Archive for the ‘Luck, Texas’ Category

Enter to win — Once In A Lifetime Chance to hang at Willie Nelson’s Luck, Texas and watch Red Headed Stranger

Saturday, June 29th, 2019

Enter contest here.

Rolling Roadshow and Luck Productions are joining forces to present Luck Cinema, a film screening series in Luck, TX. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit Willie Nelson’s Hill Country ranch in Luck, TX for a starlit screening of Willie’s classic 1985 Western RED HEADED STRANGER.

You’ll get the Willieville VIP experience – airfare and accommodations for two in Austin, an intimate 50-person dinner hosted by the Austin Food & Wine Alliance prepared by award-winning chef Jesse Griffiths, and a special “front porch” Q&A with Willie and the film’s key players held on the film’s set.

Here’s the full prize package:

  • VIP tickets to Luck Cinema’s screening and dinner at Willie Nelson’s Luck, TX ranch
  • Hotel accommodations for one night
  • Airfare to Austin, TX

See Red Headed Stranger Movie, Meet Willie Nelson in Luck, Texas (July 6, 2019)

Thursday, June 20th, 2019
by: Reid Jowers

The Alamo Drafthouse’s Rolling Roadshow and Luck Productions announced they are teaming up to host a screening of Willie Nelson’s Western Red Headed Stranger on Saturday, July 6.

The screening will take place in Luck, Texas (1100 Bee Creek Rd, Spicewood), aka “Willieville,” the town built in 1983 specifically for the movie. Luck sits proudly on the grounds of Willie’s ranch and rarely hosts events outside of the Luck Reunion that happens every year as counter-programming to SXSW.

Red Headed Stranger follows the story of Willie’s 1975 album of the same name, where Nelson plays the role of a preacher seeking revenge on a man for taking off with his wife played by Morgan Fairchild. The Austin Genre Film Archive remastered the movie digitally for the first time after two decades of the original print being lost.

After the screening, fans will get the chance to meet Willie and other key players of the movie for a Q&A. Memorabilia from the the movie will also be on display courtesy of the Wittliff Collections. The writer/directer of Red Headed Stranger, Bill Wittliff (who founded the collections with his wife, Sally), recently passed away.

Tickets go on sale Thursday, June 20. General admission costs $100, or all-inclusive tickets for $350 include a pre-screening dinner hosted by the Austin Food and Wine Alliance and cooked by Dai Due chef Jesse Griffiths. That meal will be capped at 50 people, so Willie superfans only need apply.

See Willie Nelson in “Red Headed Stranger” on original movie set in Luck, Texas (Saturday, July 6, 2019)

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

Luck Cinema presents Willie Nelson in Red Headed Stranger on original movie set in Luck, Texas (Saturday, July 6, 2019)

Rolling Roadshow and Luck Productions are joining forces to present Luck Cinema, a film screening series in Luck, TX.

This summer Luck Cinema will make its mark with an unforgettable kickoff event: a starlit screening of the Red Headed Stranger held on the original film set, featuring an in-person Q&A with the movie’s star, Willie Nelson and special guests from the film.

The event will take place on Saturday, July 6 at Nelson’s Luck, TX ranch just outside of Austin.

Tickets go on sale Thursday, June 20 at 10:00 AM.

Guests will be treated to the first-ever digital presentation of the recently resurfaced classic western, showcased on Rolling Roadshow’s projector screen situated in the middle of the Luck, TX property where the movie was filmed.

Prior to the screening, Austin Food & Wine Alliance will host an intimate, 50-person dinner prepared by award-winning chef Jesse Griffiths of Austin’s celebrated Dai Due restaurant, a heralded culinary figure and the recipient of the 2018 Austin Food & Wine grant in participation with Luck Reunion.

Following a painstaking search for the original film, nearly 20 years after its last official screening, Luck Productions and Rolling Roadshow found the original tape, bringing in American Genre Film Archive to digitize the Red Headed Stranger for the film’s first showing in digital form.

The theme of the Luck Cinema launch event is fitting as Red Headed Stranger is Luck, TX’s raison d’etre. Luck was built in 1986 as the set for the film and, when the script called for the town to burn down, Nelson–the Red Headed Stranger himself–requested a change in the storyline, simply to preserve the old western town he calls his own to this day.

