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

This day in Willie Nelson history: “Good Hearted Woman” recorded in Nashville (10/21/1971)

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Oct 21, 1971 Willie Nelson records a solo version of “Good Hearted Woman” in an afternoon session at Nashville’s RCA Studio B. A duet version of the song with Waylon Jennings becomes a standard four years later

This day in Willie Nelson history: “Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame” (10/14/1973)

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014



On October 14, 1973 Willie Nelson was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame, along with Jack Clement (“Ballad Of A Teenage Queen”), Don Gibson (“I Can’t Stop Loving You”), Harlan Howard (“Busted”), Roger Miller, and Ed and Steve Nelson (“Bouquet Of Roses”).

Willie Nelson, inducted 1973

Former Occupations:
cotton picker, encyclopedia salesman,
farmer, saddle maker, plumber,
vacuum cleaner salesman, disc jockey,
U.S. Air Force (during the Korean War)Â

High School–Abbott High School (graduated in 1951)
College–Baylor University (studied agriculture and business)
College–Waco University (from 3/54 to 7/54)


This day in Willie Nelson history: Grand Opening “SiriusXM” Radio Station in Austin (10/12/12)

Sunday, October 12th, 2014


On October 12, 2012, SiriusXM Radio celebrated the opening of its new studio at ACL Live on Willie Nelson Blvd. in Austin, TX with a historic broadcast on SIRIUS XM Willie’s Roadhouse.

Host Dallas Wayne was joined in-studio by Willie Nelson, as well as Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Melissa Etheridge, Jerry Jeff Walker, Kinky Friedman, Johnny Bush, Junior Brown, Amber Digby, Darrell & Mona McCall, Justin Trevino and Tommy Alverson.

See more great pictures of Willie Nelson and others at Sirius/XM Radio’s Willie’s Roadhouse Facebook page.


Sirius/XM Producer Jeremy Tepper, Willie Nelson, Dallas Wayne at grand opening celebration for opening Sirius/XM Satellite Studio.


This day in WIllie Nelson History (10/11/1981)

Saturday, October 11th, 2014


On October 11, 1981, Willie Nelson recorded “Always On My Mind” and “The Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning” at his Pedernales Studio outside of Austin, Texas.

This day in Willie Nelson History (“Yesterday’s Wine”, by Merle Haggard, George Jones #1 on Billboard Country) (10/9/82)

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

On October 9, 1982, Merle Haggard & George Jones rendiation o fWillie Nelson’s, “Yesterday’s Wine,” to #1 on the Billboard country chart

This day in Willie Nelson history: Farm Aid 2000, Bristow, VA (9/17/2000)

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

by Andrew Essex
Rolling Stone
October 26, 2000

When Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp founded Farm Aid in 1985, Ronald Reagan ran the Oval Office, big hair ruled and Britney Spears was three. A lot has changed in the past fifteen years, but if you happen to own a family farm, chances are you’re hurting worse than ever. Despite a raging economy, the average independent farmer currently earns about $7,00000 a year off his own land. Originally conceived to assist the kind of foreclosure devastated town that Mellencamp and Nelson grew up in Farm Aid must now contend with plummeting crop prices and the explosion of corporate agribusiness. Though it has spread about $15 million in grants through forty-four states (from legal support to drought relief to a crisis hotline), America’s 1.9 million family farmers — the little guys depicted in Mellencamp’s “Rain on the Scarecrow” — are still in bad shape.

“I thought the first Farm Aid would be enough to convince all the smart people how much we needed to do,” said Nelson before the concert began. “Things continue to get worse,” added a stone-faced Young. “It’s not what we wanted.”

All of this goes a long way toward explaining the tense mood at the Farm Aid 2000 pre concert news conference. At 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 17th, under a tent beside the Nissan Pavilion, a grassy outdoor shed in Bristow, Virginia, Nelson and Young found themselves seated on a dais set with hay bale, gourds, and Pat Buchanan and Ralph Nader.

