Archive for the ‘Picnic’ Category

Willie Nelson Pick of the Day (July 4, 2015)

Friday, July 20th, 2018


Thanks, to the great Guthrie Thomas, may he rest in peace, for photos he shared of the beatiful guitar pick for this year’s Fourth of July Picnic.

Pick design by artist and Willie Nelson fan Marsha Gerhardt.

Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic Program

Monday, July 16th, 2018

Thanks to Traces of Texas reader Frank Smith for sharing photo of the official program for Willie Nelson’s 2nd 4th of July picnic, held in College Station, Texas.

Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard on the Fourth of July (2015)

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

photos: Janis Tillerson




Willie Nelson and Beto O’Rourke on the 4th of July

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

“One of the best Independence Days of my life! Getting to be with Willie Nelson, family, friends. Grateful!”

— Beto O’Rourke

Growing Old at Willie Nelson’s Picnic

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

Lukas Nelson, at Willie Nelson’s 4th of July PIcnic.

Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

More great photos from Willie’s picnic from Janis Tillerson.  Wow.

Willie Nelson’s Picnic

Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

1973: The first Willie Nelson Fourth of July Picnic was held on a ranch outside Dripping Springs. 1974: The picnic was held in College Station. Lineup included Jimmy Buffett, Townes Van Zandt and Kinky Friedman. Photo: Scott Moore/For the American-Statesman

Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic, the finale

Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

photos:  Janis Tillerson

Family and friends join Willie Nelson on stage on the 4th of July in Austin


Monday, July 9th, 2018

Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic at Carl’s Corner, Texas (1987)

Monday, July 9th, 2018

Workers prepare stage

Willie’s July 4th Picnic Saturday at Carl’s Corner
The Reporter
July 2, 1987

Willie Nelson returns to his native Hill Country to stage his annual Fourth of July Picnic this year at Carl’s Corner

Last minute details are being taken care of for the concert to be held along Interstate 35 at Carl’s Corner north of Hillsboro.

Chainlink fences surrounding the complex have been erected and work on a revolving stage for the concert got underway earlier this week.

Some of the top entertainers in the business are expected to appear.

Scheduled to appear with Abbott native are Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Roger Miller, Bruce Hornsby and the Range, the O’Kanes, Jerry Jeff Walker, the Geezinslaws and Asleep at the Wheel.

Also, Eric Johnson, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Rattle Snake Annie, Billy Joe Shaver, Emmylou Harris, Billy Roy and Heart of the Night, Bennie Kirby and His Country Dummies, Roy Garrett and Linda Elaine and Mack Abernathey.

Still others scheduled to appear are David Allen Coe, Don Cherrie, Dwight Yokum, Cherokee Rose, Delbert McClinton, Joe Ely, Nitty Ditty Dirt band, Gary McClung Band of Hillsboro and others.

Camping for the concert will be available Friday night, July 3; free parking will open at 4 a.m. Saturday; gates to the concert site will open at 7 a.m.; and the music will begin at 10 a.m. lasting until midnight.

According to Zeke Varnon of Hillsboro, there will be free parking for about 17,000 vehicles on the concert grounds; after that, parking will be available in the area for a fee.

Persons entering the concert will not be allowed to carry alcoholic beverages, glass containers, fireworks or weapons onto the grounds.

Ice chests, food, lawnchairs and caneras will be allowed, according to Varnon.

Food items, soft drinks, beer and ice will be available on the concert grounds.

A special crew of medical technicians, headed by Hillsboro native Dr. Red Duke, will be on hand for minor medical emergencies that ight arise during the day.

The mmedical crew will be located in a large metal barn at the concert site.

Final preparations for the concert also are being made by security consultant Mike Simpson.

Simpson has been involved with concerts since 1973 and has served as security consultant for the picnic since 1984.

Over 400 law enforcement and security personnel are expected to be in the concert area the day of the event, acording to Simpson.

Ranger Security Systems of Austin and Southwest Concert Security will provide security personnel for the interior of the concert grounds according to Simpson.