Based on Nelson’s 1975 concept album of the same name, Red Headed Stranger the film tells the story of a scorned preacher seeking revenge on his wife and the man she left him for. Having successfully shopped the film version to Universal Studios in 1979, Nelson and the late Bill Wittliff–the movie’s screenwriter and director–were later turned down when the studio’s perspective star, Robert Redford, rejected the offer.

Wittliff and Nelson then set out to fund the film on their own; casting Willie as the Red Headed Stranger and employing a team of friends and family to make the film happen.

The Luck Cinema screening event will bring the “Stranger” himself back to the set to discuss the untold stories behind the movie, and its set which he now calls home. 

Outside of the popular annual Luck Reunion festival, the first Luck Cinema event provides the unique opportunity to experience Nelson’s “Luck, TX” property firsthand. In addition to the screening itself, fans will be able to view exclusive memorabilia provided by the Wittliff Collections–founded by Bill Wittliff and his wife, Sally.

Archival items from Wittliff’s collection will be exhibited throughout the site; providing a deeper understanding of the unique history of the film, the story of the characters involved, and a look back at the beginnings of what “Luck, TX” is today.

The team is also partnering with the Texas Film Commission who will be onsite discussing the film itself in addition to speaking about Texas’ film industry. Tickets for the Red Headed Stranger screening will be available for $100. All-inclusive tickets including access to both the Austin Food & Wine dinner and film are available for $350.

All tickets go on sale Thursday, June 20 at 10:00 AM at

On February 19, 1987, Willie Nelson’s movie, the “Red Headed Stranger” premieres in Austin, Texas. Among those attending: Morgan Fairchild, Floyd Tillman and coach Darrell Royal.


Willie Nelson was asked about the violence in the movie, and about his character killing two women:

“If you like the song, the violence is there,” he says. “You can’t take out violence anymore than you can take evil out of books. It’s all part of life.” Adds Nelson, “This movie covers a lot of territory — from spiritualism to lust — and takes a man all the way to the bottom and back to the top. It does it to a preacher — which is a little bit unusual.”

Life Magazine August 1987 article by: Cheryl McCall

Making a movie of Red Headed Stranger, his 1975 chart-topping country album, was a powerful obsession that wouldn’t let go. From the beginning, its story of love and violence in the Old West was unfolding as a movie in his mind, says Willie Nelson.

He dreamed of portraying the preacher-turned-killer on-screen. Universal Studios optioned Red Headed Stranger but eventually let it slip into “turnaround” — Hollywood limbo. So Nelson acquired the rights and spent the next five years shopping for financing. With fellow Texan Bill Wittliff – screenwriter and co producer of Country, Raggedy Man and Barbarossa — Nelson plunged into the risky business of doing their own producing.

Despite the pleading of his wife, Connie, Nelson stubbornly mortgaged property to raise $1 million for the 1879-style wardrobe, props and three Western sets. Friends and neighbors pitched in. Towns were built on land adjoining his private golf course outside Austin, turning the place into a studio back lot. Wittliff virtually ignored his book publishing business, Encino Press, to take on the chore of writing, co-producing and directing. Together, Wittliff and Nelson assembled a crew and pruned more than $11 million from Universal’s original $13.5 million budget.


Willie Nelson sprays on a little water as he and Morgan Farichild head west. Says the TV acress, “My character just doesn’t have the pioneer spirit.”


As preacher Julian Shay, Willie Nelson sobers up a besotted sheriff, played by R. G. Armstrong in a scene that both enjoyed in the scorching Texas heat.

They signed a native Texas, Morgan Fairchild, to play the preacher’s faithless wife and Katharine Ross (star of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), 43, as his salvation. The actresses agreed to defer half of their fees. As the cameras rolled, LIFE went on location with Red Headed Stranger.


“If Willie Nelson is going to kill a woman, anyone in America would forgive him for killing Morgan Fairchild in this movie,” — Morgan Fairchild


“In a funny kind of way, I just simply stepped into Willie’s dream,” says director Bill Wittliff. “It’s become an obsession for me, too. I couldn’t walk away from it.” The writer fleshed out the record album’s story of stern frontier morality with a script that explores the theme of love lost and regained against a backdrop of sin and redemption. The preacher saves a derelict town from spiritual squalor but pays a terrible price — everything he cherishes in life. By the time his rage is spent, a dozen people are dead. Nelson says he’s not the least contrite about killing two women in this film. Stranger” premieres in Austin, Texas. Among those attending: Morgan Fairchild, Floyd Tillman and coach Darrell Royal.



