for the 2005 Stock Show and Rodeo because he was suffering from laryngitis.

“I wanted to come back again and play for the soldiers because I didn’t feel I had performed at my best last year,” Nelson said, adding his throat since has recovered.

This day in Willie Nelson History: Grammy Awards (1979)

Sunday, February 15th, 2015


On February 15, 1979, Willie Nelson was awarded a Grammy for Best Country Vocal performance, Male, for “Georgia On My Mind”; and Best Country Vocal Duo or Group, with Waylon Jennings, for “Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys

This day in Willie Nelson History: “Highwayman” album certified Gold (Feb. 10, 1986)

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

On February 10, 1986, “The HighwayMan” album, is certified gold for Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson

1. Highwayman
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

This day in WIllie Nelson History: Superbowl Tailgate Party with Toby Keith, and Aerosmith

Saturday, January 31st, 2015


On January 31, 2004, Willie Nelson, Toby Keith and Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith perform live installment of CMT Crossroads from Houston, Texas.

This day in Willie Nelson history: “The Big Bounce” movie (January 30, 2004)

Friday, January 30th, 2015

for tgif 1/30/04 photo from movieweb.combigbounce

On January 30, 2004, the movie “The Big Bounce”, opened.


Thank you, Mark, from Willie Nelson’s Museum and General Store, (, for finding this gem, a still from the movie, “The Big Bounce” released in 2004, also starring Owen Wilson, Gary Sinese, Morgan Freeman, Charlie Sheen, Bebe Neuwirth, Harry Dean Stanton, Gregory Sporleder, Steve Jones, Director: George Armitage