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

This day in Willie Nelson history: “Highwayman” recorded in Nashville (December 6, 1984)

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

highwaymen

On December 6, 1984, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson record “Highwayman” at Nashville’s Moman Studios. Among the musicians on the session is guitarist Marty Stuart.

This day in Willie Nelson history: Kennedy Center Honors (Dec. 5, 1998)

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

kennedyhonors

photo: Khue Bui

Life Magazine
December 5, 1998

Award winner Willie Nelson and his wife arrive at the Department of State for the Kennedy Center Honors Gala dinner Saturday, Dec. 5, 1998, in Washington. The center honored comedian Bill Cosby, musician Willie Nelson, composer and conductor Andre Previn, songwriting team of Fred Ebb and John Kander, former actress and ambassador to Czechkoslovakia Shirley Temple Black.

This day in Willie Nelson history: Grand Ole’ Opry Debut (Nov. 28, 1964)

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

Willie Nelson on 11/28/1964

Willie Nelson, November 28, 1964
photo by Les Leverett

www.WillieNelsongeneralstore.com

“We’re very proud at the Willie Nelson Museum is to announce an exciting new Les Leverett photographic exhibit opening very soon – an historic country music photographic collection taken by long-time Grand Ole Opry photographer and Nashville resident Les Leverett.

Les Leverett’s photographs have been seen on hundreds of album covers, books, magazines, newspapers and video. Les’ photographic career at the Grand Ole Opry spanned more than 32 years. His love of the Grand Ole Opry and its many stars are evident throughout the images captured through the lens of his trusty Nikon camera.

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.

History

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.

Willie Nelson in Kansas City, MO (11/26/08)

Monday, November 26th, 2018

 

Photo:  Scott Spychalski,

Willie Nelson and Family, and Billy Bob Thornton and the Boxmasters concert at the Midland, in Kansas City, MO, on November 26, 2008.

 

Willie Nelson’s Set List:

Whiskey River
Still Is Still Moving To Me
Beer for My Horses
Funny How Time Slips Away
Crazy
Night Life
Piano instrumental
Me and Paul
If You’ve Got the Money I’ve Got the Time
Help Me Make It through the Night

Me and Bobby McGee
Good Hearted Woman
Blue Eyes Crying In the Rain
Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys
Angel Flying Too Close To the Ground
On the Road Again
You Were Always On My Mind
Will the Circle Be Unbroken/I’ll Fly Away
Down Yonder
Georgia on a Fast Train
Georgia on My Mind
The City of New Orleans
To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before
Milk Cow Blues
Bloody Mary Morning
Jambalaya (On the Bayou)/Hey, Good Lookin’/Move It On Over
Seven Spanish Angels
Superman
You Don’t Think I’m Funny Anymore
I Saw the Light
Take Back America

The business of Being Willie Nelson (Chicago Tribune, November 25, 1986)

Sunday, November 25th, 2018

jamboree3

photo:  Ron McKeown.

www.Chicago Tribune.com
November 25, 1986
By Wes Smith

After completing 115 holes of video golf in little more than 9 hours, executive W.H. Nelson put aside his toys and directed the driver of his mobile office to roll.

As chief executive officer of Red-headed Stranger Ltd., president of Farm Aid Inc., owner of the Pedernales Country Club, board member for the United Theological Seminary and honorary “Man of the Year“ for the United Jewish Appeal, it was time for Nelson to entertain a client or two, or three- or four-thousand

“My portfolio?” asked the boss with a toss of his auburn pony-tail. “I never wear one.”

There is no business like the business of being Willie Nelson. By no stretch of the headband is Nelson a baron of Wall Street. But with an annual income estimated conservatively at $15 million, Nelson himself is a big business deal.

Since “Williemania” struck in full force in the late 1970s, Nelson, 53, has become a one-man entertainment industry. He is a successful singer-songwriter-actor-author-record and movie-producer and Farm Aid fund-raiser. Look for his autobiography (“I wanted to do it before someone else did it”) and his own brand of soup to be introduced in coming months.

Although royalties from his songs pay Nelson enough for a comfortable life, record sales are now his main producer of revenue. His “Stardust”
album is still on the charts after seven years and climbing again as result of compact disc sales. Two of Nelson`s albums have sold more than 3 million copies, three albums sold more than a million and 10 albums sold more than 500,000. He now gets $1 million for recording an album with CBS records plus 35 percent of sales.

To promote the album sales, and because he easily gets stir crazy, Nelson tours about nine months of the year, bringing in another $12 million annually. From that he nets about $6 million before his personal expenses. Last August, he signed a $7 million, three-year contract that allowed Blue Bell Inc., the maker of Wrangler jeans, to promote 100 of Nelson`s concerts annually and hand out front-seat tickets to Wrangler denim dealers at the shows, said Paul English, Nelson`s business manager, longtime friend and drummer.

Willie & Family, as the band is known, travel in four or five customized buses with two truckloads of equipment trailing behind. The Willie Nelson road show is a family operation with a country store flavor. Nelson shares his bus, the mahogany-paneled “Honeysuckle Rose,“ with his older sister Connie, who plays keyboards. English`s son, Darnell, is assistant road manager on the tour, and Billy English, Paul`s brother, is a percussionist. Most members of the band and road crew–which total about 30 including the T-shirt hawkers –have been with Nelson at least 10 years.

While Nelson uses his computer keyboard to play video golf for hours on end while touring, his road manager, lanky, long-haired David Anderson, takes care of the payroll, day-to-day logistics and communications for the tour on his own personal computer.