Additional Department of Public Safety troopers, officials from the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission, Hill County Sheriff’s Department and Hillsboro Police Department are expected in the area also.

Hillsboro Police Department will assist Carl’s Corner Police Department as needed.

Hillsboro Police Chief Ed Wheat said that a supervisor will be in the concert site area to evaluate the need for Hillsboro officers and the length of time they will be at the site.

No less than eight Hillsboro police officers will be on duty at all times during the holiday weekend according to the police chief.

The Hill County Sheriff’s Department also will be fully staffed during weekend to cover the county.

Fifteen deputies, including reserves, will be available during the weekend to cover the county.

Sheriff Brent Button said the primary concern for his department was the load the holiday weekend might place on the Hill County Law Enforcement Center which is currently operating near it’s 40 man capacity.

Besides the concert, a large crowd is anticipated at the Lake Whitney Cycle Ranch for a national motorcross race and the parks on Lake Whitney are expected to fill to capacity.

Simpson said, “There has been a great cooperative effort between all agencies involved in the preparation for the concert to make it safe and pleasant for the patrons as well as the residents fo the areas.

Tickets for the event are $21 and are available at several locations in Central Texas.

In Hillsboro, tickets are available at Carl’s Corner Truck Stop, Sherry’s Hitch ‘N Post Western Wear, Ramada Inn, Darlene’s Restaurant and Thunderbird Restaurant.

Other ticket outlets include Hitch N Post, Cheyannes, Herrington Insurance Agency, all in Whitney, Adams Tour and Travel in Itasca and Night Owl in West.

Tickets also are available through Rainbow Ticket Masters in the Dallsa-Fort Worth metroplex.

While a large number of tickets have been sold, Varnon said no estimates have been established.

Mickey Raphael with Head and the Heart, Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic (2018)

Monday, July 9th, 2018

More great photos from Janis Tillerson from Willie Nelson’s 4th of July picnic, Mickey Raphael sits in with the Head and the Heart.

The Particle Kid at Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic

Monday, July 9th, 2018

thanks, Janis Tillerson, for photos of Micah Nelson from Willie’s Picnic.

Willie Nelson’s smile

Sunday, July 8th, 2018

Thank you, thank you, thank you Janis Tillerson for sharing her photos from Willie Nelson’s 4th of July picnic, and all these smiles.


Willie Nelson, “On the Road Again” (1983)

Sunday, July 8th, 2018
by: Stephen L. Betts

Willie Nelson gave fans in Austin, Texas, a double dose of entertainment during Independence Day week in 1980. On July 3rd, the entertainer, who made his big screen debut a year earlier in the Robert Redford-Jane Fonda film, The Electric Horseman, attended the world premiere of Honeysuckle Rose, which would mark his first appearance in a lead role. The following day, Nelson hosted his eighth annual Fourth of July Picnic on the 20-acre golf course of his Pedernales Country Club with a crowd of 60,000 braving the stifling heat for what Nelson had announced at the time would be his final July 4th picnic event. After a two-year hiatus, the picnic would return, taking place in Atlanta in 1983 before returning to Austin the following year.

The Honeysuckle Rose premiere at Austin’s Capital Plaza Cinema was attended by Nelson, accompanied by his then-wife, Connie, along with co-stars Dyan Cannon, Slim Pickens, director Jerry Schatzberg and the film’s producer, Sydney Pollack, who also directed Nelson in his previous film role. Others on hand for the auspicious event included actress (and Texan) Sissy Spacek, fresh from her role as Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner’s Daughter.

Nelson’s role in Honeysuckle Rose wasn’t exactly against type. The 47-year-old played country singer Buck Bonham, enmeshed in a love triangle with his wife (Cannon) and a young musician, played by 26-year-old Amy Irving, who was at the time romantically involved with director Steven Spielberg – and would, in fact, marry him five years later. Nelson and Irving began an on-set affair, as did Cannon and the film’s director. But for all the sparks behind the scenes, Honeysuckle Rose wasn’t exactly generating the same kind of electricity with film critics. Irving’s performance was especially singled out, earning the future Oscar nominee the first-ever Golden Raspberry (“Razzie”) award for Worst Supporting Actress.

