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

This day in Willie Nelson history: Johnny Cash Music Festival (Oct 5, 2012)

Monday, October 5th, 2015


On October 5th, 2012 Willie Nelson, Dierks Bentley, Rosanne Cash and The Civil Wars performed at the Johnny Cash Music Festival, a benefit in Jonesboro, Arkansas, that raised $200,000 toward the restoration of Johnny Cash’s boyhood home.

The second annual Johnny Cash Music Festival raised approximately $200,000 to help fund the restoration of his boyhood home in Dyess, Ark., and to support a scholarship fund established in his name. His daughter, Rosanne Cash, hosted second annual festival at Arkansas State University.

For more information on the projects and fundraiser:


On August 16, 2014, after years of fundraising and restoration work, Johnny Cash’s boyhood home in Dyess, Arkansas was opened to the public as a museum. Hundreds turned out for the dedication ceremony at the Dyess Administration Building. Featured in the video are Arkansas State University System President Chip Welch, daughter Rosanne Cash, brother Tommy Cash and Dr. Ruth Hawkins, who oversaw the project as executive director of ASU’s Arkansas Heritage Sites program. Johnny Cash often spoke about the impact his childhood in Dyess had on him and many of his songs, including “Five Feet High and Rising” and “Pickin’ Time” were set there. You can see a slideshow of photos of the home at:…

This day in Willie Nelson history: ‘Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” #1 on Billboard Country Charts (10/4/1975)

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

On October 4, 2013, Willie Nelson’s recording of ‘Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain’ was declared number one on the Billboard Country Music Chart.

Willie recorded this Fred Rose song on February 9, 1975,  as part of his “Red Headed Stranger” album, at Autumn Sound in Garland Texas.  The song was included in his “Red Headed Stranger” album.

This day in Willie Nelson history, Ray Price and Willie Nelson, “San Antonio Rose” (9/25/1961)

Friday, September 25th, 2015

[This is not the 1961 recording, it’s from 2000]

On September 25, 1961 Ray Price records “San Antonio Rose,” the first tribute album to honor Bob Wills. The band includes Willie Nelson.

Willie Nelson and Jimmy Carter in Plains, GA (September 9, 2004)

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Thanks to Alice Kaufmann from Georgia for sharing her photos.

On September 9, 2004 Willie Nelson performed a concert in Plains, Georgia, for an upcoming TV special, “CMT Homecoming: Jimmy Carter In Plains”

The concert was filmed in September, for a special airing in December 2004, when CMT featured a special homecoming event, with the 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, for an intimate look at the small town that he still calls home and where he spends the holidays with wife Rosalynn, his children and grandchildren – Plains, Ga.

In this one-hour documentary, CMT Homecoming: President Carter In Plains, President Carter welcomes his longtime friend, country legend Willie Nelson, to Plains for the reunion. Nelson joins President Carter for a tour of his childhood home, his boyhood haunts, and the town that holds a special place in President Carter’s heart. The two friends swap stories of what it was like growing up in small towns and reminisce about their friendship that has lasted decade.

In honor of Plains, Nelson performs for everyone in the town, and the fans get a surprise when President and Mrs. Carter join Nelson on stage for several gospel songs.


This day in Willie Nelson history, “Heartbreak Hotel”, with Leon Russell #1 on Billboard

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015


On September 1, 1979, “Heartbreak Hotel”, recorded by Willie Nelson and Leon Russell, takes the top spot on the Billboard country chart with their remake of “Heartbreak Hotel”

This day in Willie Nelson history: Stardust breaks records; stays on Billboard Chart 520 weeks (1988)

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

On August 13, 1988 Willie Nelson becomes the first artist ever to have an album spend 10 years on the Billboard country chart as “Stardust” logs its 520th week.

On January 9, 1990, ‘Stardust’ is certified quadruple platinum

1. Stardust
2. Georgia on My Mind
3. Blue Skies
4. All of Me
5. Unchained Melody
6. September Song
7. On the Sunny Side of the Street
8. Moonlight in Vermont
9. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
10. Someone to Watch over Me
11. Scarlett Ribbons
12. I Can See Clearly Now

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

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

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

This day in Willie Nelson history: “One for the Road” duet with Leon Russell, goes gold (8/2/1979)

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015


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

This day in Willie Nelson history: “Swing Vote” movie opens (August 1, 2008)

Saturday, August 1st, 2015

On August 1, 2008, the Kevin Costner movie “Swing Vote” debuted in theaters featuring cameo by Willie Nelson. Also in the movie: Kelsey Grammer, Larry King, Dennis Hopper and Richard Petty.

Willie Nelson filmed a scene for the Kevin Kostner movie “Swing Vote” at the Harn Homestead and Museum in Oklahoma City ( Willie was also in town performing in Last of Breed tour with Merle Haggard and Ray Price.

Cher Golding, executive director of the Museum, kindly sent pictures of Willie being filmed, and Willie posing with the staff at the museum.


“Attached are a few photos of the shoot at the Harn Homestead Museum. Willie played ‘Always on my Mind’ in front of our Event Barn. After filming, he signed a few autographs and posed for photos with the Harn Homestead Museum staff.”

Cher L. Golding, Executive Director
Harn Homestead Museum
Oklahoma City, OK

This day in Willie Nelson History: CMA Music Festival (7/14/2004)

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015


Jul 14, 2004

On July 14, 2004, CBS aired “CMA Music Festival: Country Music’s Biggest Party,” featuring Willie Nelson, Brooks & Dunn, Terri Clark, Martina McBride, Montgomery Gentry, Gretchen Wilson, Brad Paisley and Keith Urban, among others

This day in Willie Nelson history: CMT Crossroads with Sheryl Crow airs (6/15/2002)

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Willie Nelson and Sheryl Crow appear on “CMT Crossroads,” taped the previous month on the Sony Pictures lot in Los Angeles. In addition to their own material, they offer a duet on the Johnny Cash & June Carter classic “Jackson”

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.” (

This day in Willie Nelson History: “Whiskey for My Men (beer for my horses)” #1 on Billboard Country Chart (6/14/03)

Sunday, June 14th, 2015

Country Weekly
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.”

This day in Willie Nelson History: “The Party’s Over” (Jun 8, 1966)

Monday, June 8th, 2015


On June 8, 1966, Willie Nelson recorded “The Party’s Over.

The song gave Don Meredith a song to sing on Monday Night Football.


This day in Willie Nelson history (5/27/10): Austin names Willie Nelson Boulevard

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015


photo:  Janis Tillerson

On May 27, 2010, the Austin City Council voted to honor Willie Nelson, by naming portion of Second Street as Willie Nelson Boulevard.


This day in Willie Nelson history: “Beer for My Horses” receives ACM Best Video award (5/26/04)

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

On May 26, 2004, the music video for “Beer for my Horses”, the Toby Keith/Willie Nelson duet, received the Best Video award by the Academy of Country Music Awards at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay. For what, I believe, is the best five-minute movie ever.