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

Willie Nelson: King of Country Music (Newsweek 8/14/1978)

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

Newsweek
August 14, 1978
King of Country Music: Willie Nelson
by Pete Axthelm

His rough, red-bearded face has been lined by years of tequila nights and Bloody Mary mornings, but the clear eyes sparkle as if each song, each cheer and each success is happening to Willie Nelson for the very first time. Surrounded by a merry band of pickers and pranksters, he travels the hard miles and one-night stands; but like the cowboys he celebrates in songs, Nelson can seem pensive and alone in the wildest of crowds. Willie has always carried himself with a kind of fierce innocense, defying those who would corrupt or label him. And now, to his whimsical delight, it is all paying off. At 45, the old outlaw has become music’s “in” phenomenon. The night life, Willie Nelson'[s life, has become a good life indeed.

Twenty years after he wrote “The Night Life” and other country classics — only to have them recorded by others because his own haunting, unusual voice was deemed unsuitable by record executives — Willie is now singing not only his own hits but ones that he didn’t even write himself. His new “Stardust” album, an evocative country-blues treatment of ten old standards, has topped the country charts for two months — after supplanting a wonderful No. 1 album that Willie did with his outlaw friend Waylon Jennings. His Western epic, “Red Headed Stranger,” remains on the charts three years after it smashed all the old rules about what a country musical album was supposed to be. With his hard-edged poetry and intensely personal blend of country, rock and gospel sounds, Willie has crossed over to the pop charts and reached out to enbrace a widening audience of good old boys, young rockers and almost anyone else who can see beyond narrow categories onto a brand of music that sometimes seems very close to magic.

“The nice thing about what’s happening now,” says Nelson, “is that I’m doing pretty much what I’ve been trying to do for 25 years. During a lot of those years, I wondered if anybody out there was listening. But now, the word seems to have gotten around about me.”

The message began to get out about 1973, when Nelson threw a Fourth of July picnic in Dripping Springs, Texas, and 50,000 of his friends showed up. Soon he was being hailed as a great synthesizer who could bring together rock groups and country stars, as well as hippie and red neck fans. Nelson’s music is described in catchall phrases like progressive country and redneck rock. But when ever the trend spotters thought they had him pinned down, Willie slipped away.

Just when people began to call him an avant-garde poet, this country genious turned back to old-time melodies like “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” and “Georgia (On My Mind) — and merely became more popular than ever.

Despite such apparent contradictions. Nelson is not really an elusive person. To know him, the trick is to keep listening. “I’ve come as close to keeping a real diary as anybody,” he says. “I just disguised it as a bunch of songs.”

My front tracks are bound for a cold water well
And my back tracks are covered with snow
And sometimes it’s heaven,
And sometimes it’s hell
And sometimes I don’t even know

Nelson sings of not only highs and lows but the confused moments in between. In the wreckage of his first marriage, he stared at the walls of a Nashville garage, while the rain hit the lone window like tears. The result was the ode “Hello Walls,” with the conclusion: “We must all pull together/Or else I’ll lose my mind/Cause I’ve got a feeling she’ll be gone a long, long time.”

Many of Nelson’s early songs dealt with pain and loss, but must were different from traditionally sudsy Nashville fare. Like a Greek dramatist, Willie sought wisdom through suffering and often it arrived in the form of brilliant insights like those in his thematic album about divorce, “Phases and Stages.” A later album, “Red Headed Stranger,” highlighted the stern frontier morality that can transform melodrama into something remarkably akin to tragedy.

Willie isn’t writing much these days. After all the early years of playing in Texas honky-honks behind chicken-wire fences put up to keep the drunks from hurling bottles at the band, he is reveling in the huge crowds that turn out during his tours. Unlike many performers, most notably the reclusive Jennings, Willie loves audiences — and his obvious enthusiasum infuses his concerts with tremendous energy. “I get restless when I don’t pay,” he says. “If I had a choice, I’d play four hours a night, seven nights a week. The playing is the fun, the writing is the work. To write, reflects the present state of Willie’s heaven-and-hell existence: “Life don’t owe me a living,” the song goes, “But a Lear and limo will do.”