Anderson is a native of Park Ridge, Ill. (“We moved when I was 28-days-old.“) The 30-year-old road manager must fold his 6-foot-4 frame into a cramped workspace not much larger than a doghouse. His mobile office, tucked in a space under a bunk bed, is packed with an IBM XT personal computer and printer, a check writer, a 3M Fax machine, a Cannon copier, a modular phone system and an Uzi submachine gun “for security reasons.”

This day in Willie Nelson history: “Wanted: The Outlaws” — 1st country album to go platinum (11/24/76)

Saturday, November 24th, 2018

On November 24, 1976, “Wanted: the Outlaws” became the first country album to receive the new platinum certification, signifying one million units shipped.

The album, featuring Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Tompall Glaser and Jessie Colter was certified gold on March 30, 1976.

Willie Nelson & Family in Oklahoma City (November 22, 2017)

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

Willie Nelson in Concert (November 21, 2013)

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

ericcamp

This day in Willie Nelson history: “Where the Hell’s that Gold?” (November 13, 1988)

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

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 receives Steven Bruton Award (November 10, 2011)

Saturday, November 10th, 2018

lsiff
http://pearlsnapdiscount.com

Willie Nelson was presented with the 2011 LSIFF Stephen Bruton Award recipient presented by fellow legendary Texas Musician T Bone Burnett.

This Day in Willie Nelson Nelson History — Willie Nelson and Family Live Album released November 8, 1978

Thursday, November 8th, 2018

September 8, 1997

Willie Nelson’s Willie and Family Live album certified quadruple platinum

This album was recorded live at Harrahs, at Lake Tahoe, in April 1978.  It was remastered, and re-released in honor of Willie’s 70th birthday, and additional tracks were added.

Song List:

Disc One:

  1. Whiskey River
  2. Stay A Little Longer
  3. Funny How Times Slips Away
  4. Crazy
  5. Night Life
  6. If You’ve Got The Money I’ve Got The Time
  7. Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys
  8. I Can Get Off On You
  9. If You Could Touch Her At All
  10. Good Hearted Woman
  11. Red Headed Stranger Medley:
    • Time Of The Preacher
    • I Couldn’t Believe It Was True
    • Blue Rock Montana/Red Headed Stranger
    • Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain
    • Red Headed Stranger
    • Just As I Am
  12. Under The Double Eagle

Disc Two:

  1. Till I Gain Control Again
  2. Bloody Mary Morning
  3. I’m A Memory
  4. Mr. Record Man
  5. Hello Walls
  6. One Day At A Time
  7. Will The Circle Be Unbroken
  8. Amazing Grace
  9. Take This Job And Shove It (with Johnny Paycheck)
  10. Uncloudy Day
  11. The Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line
  12. A Song For You
  13. Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms
  14. Georgia On My Mind
  15. I Gotta Get Drunk
  16. Whiskey River
  17. The Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line

Bonus Tracks:

  • Till I Gain Control Again (Previously unreleased)
  • Georgia On My Mind (Previously unreleased)

Willie Nelson at the Ryman Auditorium (November 5, 2009)

Monday, November 5th, 2018

rymanchrisparton5

Willie Nelson signs autographs after his Nashville concert at the Ryman Auditorium on Nov. 5, 2009.
Photo Credit: Chris Parton

On November 5, 2009, Willie Nelson performed at the Ryman Auditorium, in Nashville, playing songs on his forthcoming album, ‘Country Music.’ The following video is footage of Willie Nelson performing one of the songs from the album on Chicago’s Soundstage.

Willie Nelson Day in Abbott, Texas

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

Abbott, Texas, honors its best-known hometown boy with Willie Nelson Day

Billboard Magazine
November 24, 1973

Abbott, TX. Some 10,000 country music fans were in the neighborhood when Willie Nelson’s hometown honored him at it’s 1973 homecoming last week. With Willie, who now makes his home in Austin, were his friends who put on a 12-hour stage show for the town’s 375 people and their thousands of guests. Appearing on stage with the Atlantic recording artist were Waylon Jennings, Billy Joe Shaver, Jerry Jeff Walker, Kinky Friedman, Johnny Bush, Michael Murphey, Kenneth Threadgill and Sammi Smith.

It was quite a cast for a show sponsored by the Abbott PTA. The audience played no favorites. It responded uniformly and favorably to all of the entertainers. Most of the audience was college and post college age.

People began arriving Saturday night for the Sunday show and the 300-acre site reserved for the event was dotted with campers, pickups, mobile homes, tents and bedrolls. Some of the latecomers had to park several miles away, but were offered lifts in cars and pickups of those who were willing to chance finding parking closer in.

Willie and his band had to drive across Texas to make the event, having worked for the Saturday Terligua Chili Cook-Off. He worked the morning stint, then closed the show with Sammi Smith.

This day in Willie Nelson history: ‘City of New Orleans’ (#1 Billboard) (Nov. 3, 1984)

Saturday, November 3rd, 2018

city

On November 3, 1984, Willie Nelson’s recording of the song, ‘City Of New Orleans” is #1 on the Billboard country chart.

Here is a great video of scenes from old trains, set to Willie Nelson’s recording of the song.

robestes

Willie Nelson & amily at John T. Floore, celebrating 60 years (October 30, 2014)

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

floores2

“Willie Nelson on October 30th is officially SOLD OUT!  We could not be more excited to welcome Willie & Family back to Floore’s.

Willie Nelson at John T. Floore Country Store – A Tradition for 60 Years & Counting!!  See you October 30th!”