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

This day in WIllie Nelson history: settlement with IRS (February 2, 1993)

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

On Feb. 2, 1993, 25 years ago today, Willie Nelson reached an agreement on how to settle his outstanding debt with the IRS. The deal involved both cunning negotiations and clever repayment methods, and was a long time in the making.

Nelson had originally been slapped with an eye-popping $32 million back taxes bill in 1990. The legend managed to get that amount reduced to $16.7 million, a number Rolling Stone notes included $10.2 million in interest and penalties.

Unfortunately, that bit of good news was only a reprieve. Because Nelson was unable to pay up, the government placed liens on his property and then, in November of 1990, seized his assets — including gold records, a piano and his Texas ranch. (His beloved guitar, Trigger, was saved after Nelson’s daughter smartly sent it to Hawaii before the property seizures.)

Although his studio was also locked up, Nelson had a plan on how to generate money: a new album. Enter 1991’s The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories, a stripped-down acoustic record.

“It’s no overproduced album with millions of dollars of studio costs,” Nelson told the New York Times that same year. “But I think it’s the best stuff I got. I’ve always wanted to put out an album with me and my guitar doing my original songs. And my fans like it because it sounds like it’s just me in my living room singing.”

In an interesting twist, Nelson sold The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories via a heartstrings-tugging TV commercial. Fans could purchase the 24-song effort for just $19.95 (plus $4 shipping and handling). Readers can watch that ad above.

“Willie Nelson: He’s been there for those who’ve needed him,” says a voiceover in the spot. “And he’s helped thousands of people across this land. Now, Willie needs your help — and he’s reaching out the best way he can: through his music.”

Of the $6 Nelson received from the sale of each album, half went to the IRS, and $1 went into a fund to pay for a lawsuit Nelson filed against his ex-accountants — the people who allegedly got him in this financial mess in the first place, because they put his money in shady tax shelters. (According to the New York Times, that firm, Price Waterhouse, issued a statement that read, “Mr. Nelson and his advisers made all of the decisions regarding tax shelters in which Mr. Nelson invested. Those decisions and the economic consequences that resulted from those decisions were Mr. Nelson’s responsibility and not that of Price Waterhouse.”)

“We try to work with taxpayers, not just Mr. Nelson,” IRS spokeswoman Valerie Thornton told the New York Times about the intriguing deal with Nelson. “And if we have to come up with some creative payment plan, that’s what we’re going to do, because it’s in everyone’s best interest.”

Sales of The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories helped chip away at the amount Nelson owed, and his debt also decreased after the IRS auctioned off his assets and property. In another fortuitous move, the Washington Post reported in 1993 that “Nelson’s friends organized and bought up much of the booty with low-ball bids, and held it for him so he’ll eventually get it back.” That included his Texas ranch, which a fan bought as a way of thanking him for Farm Aid.

Finally, after years of this wrangling, Nelson and the government reached a payment agreement in 1993. He would pay $2.4 million, spread out over three years, and then tack on a final lump sum payment of $3 million. The Chicago Tribune reports that Nelson coughed up this last payment in 1995. The total Nelson eventually paid? A cool $9 million.

It would be understandable if this turmoil caused Nelson issues. But as he told Rolling Stone in 1995, he wasn’t affected that much by his financial headaches.

“By the time everybody else heard about it, I was already on to other things,” he said. “Mentally, it was a breeze. They didn’t bother me, they didn’t come out and confiscate anything other than that first day, and they didn’t show up at every gig and demand money. I appreciated that. And we teamed up and put out a record.”

read article here


Disc 1

  1. “Who’ll Buy My Memories?”
  2. “Jimmy’s Road”
  3. “It Should Be Easier Now”
  4. “Will You Remember Mine”
  5. “I Still Can’t Believe You’re Gone”
  6. “Yesterday’s Wine”
  7. “It’s Not Supposed to Be That Way”
  8. “Country Willie”
  9. “Sound in Your Mind”
  10. “Permanently Lonely”
  11. “So Much to Do”
  12. “Lonely Little Mansion”

Disc 2

  1. “Summer of Roses/December Day”
  2. “Pretend I Never Happened”
  3. “Slow Down Old World”
  4. ‘Opportunity to Cry”
  5. “I’m Falling in Love Again”
  6. “If You Could Only See”
  7. “I’d Rather You Didn’t Love Me”
  8. “What Can You Do to Me Now”
  9. “Buddy”
  10. “Remember the Good Times”
  11. “Wake Me When It’s Over”
  12. “Home Motel”

This day in Willie Nelson history: Superbowl 2004 H & R Block “Tax Advice” Ad (2/1/2004)

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

On February 1, 2004, Superbowl XXXVIII was played in Houston, Texas, and during the show it aired this Willie Nelson Tax Advice Doll commercial.