Out in the land of Learjets and limousines, Nelson is a hot property. United Artists is planning a motion picture called, “The Songwriter,” inspired by Willie and written by his good friend, novelist-screenwriter Edwin (Bud) Shrake. Universal is planning a Western based on “Red Headed Stranger,” and there are long-range plans for a book and a movie about Nelson’s life. Willie will write the movie sound A Beverly Hills bartender put it in less Hollywood terms: “He’s the most interesting thing I’ve seen out here since the right-hand turn on red.”

This day in Willie Nelson history: Farm Aid XXVI (Kansas City, MO) (August 13, 2011)

Monday, August 13th, 2018

by SharonOnTheMove

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I took this one; such a sweet look

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I took this photo

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photo: Mary Francis Andrews

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photo: Mary Francis Andrews

Willie Nelson & Family in Springfield, IL (August 12, 2014)

Sunday, August 12th, 2018
  • Willie Nelson performs Tuesday at Sangamon Auditorium.

    www.sj-r.com

    Country music legend Willie Nelson is 81 years old and probably more active than people half his age.

    Last year, Nelson was scheduled to perform at Sangamon Auditorium, but that show was postponed after Nelson wasn’t feeling well after the most recent Farm Aid fundraising concert. That postponed show was rescheduled for Tuesday at the auditorium at the University of Illinois Springfield (see accompanying information for details).

    That may have been the only thing that slowed down the singer who made “On the Road Again,” “Whiskey River,” “Always On My Mind” and many, many other big hits.

    Since the last time Nelson was scheduled to perform in Springfield:

    He released his first album of mostly new material that he wrote himself since 1996. “Band of Brothers” features nine new Nelson-composed songs.

    He was inducted in the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class – and was inducted by friend and recent Academy Award winner, actor Matthew McConaughey.

    “There would be no Austin City Limits without Willie Nelson,” McConaughey said.

    Nelson was the first Austin City Limits performer in 1974 on what is now the longest-running television music program in the U.S. It airs on PBS.

    Fellow country icons Emmylou Harris and Lyle Lovett joined the “Red Headed Stranger” on stage for a string of hits including “On the Road Again” and “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die.”

    “It means a lot. It’s Austin City Limits and Austin — the music capital of the world,” Nelson said on his bus before the show.

    Blues rockers Buddy Guy and Kenny Wayne Shepherd ended the night by joining Nelson on stage for a blistering rendition of “Texas Flood.”

    Austin, Texas, had previously celebrated Nelson with a street named after him, and an 8-foot bronze likeness.

    And shortly after the Austin City Limits honor, Nelson received his fifth-degree black belt in the martial art of Gong Kwon Yu Sul.

    Nelson didn’t show off his chops but Grand Master Sam Um assured a packed room that the “Red Headed Stranger” could hold his own against anyone. As is typically the case wherever Nelson goes, other celebrities were close: this time Austin resident Lance Armstrong tiptoed past parents of other students to see his fellow Texan honored.

    “Honestly, I was surprised to be getting this degree,” Nelson said on his bus before the ceremony. “I don’t know what else is out there. I never thought about anything beyond second-degree black belt.”

    The singer gives martial arts a lot of credit for his clean bill of health. Although off stage he’s more famously known for more mellow interests — like smoking pot — Nelson said he stays physical whenever possible. He’s also a runner and avid bike rider.

    “I’m pretty healthy at 81. I think a lot of it has to do with the exercise that you do,” Nelson said. “I think martial arts is one of the best exercises you can do. Mentally, spiritually, physically, everything. I’m sure that’s helped.”

    When Nelson initially showed up to his studio, Um said he worried about the musician’s heart because of his age. Then the instructor got a glimpse of his lifestyle over the next 20 years.“He has more stamina than I do,” Um said.

    Nelson donated many of his platinum records, manuscripts and creative documents to the University of Texas.  UT’s Dolph Briscoe Center for American History on Thursday announced Nelson’s gift.  The Willie Nelson Collection in Austin will be the focus of an upcoming exhibit. UT officials say the collection includes letters and photos from fellow musicians including Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard and Lionel Richie. The items also pay tribute to Nelson’s fans and their gifts and notes to him over the years.

This day in Willie Nelson history: “Honeymoon in Vegas” soundtrack released (8/11/1992)

Saturday, August 11th, 2018

On August 11, 1992, Epic Records released the soundtrack to “Honeymoon in Vegas”. In addition to Willie Nelson’s recording of “Blue Hawaii”, the album features remakes of Elvis Presley songs by Trisha Yearwood, Billy Joel, Travis Tritt, Ricky Van Shelton, Bono, Dwight Yoakam, Amy Grant and Vince Gill, among others.