“If you like the song, the violence is there,” he says. “You can’t take out violence anymore than you can take evil out of books. It’s all part of life.” Adds Nelson, “This movie covers a lot of territory — from spiritualism to lust — and takes a man all the way to the bottom and back to the top. It does it to a preacher — which is a little bit unusual.”

Also unorthodox is the casting of Nelson’s grandson, his band’s drummer, the bass player and a bodyguard in speaking roles. Says Wittliff, “It’s really a homegrown deal. We pulled people off the sidewalk, from restaurants, stores or wherever we spotted them for this.” His Encino Press assistant, Connie Todd, put aside her publishing duties to audition more than 350 local folks. “When we found someone with a spark, we’d work with him or her for several hours,” says Wittliff. The creative gamble has paid off with lively performances from an Austin security guard, a waitress and a computer programmer.

It’s a measure of the loyalty Nelson inspires that his cast and crew are willing to endure 14-hour days on a location as hot and fly-ridden as Calcutta. What’s more, they are remarkably cheerful about it. Explains bit player Bo Franks, a cohort and gun collector, “I’m doing this for free. Everybody is here because they want to be part of Willie’s dream. We’re busting our butts because we wouldn’t think of letting him down.” From the Austin hatter who made and donated dozens of period hats to the realtor who lent a 19th century water drilling rig, friends contributed what they could. img029

Says his daughter Lana, ‘Daddy has set such a good example for everyone that you don’t want to be the one to goof it up.”

As the end of the shooting approaches, day drags into night and exhaustion and tension mount. Mistakes are made, lines misbelieved, and the horses — spooked by gunfire — are edgy.

The only uncooperative member of the cast during the whole 39 days of shooting was a balky pony. “Willie, we got a problem here,” crackled a walkie-talkie. “The horse wants to know what his motivation is for pulling the plow.”

Nelson drinks cups of coffee and cracks jokes. Scenes are repeated until all the angles have been filmed. At 5:30 a.m., they break. Twelve hours later, after filming the preacher and the wife traveling west in a covered wagon, Wittliff and Nelson say the magic words, “That’s a wrap!”

The film opens next month, with Willie Nelson singing Red-Headed Stranger songs throughout his movie.


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Willie and Paula Nelson

Monday, April 15th, 2019

Paula Nelson hosted the sneak preview listening party for Willie Nelson’s new album, “Ride Me Back Home”, for Sirius/XM Radio

“They’re the luckiest horses in the world”

Monday, March 25th, 2019

BRIARCLIFF, Texas – A world away from the stage, and with the steering wheel of his old pickup truck instead of a guitar in hand, Willie Nelson loves few things more than to go on a drive around his 700-acre chunk of the Texas Hill Country near here.

He calls his ranch “Luck” and smiles as he explains, “When you’re here, you’re in Luck, and when you’re not, you’re out of Luck.”

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Over 70 horses roam Nelson’s ranch, most of which he rescued before they could be sent to slaughterhouses.

“My horses are probably the luckiest horses in the world,” Nelson said. “They get hand-fed twice a day, and they were just ready to go to slaughter is probably the last thing they remembered, so they’re happy horses.”

Nelson has included his love for horses in a CD that will be released in early summer. It’s a song entitled “Ride Me Back Home.”

As he approaches his 87th birthday, Nelson is still touring and spending about 200 days on the road.

“It’s a lot of traveling and being away from home,” Nelson said. “But that’s what we do.”

With the exception of a benefit performance in 2018 for then-senatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke, Nelson’s shows are void of politics.

“We leave all of that at home,” Nelson explained. “I think that’s why a lot of people show up, because they don’t have to worry about what they’ve been watching on TV all day.”

Though in good health and living a relatively stress-free life, Nelson noted that it hasn’t always been that way, as reflected in troubles he had with the IRS.

Nelson said, “I remember that I remember those guys.” He’s since settled his debt and moved on.

“You’re supposed to get a little smarter as we get older,” Nelson said with a smile. “Every now and then, I think I’m getting a little smarter, but I’m not sure.”

Among the things he remains focused on are advocating for the legalization of marijuana, marketing his brand of marijuana, called “Willie’s Reserve,” where it’s legal and raising money for American farmers during his annual Farm Aid Concerts.

