Archive for the ‘Fans’ Category
Thanks, Stewart Patton.
“Our little Sophie Jean loves you, Willie!! She’s just a couple of hops away from you in the town of West, Texas!”
Watch Country music icon Clint Black tell me a funny story about the first time he met our mutual friend, the great Willie Nelson. In this clip, Clint even does a little impression of Willie for me. Tune in tomorrow night at 8pm ET/7pm CT on AXS TV for the full interview.
Posted by Dan Rather on Monday, March 27, 2017
“Watch Country music icon Clint Black tell me a funny story about the first time he met our mutual friend, the great Willie Nelson.
In this clip, Clint even does a little impression of Willie for me.
Tune in tomorrow night at 8pm ET/7pm CT on AXS TV for the full interview.
by: Allison Dickson
Editor’s note: Local resident Allison Dickson, who has lived with spinal muscular atrophy her entire life, had the chance to meet Willie Nelson during his recent concert at the Bell County Expo Center. Dickson was kind enough to share her story with the Telegram.
I have to confess: I was nervous! At any moment, the Texas music legend Willie Nelson would be exiting his famous tour bus and coming backstage to spend time with me! It felt like those first date jitters where all you can think is: Will he like me? Will we have anything to talk about? I hope I don’t completely embarrass myself and Central Texas.
From the moment I heard Willie Nelson was playing at the Bell County Expo Center on March 11 for the venue’s 30th Anniversary Concert Series celebration, I knew this was likely my one best shot at meeting him. Medical issues restrict my travel ability, but he would be so close — it felt like fate.
Interestingly enough, I was at the Expo Center’s very first concert 30 years ago — the Osmonds — and have a picture with Marie backstage, so it also felt like coming full circle.
After being contacted by Paula Nelson, Willie’s daughter, she and I have become fast friends and “soul sisters.”
We had an instant connection. Kindness and genuineness clearly run in the family, and I hope she recognized those qualities in me, too.
She promised to make my dream to meet Willie happen. I’d receive pictures, autographs, and a big hug from her dad along with four tickets and all-access passes to the show. Paula did not disappoint!
She and her dad both made me feel so special and like an honorary part of the family. I know Paula and I will be connected forever — in fact, we’re already planning another girls night for her and her mom to visit me in Temple.
The meeting occurred backstage at the Expo Center.
There was a private area set up with a red carpet and black curtains separating us from the general backstage action. I arrived at 7:15 and met Paula at the backstage entrance so she could get me in.
The weather was horrible — rain is not my electric wheelchair’s friend — but there was no way I was going to let that stop me after the excitement building for several months.
Willie had played a show in Mississippi the night before, and he was scheduled to perform at 9 on Saturday night. Originally the press was not going to be allowed to witness or record the moments when #AlliMeetsWillie, but when Willie arrived he gave the OK and they were allowed to stay in the curtained off room! The bus is Willie’s dressing room, so I was told he would arrive at the venue, get off the bus, come spend time with me, perform, and then get on the bus and be on the road again.
Willie could not have been nicer! Paula escorted him over to me and introduced me as her “soul sister, Allison.” He came up to me, held my hand, and kissed my forehead. I knew instantly he was a kind man with a good heart and felt at ease. I thanked him for taking the time to meet me and be there. He signed some autographs for me. He taught me how to roll…a bandana! I think my mom and I invited him to visit anytime he was in Temple, and he smiled and said thank you.
There is no set list for each night’s performance — it’s just whatever Willie feels moved to play. I told him my favorite song was “Always On My Mind,” and if he sang it that night I’d know it was for me (he did!)!
I gave him gifts and we talked about those. He chuckled at a few that related to his more infamous interests (yes I gave him a shirt with a “roach” on it!). He said he knew just where the artwork I gave him that included a lyric from his song “Healing Hands of Time” would go at his ranch, and he examined the true blue custom blown glass heart, which we said meant we loved him. Willie, Paula, and I posed for pictures and the crowd was calling for him, so he had to go.
He thanked me for the gifts and being there, and then he took the stage to a sold-out crowd and gave a fantastic performance.
After the meeting, Paula led my guests and me to sit stage left for the show in the family and friends section — front row but still backstage! The best harmonica player in the world, Mickey Raphael, was the closest band member to us, and he waved and smiled our way throughout the night.
When the show ended, Paula led us back to the backstage parking lot and we said our thank yous and goodbyes — not for good, just for the evening.
People have asked me why I wanted to meet Willie Nelson and what his music means to me. His music is relatable. It’s diverse. It’s entertainment but it also touches your heart. He sings about real life — whether it’s love, love gone wrong, or just wanting to have a little fun. There’s something that draws everyone in, and his unique voice and style have made him a legend. After meeting him, I also believe his heart and spirit have helped solidify his iconic status along the way.
This entire experience — from the initial attempts to make the meeting happen to the continued interest — has been incredible. I’m just a girl who had a dream I wasn’t willing to give up on, and with faith and perseverance that dream came true.
I also saw the kindness of others in that they shared in the excitement and were truly happy I was able to have this experience. Thank you to everyone who has shown such an outpouring of love and support. I hope I can help others realize that if they have a dream, go for it! If they’re told it’s not possible, keep trying anyway! If you have a passion, follow it! One of my mottos is, “I don’t need easy. I just need possible.”