Though Nelson had issued personal invitations to all four presidential candidates, George W. Bush had passed. Young wasn’t pleased: “Notably absent,” he pointed out after shaking hands with Buchanan, “Is anyone from the Bush campaign? Looks like another one of Bush’s great moves.” (“His idea of a good farm program,” groaned one Texas cattle rancher, “is Hee Haw,”)

Meanwhile, Al Gore, who had the day off, had sent Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota in his place. Buchanan clearly relished the open-minded audience. “Factory-farm cartels,” he told the crowd, “are shafting the America farmer.” Nader, already a big favorite with the disgruntled farmers, was treated to savior-like applause. He called the family-farm situation “the worst since the Depression – a human tragedy.”

It wasn’t the kind of morning that made you want to break into song. By all rights, the opening of Farm Aid 2000 should have been a jubilant occasion. To commemorate its fifteenth anniversary, the organization was releasing its first CD: Farm Aid: Volume One Live, which feature best of performances by Dave Matthews Band, Steve Earle, Johnny Cash, Young, Mellencamp and — Farm Aid’s oddest double bill – Beck and Willie Nelson playing “Peach Picking Time Down in Georgia” (the double CD does leave out Guns n’ Roses, Lou Reed, Joni Mitchell, Elton John, Don Henley and several other alums).

After skipping 1988, ’89 and ’91, and surviving Nelson’s distracting IRS situation, Farm Aid has settled into a well-oiled annual event. Even the weather was perfect. Still, the dark mood persisted. For all the unimpeachable good intentions, some farmers grudgingly admitted that Farm Aid has a long, long way to go.

“It’s pretty bad out there,” said George Naylor, a third-generation corn-an-soybean man from Churdan, Iowa. “A lot of my colleagues are driving trucks.” Others worried that making Farm Aid into an annual event risked afflicting young people with “Compassion fatigue” — becoming sort of like an agricultural Jerry Lewis telethon. Nader wouldn’t hear of it. “Come on” he said, insulted by the idea. “Look at slavery, the women’s movement, civil rights. Don’t do it. Stand up and fight for something.”

In his trailer a few moments before showtime, Nelson pondered the fatigue question. “I don’t even think about that,” he said. “It took longer than fifteen years for the Berlin Wall to come down. We’re not going away ‘win, lose or draw.'”

Half a day later, it was clear that the commitment to what Farm Aid executive director Carolyn Mugar calls “rolling a rock up a hill” had energized the performers. After Arlo Guthrie turned in a rousing set that would have made his father, Woody, proud — he’d earlier said that family farmers had been reduced to “a class of serfs” — things accelerated following workmanlike sets by Travis Tritt, Alan Jackson and Barenaked Ladies. Young re-emerged in a red “STOP FACTORY FARMS Shirt and delivered a kind of modified Crazy Horse set, complete with those staggeringly raunchy guitar solos that drive the guys in Pearl Jam crazy.

As the lat light faded from the sky, Mellencamp finally appeared. His set was all acoustic, including a violin-driven version of “I Saw You First,” sung by Eighties teenpop star Tiffany. Mellencamp was entirely without politics. He didn’t utter a single word about farming.

Fortunately, Young was willing to say enough for everyone. Back onstage with former partners Crosby, Stills and Nash to sing “Marakesh Express,” “Love the One You’re With” and others, he told the cheering crowd, “We need more decisions made at kitchen tables, not boardrooms in New York City or Chicago.”

At press time, the 2000 edition was unable to divulge the evening’s take — in the past, Farm Aid has raised slightly more than $1 per event — though a spokeswoman said there was no reason to expect that the tradition wouldn’t continue. “It looks pretty crowded out there,” she said.

Of course, no Farm Aid performance is complete without a closing set from Willie Nelson and his enormous band, which included Rep. Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota, who’s forming a caucus for politicians who play music. Then Nelson announced a special guest. The name Gore echoed through the venue — but it wasn’t Al. Suddenly, Tipper Gore was sitting behind a conga set, jamming along with Willie. Let the record show that the second lady has a find sense of rhythm. “She’s pretty good,” offered Peterson.

As the music wound down, former Texas Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower, a longtime Farm Aid associate, seemed to best sum up the event’s future. “Farm Aid’s got to raise less corn,” he said “and a lot more hell.”
Laying down his guitar, Nelson agreed. “We won’t survive if we don’t” he said. “But we’re stubborn. We’re determined to get things done.

