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

Willie Nelson at Austin Opera House (Dec 2,3,4, 1979)

Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

Willie Nelson and Linda Ronstadt at the Super Dome (November 18, 1977)

Thursday, November 18th, 2021

“Where the Hell’s that Gold?” (November 13, 1988)

Saturday, November 13th, 2021

He makes his living robbing banks.
She makes hers banking on robbers.

Release date: 13 November 1988

Willie Nelson stars with Jack Elam, and Delta Burke in this move about two outlaws on the run after stealing and hiding a large amount of gold.  The two find themselves travelling through 1895 Mexico on a train full of dynamite as rebels, Apache Indians, Wells Fargo agents, and Federal troops trail them. When they are captured by the Mexican authorities, they scheme to keep their ill-gotten riches with the help of a madam and her prostitutes. Willie Nelson, Jack Elam, Delta Burke star in this rowdy western.

Willie Nelson & Family SOLD OUT (November 11, 2016)

Thursday, November 11th, 2021

Thanks, Jude Ramirez

Farm Aid (October 4, 2009)

Monday, October 4th, 2021

Willie Nelson & Family at Mill Resort and Casino (September 21st)

Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

Willie Nelson at Chicago Theater (9/20/21)

Monday, September 20th, 2021
steve chicago

Farm Aid 2017 in Burgettstown, PA (September 17, 2017)

Friday, September 17th, 2021

Each year, Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host a Farm Aid concert to bring together a wide variety of artists, farmers and fans for one mission: keeping family farmers on the land. Farm Aid is an all-day festival that brings together incredible music, good food and hands-on activities to get folks in touch with the roots of our food. Since 1985, Farm Aid has raised more than $50 million to help family farmers thrive all over the country while inspiring millions of people to take part in the Good Food Movement.

The lineup:

Farm Aid features the best that music has to offer, while remaining true to its ultimate mission.

Willie Nelson & Family on Coney Island (September 13, 2016)

Monday, September 13th, 2021

Willie Nelson – the Top Balladeer (New York Times) (September 9, 1981)

Thursday, September 9th, 2021

WHY is Willie Nelson, who wears his long, graying hair in braids, dresses like a hippie and was singing honky tonk music in Texas roadhouses as long ago as the l950’s, America’s most admired pop balladeer?

Kenny Rogers sells more records with his saccharine love songs and stagey whisky-rasp, and Frank Sinatra is certainly still a force to be reckoned with, but it is Willie Nelson who has turned chestnuts like ”Georgia on My Mind,” ”Stardust” and ”Mona Lisa” into recent pop hits, and Mr. Nelson draws a more diverse audience than either Mr. Rogers or Mr. Sinatra. The last time he performed in New York, pot-smoking rock fans were sitting next to middle-aged businessmen and their wives and a few grandmothers, and all of them were hanging on to Willie Nelson’s every word.

The release this week of ”Willie Nelson’s Greatest Hits” (Columbia records) offers some clues, both in the music it includes and in what it omits. On first hearing, Mr. Nelson’s dry, reedy tenor can sound deceptively thin, but listening to his hits back to back, one soon notices a sinewy strength that’s barely hidden behind his apparently vulnerable sound and casual delivery. One also notices that most of his hit records have used a sound, a kind of musical formula, that refers to several traditions, including country music, rock, folk and middle-of-the-road pop, without really belonging to any of them. Their most characteristic sound is a softly strummed acoustic guitar, a wailing harmonica played by his band’s most prominent soloist, Mickey Raphael, and Mr. Nelson singing, straightforwardly and with just a hint of melancholy, about faded loves, rejection in love, and men who are drawn to the open road and can’t seem to help themselves, men who live like cowboys not because they want to but because that’s what they are. A Land of Cowboys

Cowboys – there’s a clue. America needs its cowboys. There’s a cowboy in the White House, a cowboy who likes living on his ranch and gives press conferences with his boots on. There were latter-day cowboys in ”Urban Cowboy,” one of the most successful films and record-album soundtracks last year. There are more and more countryand-western clubs opening, and more and more city slickers in western shirts and boots to go to them, even in Manhattan. And Willie Nelson is a cowboy.