Honeymoon in Vegas

Track List

1. All Shook Up – Billy Joel
2. Wear My Ring Around Your Neck – Ricky Van Shelton
3. Love Me Tender – Amy Grant
4. Burning Love – Travis Tritt
5. Heartbreak Hotel – Billy Joel
6. Are You Lonesome Tonight? – Bryan Ferry
7. Suspicious Minds – Dwight Yoakam
8. (You’re The) Devil in Disguise – Trisha Yearwood
9. Hound Dog – Jeff Beck, Jed Leiber
10. That’s All Right – Vince Gill
11. Jailhouse Rock – John Mellencamp
12. Blue Hawaii – Willie Nelson
13. Can’t Help Falling in Love – Bono

Willie Nelson & Family @Outside Lands Music Fest (August 11, 2013)

Saturday, August 11th, 2018

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Thank you James Franks, for the poster picture.

Willie Nelson @ Red Rocks, with Dwight Yoakam (August 6, 1999)

Monday, August 6th, 2018

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This day in Willie Nelson History, “One for the Road” (with Leon Russell) certified Gold (August 2, 1979)

Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

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On August 2, 1979, “One For The Road,” a duet album featuring Willie Nelson & Leon Russell, goes gold.

Willie Nelson & Family in Concert in Denver (July 30, 2016)

Monday, July 30th, 2018

Willie Nelson & Family performing at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre on July 30th, 2016. Photos by Tina Hagerling, heyreverb.com.

Willie Nelson and BB King, Chastain Park, Georgia (July 27, 2008)

Friday, July 27th, 2018

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Willie Nelson & Family Live in Concert (July 26, 2018)

Thursday, July 26th, 2018

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This day in Willie Nelson history: Willie Nelson and Family perform in support of Patch Adams Teaching Center (July 24, 2010)

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

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Thanks to Dee, from Virginia, for sharing pictures she took at last year’s show.

On July 24, 2010, Willie Nelson and family performed at the Charlottesville Pavilion to raise money for the construction of the Patch Adams Teaching Center.  The show helped raise funds for Patch Adams Gesundheit! Institute – a home-based free hospital.

Dr. Adams, who says he wants to put the “care” in healthcare,  was on hand and enjoying the show.

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For information about Patch Adams, all his good works, and information on Gesundheit! Institute, and how you can show your support: www.patchadams.org.

About Patch Adams & Gesundheit!

Patch Adams, MD, is a physician, performer, international speaker, social activist, and founder and director of the Gesundheit! Institute, Arlington, Va. The institute has provided free medical care to thousands of patients since it began in 1971. He has devoted 35 years to changing the U.S. Health care delivery system. An internationally known speaker on wellness, joy, humor, love, and health care and the healthcare system, Adams believes that love, laughter, joy, and creativity are an integral part of a context for the healing process.

The Gesundheit! Institute started a home-based free hospital. In 1980, Gesundheit! bought a 317-acre farm in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. Adams plans to build a 40-bed rural community hospital on the property, based on his model for healthcare delivery–compassionate care provided free, integrating all the healing arts. Joyful service is a vital part of this model.

www.patchadams.org

This day in Willie Nelson history, “Poncho and Lefty” is #1 (July 23, 1983)

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

On July 23, 1983, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard’s recording of “Pancho And Lefty” moved to number one on the Billboard country chart.

This day in Willie Nelson history, “Country Bears Movie” released (July 21, 2002)

Saturday, July 21st, 2018

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On July 21, 2002, the movie, “The Country Bears” was released.

Like other celebrated rock-and-roll groups, the members of the legendary group the Country Bears were torn apart by the perils of their own success: ego, jealousy, and a little too much honey. The story of how eager young fan Beary Barrington can convince the bitter ex-members of the rock band to put aside their differences and perform a benefit concert to save Country Bear Hall, the legendary venue where the band got its start.
Initial release: July 21, 2002
Director: Peter Hastings

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Willie Nelson and Jackson Browne headline Merriweather Post Pavilion 50th Anniversary (July 15th, 2017)

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

Willie Nelson & Family Live in Concert Cary’s Booth Amphitheater (Raleigh/Durham) (July 14, 2017)

Saturday, July 14th, 2018