To donate to Farm Aid, or learn more about how they help farmers:

September 17, 2000
Bristow, Virginia

After a successful show at the Nissan Pavilion in 1999, Farm Aid brought its 15th Anniversary show to an enthusiastic audience in Virginia in 2000. Farm Aid 2000 was blessed with a sunny day and a lineup which included Crosby, Stills Nash & Young, Arlo Guthrie, Sawyer Brown, Alan Jackson, Travis Tritt, the Barenaked Ladies and even Tipper Gore on drums with Willie Nelson and Family! The day began with a forum that included farmers and presidential candidates.

Before the concert, Willie Nelson issued a Letter to America urging voters and candidates to remember family farmers on election day. During the concert on CMT: Country Music Television, we aired a piece about the dangers of synthetic Bovine Growth Hormone or rBGH. As always, Farm Aid used the concert as not only entertainment, but also as an opportunity to educate people about important food and farm issues that affect us all.

This day in Willie Nelson history: “Teatro” release (9/1/1998)

Monday, September 1st, 2014

This day in Willie Nelson history: Teatro album released (9/1/1998)


1. Ou Es-Tu, Mon Amour

2. I never cared for you

3. Everywhere I Go

4. Darkness on the Face of the Earth

5. My Own Peculiar Way

6. These Lonely Nights

7. Home Motel

8. The Maker

9. I Just Can’t Let You Say Goodbye

10. I’ve Just Destroyed the World

11. Somebody Pick Up My Pieces

12. Three Days

13. I’ve Loved You All Over the World

14. Annie

Willie Nelson, EmmyLou Harris, Daniel Lanois, ‘The Maker’

by Matt

Throughout his 40-plus year career, Willie Nelson has always pushed the envelope of country music. He’s done straight country and honky tonk, explored his interests in pop standards and blues, and taken side trips into jazz and string-heavy big band. As a matter of fact, a reggae album is supposedly in the works. With that in mind, Willie’s newest release, Teatro , makes perfect sense, as the Red Headed Stranger matches his fantastic songs with some heavy almost mariachi rhythms.

Anyone familiar with Willie’s music knows he draws heavily on sounds from south of the Texas border, especially in his distinctive, Mexican-flavored guitar playing. It is thanks to those roots in Tex-Mex that Teatro , for the most part, works. Reprising her role as World’s Greatest Backup Singer, the fabulous Emmylou Harris appears on a number of tracks to add her distinctive backing vocals to Willie’s ragged voice, shining particularly on “These Lonely Nights.” Hooking up with producer Daniel Lanois, who’s worked with U2 and most recently Bob Dylan, Willie digs out some hoary old chestnuts of songs, adding a little Mexican spice.Except for three new tracks, all the songs on the album are at least 30 years old. Like his big-band jazz effort “Healing Hands of Time,” Willie reworks some classics.

The most engaging track is producer Lanois’s excellent “The Maker.” Nelson’s time-ravaged voice is still in excellent shape and is perfect for the sin-and-redemption theme of the tune. The mariachi-like rhythms work perfectly with the sprightly “Darkness on the Face of the Earth,” giving the old honky-tonk rocker an almost Bo Diddley feel. “Three Days” and “I’ve Just Destroyed the World” are by themselves fantastic tunes and the new reworkings breathe new life in the forgotten classics. Willie also reprises one of his most beautiful songs, “Home Motel,” one of the few tracks without rhythmic update.The only tune Lanois’s production falls flat on is “I Never Cared For You.” The heavy drums and in-your-face rhythms distract from the overall beauty of this wonderful tune. Beyond that, however, Teatro is a nifty little album with an interesting bent on Willie’s music. Teatro proves above all else the man can still surprise, so who knows what he has up his sleeve next.

This day in Willie Nelson History: Armadillo World Headquarters show (8/11/72)

Monday, August 11th, 2014

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On April 11, 1972, Willie Nelson made his first appearance at Armadillo World Headquarters, Austin

 “In Nashville, I was taking advice from the experts — they were telling me what to do.  It wasn’t that they were wrong, it’s just that it was wrong for me.  Someone said one time that a leader is a guy who sees a lot of people going in one direction and then jumps out in front of them.  I don’t know if this is what was happening or not.  I might have seen the young people going for the kind of music that I played, so I went to that audience, to get the energy from those young people and it got the attention of the rest of the world.”