That doesn’t apply just to hoping to meet a music icon. It applies to everything. Live life to the fullest and love one another with all you have! I hope when people think of me they realize anything is possible! Don’t let your present circumstances define you. Have a vision and do all you can to make it a reality. You never know — you just might end up meeting Willie Nelson in the process!
One of the best parts of the annual Luck Reunion, is the reunion of friends we get to see only at Willie Nelson concerts. It’s always so much fun.
Terry and Jenny from Oklahoma came for the reunion. And sweet Cherie and Rhonda.
And sweet Cherie and Rhonda.
Here’s Janis and her new friend from Alaska.
Dano from Hawaii, and musician and radio host on SiriusXM Radio, Dallas Wayne.
I see these guys every time I come to Texas. And I think on or the other of them always get a bandanna from Willie. Must be their smiles, who could resist.
So fun to see Karen and Linda.
Esther and friends.
Friends from Colorado, Pete and Carla, and Lisa from California.
nd I got to hang out with Baron Lane, from California. Check out his webpage at www.TwangNation.com.
John Herring, filming the sets for all of us, with his lovely other half, Jesse
This 9-year old Willie Nelson fan was helping his dad set up for the Luck Reunion, and Willie Nelson spotted him. Willie stopped his truck, called him over and gave him a bandana that was on seat of the truck.
by: Kandace Thomas
Central Texan Allison Dickson waited patiently at Bell County Expo Center. She was nervous but excited it was the moment she had been waiting on for a lifetime. Dickson would finally meet Willie Nelson.
Dickson loves Nelson’s music. “I think it’s real, it’s heartfelt, it’s creative and it resonates,” said Dickson. When she found out the superstar would be in town she made it her goal to meet him.
It wasn’t long before Paula Nelson, Willie’s daughter, found out about Dickson’s request.
“I got an email telling me about Allison and how wonderful she is and the wonderful things she does for others. This is her dream and asked if I could help,” said Nelson.
Dickson has a rare form of muscular dystrophy but it doesn’t stop her from living life to her fullest and encouraging others to do the same.
“I hope they know that anything is possible. If you have a dream go for it if you something that speaks to your heart follow it,” said Dickson.
Dickson said Nelson’s music is an inspiration to her. Saturday she took the opportunity to give back to the singer who’s music has given her so much. She brought several gifts from Central Texas artists. The gifts she said would allow him to remember the area.
While Dickson was excited to meet the Nelsons they were equally excited to meet her.
“I’ve been so excited, nothing is going to stop it, rain is not going to stop it this. We will be best friends forever.”
Thanks, Willie Nelson & Family fan and music lover and friend Andy Bush for sharing this photo of himself with Mickey Raphael, taken today before tonight’s show.
Read Judy’s article here.
Thank you so much to Judy Redditt, for sharing her stories. You can read the Country Song Roundup article HERE.
“This takes me back. Willie was a good friend. I really enjoyed sitting down with Willie from time to time and just talking. I wrote several articles with him, but it was the stories that weren’t published that I loved the most. The ” road stories” that had me rolling on the floor, the stories behind the songs, and the family stories.
Jeannie Seely was my roommate for several years, and the only reason we stopped being roommates was that she left to marry Hank Cochran. Hank was at our apartment much of the time and he would often bring his buddies with him. I was always delighted when he brought Willie. They would sing and often bring out their latest new song they had written. I was privileged to hear so many of the classics in their infancy or shortly after they were finished.
I loved the songs that both Hank and Willie wrote and bugged Ray Price to record them, since Ray was my favorite singer of all time. Nobody had better control of their voice or could put more feeling into a song, or sang more beautifully than Ray. It got to the point that when he came into town to record, he would call me to ” find me the songs for this album, and have them by tomorrow.” All I generally had to do was look at Hank and Willie’s catalogs.
I picked a lot of songs for Ray, and one of them, NOT written by Hank or Willie, turned out to be the biggest of his career. Bonnie Guitar had been in town, and we were hanging out together. She was getting ready to record and was looking for songs. One night, we were in her hotel room and Kris Kristopherson and Mickey Newberry came to sing her some of their songs. Kris sang a song that night that I heard Ray singing in my mind. Ray had called me a few days before and told me to be on the look out for some songs for him, he would be in the next week to record. I asked Kris for a copy of the song, and of course, he wanted to know who I was taking it to. I told him just to get it for me and I would tell him who it was for later. The next day, Kris gave me a demo of the song and when Ray got to Nashville the following week, I gave him the demo of “For The Good Times”. The rest is music history. I went to work for Pamper Music as P.R Directer and the company was owned by Willie and Ray Price at the time, so for the time I worked there, I had my two favorite singers of all time as my boss’.
Talk about the ideal job! It afforded me the opportunity to hear Willie’s stories, and Ray’s recordings, often and usually first hand. Stories from Willie like the one about the time he came home drunk, and passed out, only to wake up to find Shirley had sown him up in the bed sheet and was beating him up with the broom stick. It was while I was working there that Willie’s house burned down and being frustrated that no one in Nashville would let him make music his way, Willie decided to pull up stakes and return to Texas, and to do music ” his way.” Once again, music history was made. I could go on telling stories of those days, but I think I will save them for the book I plan to write. But I will say this, I am proud and happy to have formed a lasting friendship with one of the all time musical genius’, the awesome and amazing, Willie Nelson!”
— Judy Reddit