Retirement, Nelson says, is not a part of the conversation.

“I retire after every show,” Nelson said. “I say, ‘That’s it, I’m not goin’ no more,’ but then we hang out awhile and people (his band) feel like playing, and so we go play again.”

Luck Reunion, the grand finale

Friday, March 15th, 2019

Nathaniel Nateliff joins Willie Nelson & Family on stage at the Luck Reunion Thursday night.

Fans in Luck

Thursday, March 14th, 2019

Fans lined up early for the Luck Reunion in Texas.  Thanks Janis from Texas for your photos.

Welcome to Luck

Wednesday, March 13th, 2019

Thank you, Janis from Texas! Sadly, I am snowed in in Colorado with a crazy spring blizzard. I was sitting alone in the dark when the power went out this morning, and sweet Janis from Texas sent me these photos from Luck today.

The revival stage.

Luck Reunion Lineup (March 14, 2019)

Monday, March 11th, 2019

Luck Reunion, the flagship festival of Luck Productions, has announced their 2019 lineup, which includes Steve Earle & The Dukes, Mavis Staples, and Nicole Atkins & Jim Sclavunos. The festival will take place at Willie Nelson’s “Luck, TX” on March 14.

Marked by a performance by Willie Nelson & Family, the festival will showcase over 40 artists across its five stages. Other acts include Shakey Graves, Mountain Man, Jade Jackson, Lukas Nelson, Strand of Oaks, and many more.

Luck Reunion is presented by Southwest Airlines, and takes place in Luck, TX, about 30 miles from Austin. The festival showcases those who have defined American music, and those who are currently redefining it.

All of the performers take after the event’s host, the legendary Willie Nelson, in that they focus on inspiration, take risks, and are always open to collaborating with other artists. The “Luck Family,” as they’ve grown to be called, deliver a festival that is classic as well as modern, and all in all memorable.

Luck Productions is a cultural collective headquartered in Willie Nelson’s Luck, TX. They create events that embrace the past while cultivating and embracing new traditions in American culture.

Check out the full lineup for Luck Reunion below, and buy tickets here.


Willie Nelson & Family
Steve Earle & The Dukes
Shakey Graves
Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real
The Marcus King Band
Matthew Logan Vasquez
Illuminati Hotties
Particle Kid
Paula Nelson & Jesse Dayton
Southwest® Artist On The Rise

Mavis Staples
Mountain Man
Courtney Marie Andrews
Haley Heynderickx
Angie McMahon
Sunny War
Brandy Zdan

Hayes Carll
Strand Of Oaks
Langhorne Slim & The Law
Low Cut Connie
The Nude Party
Quaker City Nighthawks
Thomas Csorba
E.B. The Younger
Logan Ledger

Nathaniel Rateliff
Cedric Burnside
Nicole Atkins & Jim Sclavunos
The Cactus Blossoms
Dylan LeBlanc
J.S. Ondra
Billy Strings
Lola Kirke
Waylon Payne

Willie’s Joint at the Luck Reunion

Saturday, March 9th, 2019

We’re headed back to Luck Reunion this year and we’ve got something special to share (nope…not that). Introducing Willie’s Joint: Willie’s Reserve has taken over and rebuilt the old jailhouse near our Willie Nelson World Headquarters stage to bring cannabis programming, speakers, and our collaborative The Luck Journal content to you live at #Luck. Join us at Willie’s Joint to meet the farmers and sneak a peek at products from new CBD brand Willie’s Remedy See you at the ranch!

Paula Nelson at the Luck Reunion (March 14, 2019)

Thursday, March 7th, 2019

Luck Reunion

We may all be in the #LuckFamily, but Paula Nelson is blood. See your favorite #WilliesRoadhouse SiriusXM Outlaw Country host live on our #WorldHeadquarters Stage next week #InLuck.
Get to know more about Paula here #LuckReunion

Willie Nelson, “Desperados Waiting for a Train”

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

Luck, Texas

Monday, May 7th, 2018


photo:  Janis Tillerson

Monday, March 26th, 2018

photo:  Gary Miller

Willie Nelson performs during the Luck Welcome dinner benefitting Farm Aid March 14 in Spicewood, Texas.

Luck, Texas at Night

Friday, March 23rd, 2018

Thanks so much to David Duncan for sharing photos from the Luck Reunion at Willie and Annie Nelson’s ranch last week. So magical.