Willie Nelson and Family in Japan (February, 1984)

Thursday, February 1st, 2018


Willie wrote this letter to his fans in his fan club newsletter:


Thanks, Phil Weisman, for this poster of the ’84 Japanese tour.


Feb. 21, 1984

American country western singer Willie Nelson, surrounded by a troop of photographers, speaks to the press in Tokyo, as he kicked off his five-city tour in Japan.  He said he intends to offer “both standard and original jazz” to the Japanese audience.

Willie Nelson, “The Sound in Your Mind” (February 1976)

Thursday, February 1st, 2018


That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day)
If You’ve Got the Money I’ve Got the Time
A Penny for Your Thoughts
The Healing Hands of Time
Thanks Again
I’d Have to Be Crazy
Amazing Grace
The Sound in Your Mind
Medley: Funny How Time Slips Away / Crazy / Night Life

This day in Willie Nelson history: “The Big Bounce” released (January 30, 2004)

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

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” (January 29, 2008)

Monday, January 29th, 2018

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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: American Music Awards (January 25, 1982)

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

This day in Willie Nelson history: “Wanted the Outlaws” goes douple platinum (January 21, 1985)

Sunday, January 21st, 2018

on January 21, 1985: “Wanted: The Outlaws,” featuring Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter and Tompall Glaser, certifies double-platinum, along with the “Waylon & Willie” album.

In 1976, the album was the first country album to receive the new platinum certification, signifying one million units shipped.


  1. My Heroes Have Always
  1. My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys (Waylon)
  2. Honky Tonk Heroes (Waylon)
  3. I’m Looking for Blue Eyes (Jessi)
  4. Suspicious Minds (Waylon and Jessi)
  5. Good Hearted Woman (Waylon and Willie)
  6. Heaven or Hell (Waylon and Willie
  7. Me and Paul (Willie)
  8. Yesterday’s Wine (Willie
  9. T for Texas (Tompall)
  10. Put Another Log on the Fire (Tompall)

It’s unfortunate that there still has to be a sampler, or primer, or golden book of some of the best singers working anywhere, but apparently not everyone has gotten the message yet. Maybe this album can introduce you to some people you would have liked to have known sooner but just didn’t have the opportunity to meet.

These are some special people, very special. They’ve been waiting in the wings for years, too many years, to assume their proper places in the structure of American Music. When it became apparent to them that their proper places were perhaps being unduly delayed becasue of certain resentments harbored against them because of their real and imagined unconventionality, they — by God — decided to take matters into their own hands. There resulted a rather difficult period of figurative doors being smashed and general confusion and namecalling in Nashville. When the smoke cleared and the fallout returned to earth, there was effected a major shift in country music. “Progressive Country” (for want of a better term) was on the map, and was here for good. And these are the people responsibile for that. Call them outlaws, call them innovators, call them revolutionaries, call them what you will. They’re just some damned find people who are also some of the most gifted songwriters and singers anywhere.

They are musical rebels, in one sense, in that they challenged the accepted way of doing things. Like all pioneers, they were criticized for that but time has vindicated them.

Tompall Glaser was one of the first in Nashville to chart his own musical course and it was lonely for him for years but now he is beginning to receive the recognition due him.

Waylon Jennings, as the most visible of the progressive country pack, has been quietly fighting for years in his own way for acceptance. Both he and Jessi Colter (who, coincidentally is also known as Mrs. Waylon Jennings) were authentically ahead of thier time. Now, the times have caught up with them.

That streak of rugged individualism that is the unifying bond for these musical outlaws is nowhere more evident than in Willie Nelson’s life and times. Unquestionably one of the finest songwriters who ever lived, Willie was known for years only to other writers and to a slowly growing cult of followers. All that has changed now. “Miracles appear in the strangest of places,” Willie sings in Yesterday’s Wine,” one of my favorites from his collection of remarkable songs, and that’s true. When I first started keeping track of Willie and Waylon and Jessi and Tompall, I (along with their other cult followers) felt almost responsible for them since they weren’t that well known to the public and the music industry as a whole didn’t like to acknowledge them. They didn’t wear Nudie suits and thier music didn’t confirm to the country norm of songs of divorce and alcohol and life’s other little miseries. The only thing that worried me was that I knew these people were born scrappers and really loved fighting for acceptance. What would happen to them, I wondered, when they inevitably won (as I knew they would)? Would they like so many who struggle just for the sake of the struggle, grow fat and lazy when they grew successful?

There was no need to worry. This last year each of them has gotten better, writing better, and singing with breathtaking confidence.

They’re the cutting edge of a brand of American music that I find the most satisfying development in popular music in the past decade. It’s not country and it’s not country-rock, but there’s no real need to worry about labeling it. It’s just damned good music that’s true and honest and you can’t ask for more than that.