He’s still a convincing cowboy at the age of 48. He crisscrossed Texas for years, playing in roadside honky tonks. He peddled his songs in Nashville, and some of them, most notably ”Crazy” and ”Funny (How Time Slips Away),” became country standards. But record producers in Nashville didn’t think he could sing, and when he did get a chance to record, he was saddled with string orchestras and inappropriate material. By the time he finally became a full-fledged country star, in the mid-70’s, he had been branded an ”outlaw” by Nashville’s conservative country-music establishment, and although he has long since become a pop star, with a fistful of platinum albums and singles and several film roles to his credit, he still projects that outlaw image.

This is a curious thing. What one sees is an outlaw – a cowboy gone wrong. What one hears, especially on Mr. Nelson’s recordings of ”Stardust” and other standards, is a weathe red but reassuring voicesinging the old songs as if they really matte r to him, against a simple, folksy musical backdrop. Apparently, American pop consumers won’t buy records of songs like ”Stardust” when they are performed by entertainers who project an old-fashioned, sophisticated showbusiness image, but they will buy them wh en the singer is a longhaired, pot-smoking rebel.

The counterculture of the 60’s has become the mainstream culture of the 80’s, an d Mr. Nelson is the one American popular singer who gives the impress ion of being part of both the counterculture and the mainstream at the same time. Back to Honky Tonk

Interestingly, ”Willie Nelson’s Greatest Hits,” a double album that includes two previously unreleased performances, has only one of his performances of pop evergreens on it -his hit version of ”Georgia on My Mind.” The rest of the album concentrates on hits that are clos er to country music and to country rock. There are several live performances recorded with his wonderfully idiosyncraticband, which l ayers electric guitars and back-country church-style piano over he avy bass and the two-beat cowboy drumming of Mr. Nelson’s long time sidekick, Paul English. There are tributes to Mr. Nelson’s honk y-tonk roots, including a fine reworking of Lefty Frizzell’s ” If You’ve Got the Money I’ve Got the Time” and two numbers, ”Fa ded Love” and ”Stay a Little Longer,” that were associated wi th the late Bob Wills, ”King of Western Swing” and probably the most popular Southwestern entertainer or all time. Mr. Nelson’s most celebrated duet with his fellow country ”Outlaw” Waylon Jennin gs, ”Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” is here, too.

So ”Willie Nelson’s Greatest Hits” is really the best of Willie Nelson, country singer, an album for his hard-core fans. Perhaps he feels that with his albums of pre-World War II pop standards and his movie appearances, he has been neglecting the people who made his reputation in the first place. At any rate, he is still a winning country stylist.

And it is somehow reassuring, at a time when most country entertainers can’t wait to get that first pop hit and start wearing tuxedos and playing Las Vegas, to find one who knows who he is and what he comes from. Maybe that’s why his fans accept the long hair and the rumpled clothes; they are outward indications that no matter how successful he becomes, the inner Willie Nelson is not about to change.

WIllie Nelson with Wayne “The Trainwreck” Hancock (Salina, Kansas) (September 2, 2005)

Thursday, September 2nd, 2021

Willie Nelson headlines Mahi’ai Music Festival in Maui (August 24, 2019)

Tuesday, August 24th, 2021
by: Jon Woodhouse

The seeds for a future Maui version of Farm Aid were planted on Saturday at the Mahi’ai Music and Food Festival held at Maui Country Club in Spreckelsville.

Opening with his classic “Whisky River,” country icon Willie Nelson headlined the sold-out fundraising event which featured an incendiary set by Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, joined by Micah Nelson (who also performed as the Particle Kid), uplifting reggae with Marty Dread, Pat Simmons, Jr.’s heartfelt songs and Tavana’s dazzling slide guitar playing.

Proceeds from the festival will benefit the Mahi’ai Foundation and the Hawaii Farmers Union Foundation.

“Through the generous support and vision of the Willie Nelson ohana, this event will usher in future public Hawaii Farm Aid-style events in support of our family of farmers here in Hawaii,” says Hawaii Farmers Union United President Vincent Mina, who joined POTR on stage playing harmonica on Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold.”

The Mahi’ai Foundation plans to provide a model for Maui and the neighbor islands by “uplifting the stewards of our land,” according to their website.

“Mahi’ai is about using the communal power of live music to unite body and soil, educate the community about the importance of the aina, empower local regenerative agricultural programs, and ultimatelycreate a more sustainable future for Hawaii.”

For a number of years, Micah Nelson has envisioned some kind of Farm Aid event on Maui that would support regenerative agriculture.

