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

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


This day in Willie Nelson History: Moment of Forever (Janury 29, 2008)

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

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On January 29, 2008, Willie Nelson’s album, “Moment of Forever” was released by  Lost Highway Records,  produced by Kenny Chesney.




This day in Willie Nelson history: Country Music Award (1982)

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

This day in Willie Nelson history: Faron Young records, ‘Hello Walls’ (1/7/1961)

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

On January 7, 1961, Faron Young records “Hello Walls”, written by Willie Nelson, at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio on Nashville’s Music Row.

This day in Willie Nelson History: Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow & friends honor Merle Haggard (Dec. 28 )

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

On Dec 28, 2010, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Kris Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson, Kid Rock, Miranda Lambert, Vince Gill, Brad Paisley play to honor Merle Haggard in the CBS telecast of “The Kennedy Center Honors.” Video taped earlier in the month.

This day in Willie Nelson history: LeeAnn Womack and Willie Nelson make video for, “Mendocino County Line”

Friday, December 26th, 2014


On December 26, 2001, Willie Nelson and Lee Ann Womack filmed the video to “Mendocino County Line” in downtown Austin, Texas.


Willie Nelson BoulevardDSC_0259

Janis Tillerson took the great picture of the sign. I took the blurry picture of the street.



This day in Willie Nelson history: “On the Road Again” joins Grammy Hall of Fame

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

On December 10, 2010, the Grammy Foundation announced that Willie Nelson’s 1980 single, “On the Road Again,” is one of 30 songs joining the Grammy Hall of Fame.  Other selections  include “Lovesick Blues” (1949) by Hank Williams With His Drifting Cowboys and “Steel Guitar Rag” (1936) by Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys featuring Leon McAuliffe. Honored recordings must be at least 25 years old and be recognized for their “lasting qualitative or historical significance,” according to press materials. Recordings are reviewed annually by a committee of recording industry professionals and final approval is made by the Recording Academy Trustees. The list now totals 881 recordings.

This day in Willie Nelson history: Grand Ole’ Opry Debut (11/28/64)

Friday, November 28th, 2014

On November 28, 1964, Willie Nelson made his Grand Ole Opry debut, as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Grand Ole Opry

The Grand Ole Opry is a weekly Saturday night country music radio program broadcast live on WSM radio in Nashville, Tennessee. It is the oldest continuous radio program in the United States, having been broadcast on WSM since November 28, 1925. It is also televised and promotes live performances both in Nashville and on the road.


The Grand Ole Opry started out as the WSM Barn Dance in the new fifth floor radio station studio of the National Life & Accident Insurance Company. The featured performer on the first show was Uncle Jimmy Thompson, a fiddler who was then 77 years old. The announcer was program director George D. Hay, known on the air as “The Solemn Old Judge.” He was only 30 at the time and was not a judge, but was an enterprising pioneer who launched the Barn Dance as a spin-off of his National Barn Dance program at WLS Radio in Chicago, Illinois. Some of the bands regularly featured on the show during its early days included the Possum Hunters, the Fruit Jar Drinkers, the Crook Brothers and the Gully Jumpers. They arrived in this order. However, Judge Hay liked the Fruit Jar Drinkers and asked them to appear last on each show because he wanted to always close each segment with “red hot fiddle playing.” They were the second band accepted on the “Barn Dance.” And, when the Opry began having square dancers on the show, the Fruit Jar Drinkers always played for them.

In 1926, Uncle Dave Macon, a Tennessee banjo player who had recorded several songs and toured the vaudeville circuit, became its first real star. The name Grand Ole Opry came about in December, 1927. The Barn Dance followed NBC Radio Network’s Music Appreciation Hour, which consisted of classical music and selections from grand opera. Their final piece that night featured a musical interpretation of an onrushing railroad locomotive. In response to this Judge Hay quipped, “Friends, the program which just came to a close was devoted to the classics. Doctor Damrosch told us that there is no place in the classics for realism. However, from here on out for the next three hours, we will present nothing but realism. It will be down to earth for the ‘earthy’.” He then introduced the man he dubbed the Harmonica Wizard — DeFord Bailey who played his classic train song “The Pan American Blues”. After Bailey’s performance Hay commented, “For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera. From now on we will present the ‘Grand Ole Opry.’” The name stuck and has been used for the program since then.

As audiences to the live show increased, National Life & Accident Insurance’s radio venue became too small to accommodate the hordes of fans. They built a larger studio, but it was still not large enough. The Opry then moved into then-suburban Hillsboro Theatre (now the Belcourt), then to the Dixie Tabernacle in East Nashville and then to the War Memorial Auditorium, a downtown venue adjacent to the State Capitol. A twenty-five cent admission began to be charged, in part an effort to curb the large crowds, but to no avail. In 1943, the Opry moved to the Ryman Auditorium.

On October 2, 1954, a teenage Elvis Presley made his first (and only) performance there. Although the public reacted politely to his revolutionary brand of rockabilly music, after the show he was told by one of the organizers that he ought to return to Memphis to resume his truck-driving career, prompting him to swear never to return. Ironically, years later Garth Brooks commented in a television interview that one of the greatest thrills of playing the Opry was that he got to play on the same stage Elvis had.

The Ryman was home to the Opry until 1974, when the show moved to the 4,400-seat Grand Ole Opry House, located several miles to the east of downtown Nashville on a former farm in the Pennington Bend of the Cumberland River. An adjacent theme park, called Opryland USA, preceded the new Opry House by two years. Due to sagging attendance, the park was shuttered and demolished after the 1997 season by the Opry’s current owner, Gaylord Entertainment Company. The theme park was replaced by the Opry Mills Mall. An adjacent hotel, the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, is the largest non-gambling hotel in North America and is the site of dozens of conventions annually.

Still, the Opry continues, with hundreds of thousands of fans traveling from around the world to Nashville to see the music and comedy on the Opry in person.