Chet Flippo
Associate Editor
Rolling Stone

Willie Nelson, Owen Wilson in Woody Harrelson film, “Lost in London”, streamed live broacast Jan. 19th, 2017

Friday, January 19th, 2018

DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Academy Award® nominated actor Woody Harrelson will direct and star in an unprecedented live feature film event, “Lost in London LIVE,” on January 19, 2017. Harrelson, who wrote the feature film “Lost in London,” will also co-star with Owen Wilson and Willie Nelson. Ken Kao of Waypoint Entertainment will produce alongside Harrelson. This first-of-its-kind film event will screen live in U.S. movie theaters, giving audiences the unique opportunity to watch a film shot in real time.

Loosely based on a crazy night full of real-life events, “Lost in London” follows Harrelson, playing himself, as he struggles to get home to his family. Run-ins with royalty, old friends and the law all seem to conspire to keep Harrelson from succeeding.

“I’ve always loved theatre and film and wanted to find the best way to merge the two. When I decided to shoot this in real time I realized it wasn’t quite like true theatre because the one piece missing was a live audience. By broadcasting the film live as its being shot I hope to truly blend the excitement of live theater with the scale and scope of film,” said Harrelson.

This special cinema event, presented by Fathom Events, will be broadcast live in movie theaters nationwide for one night on Thursday, January 19, 2017 at 9:00 p.m. EST / 8:00 p.m. CT / 7:00 p.m. MT / 6:00 p.m. PST. Following the feature presentation, Harrelson will participate in a live Q&A.


This day in Willie Nelson history: “Willie and Family Live” #1 (January 18, 1979)

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

On January 18, 1979, “Willie and Family Live” was at #1 on the country music album chart. The double album was recorded live at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Nevada in April 1978. EmmyLou Harris and Johnny Paycheck are featured on the album.

Side one
“Whiskey River” – 3:40
“Stay All Night (Stay a Little Longer)” – 3:24
“Funny How Time Slips Away” – 2:45
“Crazy” – 1:47
“Night Life” – 3:55
“If You’ve Got the Money (I’ve Got the Time)” – 1:44
“Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” – 3:33
“I Can Get Off on You” – 2:06

Side two
“If You Could Touch Her at All” – 3:00
“Good Hearted Woman” – 2:57
“Red Headed Stranger Medley” 14:25
“Time of the Preacher” – 2:13
“I Couldn’t Believe It Was True” – 1:03
“Medley: Blue Rock Montana/Red Headed Stranger” – 2:40
“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” – 2:29
“Red Headed Stranger” – 4:31
4. “Under the Double Eagle” – 2:43

Side three
“Till I Gain Control Again” – 5:59
“Bloody Mary Morning” – 3:33
“I’m a Memory” – 1:52
“Mr. Record Man” – 2:01
“Hello Walls” – 1:29
“One Day at a Time” – 2:05
“Will the Circle Be Unbroken” – 2:18
“Amazing Grace” – 5:12

Side four
“Take This Job and Shove It” – 2:52
“Uncloudy Day” – 3:40
“The Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line” – 1:29
“A Song for You” – 2:43
“Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms” – 1:56
“Georgia on My Mind” – 4:09
“I Gotta Get Drunk” – 1:22
“Whiskey River” – 2:42
“The Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line” – 2:12

This day in Willie Nelson History, “The Great Divide” (January 15, 2002)

Monday, January 15th, 2018


Jan 15, 2002

Lost Highway releases Willie Nelson’s album “The Great Divide”

Track List:

Maria (Shut Up And Kiss Me)
Last Stand In Open Country
Won’t Catch Me Cryin’
Be There For You
The Great Divide
Just Dropped In (To see what condition my condition was in)
This Face
Don’t Fade Away
Time After Time
Recollection Phoenix
You Remain

Willie Nelson and his fans, in Bossier City, Louisiana (1/14/2012)

Sunday, January 14th, 2018


Thanks so much once again to Janis Tillerson, for sharing her photos of Willie Nelson, like these she sent from the January 14, 2012 show, at the Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City, Louisiana.




Willie Nelson’s “Honeysuckle Rose” sound track receives two Grammy Nominations (1/13/1981)

Saturday, January 13th, 2018


On January 13, 1981, the sound track to the movie “Honeysuckle Rose”, received two Grammy nominations.

Willie Nelson Interview: Goldmine (1/11/02)

Thursday, January 11th, 2018

Goldmine Magazine
January 11, 2002

When it comes to American music legends, the name Willie Nelson elicits incredible warmth and respect for one of the most talented and accomplished singer/songwriters of our itme.  Although he has spent his 40-year career as a country musician.  Nelson’s music transcends all genres.  The now-familier term “crossover artist” was no doubt invented for Nelson.