“I grew up on Maui, and this is a way of giving back a little bit,” explains Micah, who has been touring on the Mainland for the last three months. “I met Vincent Mina, and we started talking about how we should do something for the farmers. I visited his farm in Wailuku, and we talked about the importance of regenerative farming and healthy soil. Later, I was playing a Mana’o Radio show at Casanova [in Makawao], and Jaime Moreland approached me and said, ‘I’ve been envisioning some kind of sustainable concert on Maui.’ We started meeting and brainstorming this event.”

With his dad out on the road a lot and his brother, Lukas, touring with Promise of the Real and Neil Young, it was challenging to pick a time that worked for everyone.

“It’s been a while in the making,” Micah continues. “I knew around my mom’s birthday every year on Aug. 27, we’d all be on Maui. This date worked out because everyone was going to be here.”

Long a champion of farmers, 86-year-old country legend Willie Nelson was able to perform on Maui even though he had to cancel some Mainland tour shows to rest up. At the festival, backed by his sons, he was in top form performing some of his best loved gems and demonstrating his impressive electric guitar playing.

Back on the road again in early September, Willie reported in an interview with San Antonio’s KSAT News that he planned to “keep singing, keep writing. That’s what keeps me going.”

With Neil Young and John Mellencamp, Willie organized the first Farm Aid concert in 1985 to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and raise funds to keep farm families on the land, encouraging a system of agriculture that values family farmers, good food, soil and water, and strong communities.

There had been talk of bringing the actual Farm Aid event to Maui, but it was cost prohibitive.

“I’ve been trying to get Farm Aid to come to Maui for a long time, and they’d love to, but it’s just not cost effective,” says Micah. “It wouldn’t really benefit the farmers. Once I realized that, I said, ‘Well, then I’ll start my own Farm Aid on Maui and it can keep growing as an established aid to the farmers when our own government doesn’t really seem to get the picture.’ We can help them out, have a great time doing it with live music events, and feed the future.”

While the Maui Country Club was a private event, Micah assures the next step is a public show.

“It was easy to do the first one at Maui Country Club because we had done a concert there before, and it was great. Marty Dread’s manager Richard Pechner is a club member, and he helped produce the event. It’s a template for what we eventually want to do in a public place. We did it this way to raise funds so we could seed the foundation, so we can do an annual public concert.”

There were rumors that Paul Simon might also perform at the Mahi’ai Festival after his brilliant MACC benefit concerts, however he was off-island.

“Paul Simon has been so supportive,” says Micah, “He donated part of the proceeds from his concerts at the MACC to the Mahi’ai Foundation. He’s such a cool, humble guy. He’s been happy to help something like this which is so connected to the values that make Maui such a special place.”

Hopefully by next summer or early fall, we’ll see a Maui Farm Aid concert.

“That’s the idea,” Micah concludes. “It’s a thrill to see it coming to life. I’m so excited.”

Micah will soon be featured in an upcoming episode of Southwest Airlines new video series, “Sites and Sounds,” that celebrates musicians and the destinations. The first episode focused on Maui and Lukas Nelson with visiting country artist Nikki Lane.

Willie and his sons will all perform at Farm Aid 2019 in Wisconsin on Sept. 21, alongside Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Bonnie Raitt. Willie will also be among the legends featured in Ken Burns’ latest documentary series “Country Music,” which chronicles country music from its roots in hymns and blues in the early years in the 1920s through the period of rock and roll, and finally into the 1990s, opening on PBS on Sept. 15.

And Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real recently opened (on Aug. 14) for the Rolling Stones in Seattle.

“It was a real honor,” Lukas reported. “It was amazing.”

POTR’s set at the fest included the title song of their latest album, “Turn Off the News (Build a Garden).”

“It’s about the actions you can take when you’re not debilitated by fear from the news, and getting anxious,” Lukas explains. “What we’re trying to do with ‘Turn of the News’ is to encourage people to connect to their local community even more. This (festival) fits right in with what we’re trying to do with the record.”

Patsy Cline records crazy (August 21, 1961)

Saturday, August 21st, 2021

August 21 1961, Patsy Cline recorded the classic Willie Nelson song, ‘Crazy’. She was still on crutches after going through a car windshield in a head-on collision two months earlier and had difficulty reaching the high notes of the song at first, due to her broken ribs.

Willie Nelson & Family in San Francisco (August 8, 1997)

Sunday, August 8th, 2021

Willie Nelson & Family in Trout, Oregon (July 24, 2016)

Saturday, July 24th, 2021