– Willie Nelson

photo:  South Austin Popular Culture Center

This day in Willie Nelson history: “Swing Vote” opens in theaters

Friday, August 1st, 2014

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 me these 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
313 NE 16th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Phone: 405-235-4058
Fax: 405-235-4041




This day in Willie Nelson History: Democratic National Convention (7/29/04)

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

On July 29, 2004, Willie Nelson performed “Living in the Promiseland”, on the night presidential candidate John Kerry accepts the nomination at the Democratic National Convention” at Boston’s Fleet Center.  Carole King and Mavis Staples also performed.

This day in Willie Nelson History: President Jimmy Carter joins Willie Nelson on stage in Georgia (7/27/2008)

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

On July 27, 2008,  Jimmy Carter joined Willie Nelson and Family on stage and played harmonica on “Georgia On My Mind” during a concert at Chastain Park Amphitheatre in Atlanta.

“Five different times I’ve been on the stage with Willie Nelson,” Carter said. “He always calls me up on his final number, which is usually ‘Amazing Grace,’ and we sing a duet together. He’s very careful to turn the microphone completely away from my voice.” – Jimmy Carter


Former President Jimmy Carter once told Rolling Stone magazine that “all the good things I did as president, all the mistakes I made – you can blame half of that on Willie.”



This day in Willie Nelson history: “Red Headed Stranger” debuts on album charts (7/21/1975)

Monday, July 21st, 2014

On this day in 1975, Willie debuted on the album charts with “Red Headed Stranger,” which included the hit song “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.”

This day in Willie Nelson history: “Living in the Promiseland” #1 on charts (June 28, 1986

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

On June 28, 1986 Willie Nelson’s album, “Living in the Promiseland” becomes #1 on Billboard.

This day in Willie Nelson history, Willie Nelson and Sheryl Crow, “Crossroads” on CMT (5/21/02)

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Photo: Rick Diamond

On May 21, 2002, Willie Nelson and Sheryl Crow tape an installment of “CMT Crossroads” on the Sony Pictures lot in Los Angeles. Here is the entire show, as it aired on June 7, 2002.

Enjoy the entire show that someone uploaded to youtube.

Willie Nelson and Sheryl Crow met first in 1999 when they were part of a New York tribute concert honoring Johnny Cash. Nelson and Crow opened their CMT Crossroads taping with “Jackson,” one of the songs they performed at the Cash tribute. As they did in New York, Nelson played Cash to Crow’s June Carter.

Their friendship has grown since their first meeting. Crow, raised in a musical household in Missouri, reveres Nelson as the “king of phrasing” and “the voice that was the soundtrack to my childhood.” Nelson regards Crow as a worthy musical colleague, an inheritor of his musical “outlaw” spirit and a fit audience for his dirty jokes.

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.”

The singers each took care to match the other’s vocal phrasing, casting sidelong glances at each other throughout their performance. Of “Let It Be Me,” Nelson proclaimed the duo “happy to be resurrecting a great song.” He toyed with the familiar phrasing and seemed to challenge Crow to do the same. “It wasn’t perfect, but it was tasty,” she said after the first take.


01. Jackson
02. Abilene
03. City of New Orleans
04. Let It Be Me
05. It’s So Easy
06. You Remain
07. Crazy
08. Every Day Is A Winding Road

This day in Willie Nelson history: Willie Nelson named Texas State Musician for 2009

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014


On May 20, 2009, Willie Nelson is named the Texas State Musician for 2009 by the Texas Commission on the Arts has named Willie Nelson the 2009 Texas State Musician.