It’s late summer and the singer is winding up his most recent U.S. tour.  Preparing for the evening’s concert in Tacoma, Washington.  Nelson has just returned from the local driving range, ever trying to improve his golf game, although he readily admitted, “I should be a lot better than I am.”  Asked about his handicap, he wrly replied, “It’s my putter and my driver!”

Beyong Golf, Nelson has kindly agreed to talk to Goldmine about his newest DVD release, Willie Nelson:  Live in Amsterdam.  (Image Enterainment) and a few other topics, including his most recent album, Rainbow connection (Island Records) and his forthcoming relase, The Great Divide.

10 Questions for Willie Nelson
by Mark Wallgren

Goldmine:  Is there anything special about touring in Europe?

Willie Nelson:  We don’t get over there as much, so when I play in Europe they’re really glad to see you.  And there’s a certain exuberance over there you know.  For 40 years now they’ve been really good country music fans for me.

GM:  One doesn’t envision Europeans wearing cowboy hats and boots, but your audience certainly does.

WN:  Yeah, it’s hard to tell whether your in Amsterdam or Austin.

GM:  In watching this video, you guitar work is woven into the tapestry of your songs.  Do you enjoy playing as much as it seems?

WN:  I’ve been playing guitar since I was six years old.  The guitar is my friend, you know.  I guess it’s my first wife.  [laughs]  I try to build the whole show around me and the guitar, and everyone else plays behind and complements what I’m trying ot do — fills in places and does their thring — they go into it that way, and then  you get a pretty good ready-mixed show.

GM:  There’s a really funny moment in this new DVD, at the end of the regular set, when you ask the audience to pretend you’d left the stage and that you’ve now returned for the encore.

WN:  [laugs]  Sometimes I tell them that story, you know, “This is the place where we normally go off and come back, and if its all right with everybody, we’re just gonna stay here, because one night we went off and came back and everybody was gone!”  A version of that every now and then.

GM:  Based even on a sliver of truth?

WN:  A sliver, yes.  You’ve got to be careful.  [laughs]

GM:  Amy, your daughter, first suggested an album such as rainbow Connection some 20 years ago, and yet you didn’t begin recording it until just last Christmas.

WN:  The reason being that I work on the road a lot and so recording a children’s album was kind of down the list of what I needed to do, you know. This last Christmas I got a couple months off, so I told her to come on now and we’d do Rainbow Connection; and some more songs.  But then I started learning Rainbow Connection; and I realized there’s a little gem here.  I mean, there’s a lot more here, I thought, than a frog singing.

GM:  “Wouldn’t have it any other way,” the one new original composition, sounds like a song you might have written for Johnny Cash.

WN:  It’s one of the last songs that I’ve written. The other being  ‘The Great Divide”  There’s something about that song that I enjoy, and I really got a kick out of playing it and doing it.  I don’t really know where it came from, but maybe it is a Johnny Cash song.  I’ll have to try to get it to him.  I appreciate yoru saying something about that song because I haven’t started doing it on the show at all because I wanted to kind of get some feedback from the people who listen to the album.

GM:  Your next album, The Great Divide, is produced by Matt Serletic who producd that superb Santana album Supernatural a couple of years ago.

WN:  It’ll be released in January, and it was an important one to make because I got to sing with a  whole lot of great musicians and writers and singer, so its one of those once-in-a-lifetime deals, and to work with Matt Serletic, he’s one of the better producers.  We’ve got a good lineup.  Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt, Kid Rock, Rob Thomas, Allison Krauss, and we’ve got the Jordainaires.  They’re backing me on “Mendocino County Line”; that we did with Lee Anne Womack in Nashville.  Also a guy named Brian McKnight.  He’s a young guy form the West Coast.  I think he’s really a good singer.

GM:  You’ve raised more than $16 million since you staged the first Farm Aid benefit back in 1985.  Did you ever envision that Farm Aid might still be necessary in the new millennium?

WN:  No, I really didn’t.  I thought we’d just have to do one, honestly.  I thought once everyone was aware of the situation that something would be done immediately and it would be like, fixed overnight.  It takes a long time to get a new farm bill through, one that the farmers are for, but big business, corporations, and unfortunately most of the politicians in Washington are against.  But we’re gonna stay with it and nobody’s going anywhere, and there’s a good chance that we might be able to get a little bit more done in Washington now that there’s sort of a shift in powers up there where it looks like people who are concerned with the small businessman may be in more of a position to do something for the farmer.

GM:  Final Question:  Has the Nelson household received its tax rebate check yet?

WN:  [laughs]  I’ve already spent my $600!

This day in Willie Nelson history: “Stardust” certified quadruple-platinum (January 9, 1990)

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

On January 9th, 1990, Willie Nelson’s “Stardust” album was 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