WHEREAS, The Texas Commission on the Arts has announced the 2009 and 2010 appointments for the positions of State Poet Laureate, State Musician, State Two-Dimensional Artist, and State Three-Dimensional Artist; and

WHEREAS, Honorees are chosen for the exceptional quality of their work and for their outstanding commitment to the arts in Texas; nominees must either be native Texans or have resided in the state for at least five years; in addition, they must have received critical recognition from state, regional, and national publications, and they must have attained the highest levels of excellence in their respective disciplines; and

WHEREAS, The 2009 Texas State Poet Laureate is Paul Ruffin, a Distinguished Professor of English at Sam Houston State University; the author of six acclaimed books of poetry as well as several volumes of fiction and nonfiction, Mr. Ruffin has published poems in hundreds of journals and anthologies; he is also the founder and editor of The Texas Review and the director of Texas Review Press; and

WHEREAS, Willie Nelson is the 2009 Texas State Musician; this legendary Texas performer was playing the guitar at the age of 6 and performing at 10; after establishing himself in Nashville as a hit songwriter, he returned to Texas and soon became world-famous as an interpreter of his own songs and as an icon of the outlaw country music movement; he has further distinguished himself as a film and television actor and entrepreneur, as well as an ever-popular touring concert artist who has been involved in numerous charity events such as FarmAid; and

WHEREAS, The 2009 Texas State Two-Dimensional Artist is Rene Alvarado; born in Mexico, he came to the United States with his family as a boy, and his work powerfully evokes the values and heritage of his native country, finding universal resonance in the rich particularity of Mexican culture; his work has been featured in galleries and exhibitions throughout Texas and the Southwest; and

WHEREAS, Eliseo Garcia has been selected as the 2009 Texas State Three-Dimensional Artist; his inspiring bas-relief sculptures pay homage to the importance of family, love, and spirituality while reflecting the ancient cultural traditions of the Aztec and Mayan civilizations; often carved out of Texas limestone, his works are on permanent display in arts centers, hospitals, libraries, and other public buildings across the state; and

WHEREAS, Fort Worth native and Denton resident Karla K. Morton has been named as the 2010 Texas State Poet Laureate; a songwriter and children’s book author as well as a celebrated poet, Ms. Morton performs her poetry across the state and has recorded her poems with musical accompaniment; she is a founder of the Denton Poet’s Assembly and a member of the board of directors of the Greater Denton Arts Council; and

WHEREAS, Sara Hickman of Austin will be the 2010 Texas State Musician; this talented singer-songwriter has recorded many critically acclaimed albums; the daughter of a painter and a weaver, the multitalented Ms. Hickman is also a painter; she supports many social causes through her work and regularly performs and records music for children; and

WHEREAS, Austin painter Marc Burckhardt has been named as the 2010 Texas State Two-Dimensional Artist; born in Germany and raised in Texas, Mr. Burckhardt combines European imagery with thematic material from contemporary American life; his mischievous wit is enhanced by his adoption of the glazing and varnishing techniques of the old masters, and his work has been featured in galleries and shows around the nation and across the world; and

WHEREAS, The 2010 Texas State Three-Dimensional Artist will be John Bennett, who began sculpting figures in 1976 and cast his first bronze in 1985; acclaimed for his sculptures of women, he has created works depicting women from all walks of life, from Old West legend Annie Oakley to 98-year-old Alice Reeves, a former schoolteacher and granddaughter of a slave; one of his pieces was selected by the Women’s Museum for display at the White House in 1999; and

WHEREAS, The men and women who have been selected to hold these prestigious posts for the next two years have all greatly contributed to the vibrant cultural life of the Lone Star State, and Texas is indeed fortunate to be home to these talented artists; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the 81st Legislature of the State of Texas hereby honor the 2009 and 2010 appointees to the positions of State Poet Laureate, State Musician, State Two-Dimensional Artist, and State Three-Dimensional Artist and extend to each of them sincere best wishes for continued creativity and achievement.

The Texas state musicians are selected for one-year appointments by the Texas Poet Laureate, State Musician and State Artist Committee.

2003 – James Dick, Round Top

2004 – Ray Benson, Austin

2005 – Johnny Gimble, Tyler

2006 – Billy Joe Shaver, Waco

2007 – Dale Watson, Pasadena, Austin

2008 – Shelley King, Austin

2009 – Willie Nelson, Austin, Abbott

2010 – Sara Hickman, Austin

2011 – Lyle Lovett, Klein

2012 – Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Houston

2013 – Craig Hella Johnson, Austin

2014 – Leonardo “Flaco” Jiménez, San Antonio