The music-filled film, which also featured appearances from Emmylou Harris, legendary songwriter Hank Cochran and fiddle icon Johnny Gimble, would also get an Oscar nomination and today Honeysuckle Rose, in addition to providing the names for Nelson’s tour buses, is perhaps best remembered for the song that has become a true country-music classic. According to the Billboard Book of Number One Hits, “On the Road Again” was penned by Nelson on a plane flight with Schatzberg and Pollack, who told the songwriter they needed a tune about touring for the film. To their amazement, he proceeded to write out the lines for the chorus in mere minutes. The melody would come later – months later, in fact, on the day the song was recorded during filming.

Nelson had also tried to persuade the powers-that-be to title the film after the song, but that didn’t happen until the film was reissued on video later. The song, however, has since become one of his most popular, having been covered several times and used in commercials included a 2016 Volkswagen ad featuring the Red Headed Stranger himself. Since its 1980 debut, the song has popped up in everything from Dumb and Dumber To to the short-lived 2015-2016 series The Muppets and is now enshrined in the Grammy Hall of Fame.

In June 1983, one week after the second US Festival concerts took place in California, a country-themed day was added to the official event. The lineup featured Nelson and band as the closing act, along with appearances by Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs, Alabama, Hank Williams Jr. and Waylon Jennings. In the video above, Nelson and his fellow musicians, including Mickey Raphael on harmonica, tear through a lively version of “On the Road Again,” which by then had become a familiar staple of their concert repertoire.

Willie Nelson’s 44th annual Fourth of July Picnic will be broadcast live on Nelson’s SiriusXM channel, Willie’s Roadhouse, on Independence Day beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET. Among the performers scheduled to appear are Margo Price, Gene Watson, Johnny Bush, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, and Ryan Bingham, with Nelson and his Family band closing out the event.

Willie Nelson Unites

Sunday, July 8th, 2018
by:  Kevin Curtin

A haze of fireworks and cannabis smoke hung over Wednesday’s Independence Day party at Circuit of the Americas, where concertgoers wore star-spangled duds and an enormous American flag backdropped the stage.

Although Willie Nelson, 85, remains an outspoken troubadour of the socially progressive left, he attracts a bipartisan audience. For every “Alt-Country, Not Alt-Facts” T-shirt seen amongst attendees at his annual Fourth of July picnic, another read “Fuck your feelings. Drink freedom.” In Texas, and elsewhere, liberals and conservatives maintain a common love for Nelson going on five decades now.

Independence Day outs our patriotic urges. Whether pledging allegiance to the ruling party or dissenting a corrupt government, ones does so on July 4 because they’re a “patriot.” And yet, by sundown at Austin’s annual summer extravaganza – briefly evacuated on account of lightning – none of the performers had uttered or even muttered the name Trump.

Instead, they made statements musically.

Margo Price covered Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son,” an anti-war anthem along class lines, while Lukas Nelson performed a new song called “Turn Off the News and Build a Garden,” which included the lines: “Turn off the news and raise the kids/ Give them something to believe in/ Teach them how to be good people/ Give them hope that they can see.”

Before offering an inspired version of Mexican standard “La Malagueña,” Ryan Bingham spoke about moving to the Texas border town of Laredo at 16 and learning guitar from an old mariachi.

“He was the kindest human being I’ve ever met,” lauded Bingham in underlining the cultural benefits of migration.

Waiting on Sturgill Simpson, who last year called Trump a “fascist fucking pig” while busking outside the CMA Music Awards but yesterday contented himself with performing an impressive set of lengthy, hyperventilating guitar jams sans outward politics, Asleep at the Wheel leader Ray Benson emerged onstage and declared, “We need to make Texas a better place for everyone.” Then he ripped open his pearl snaps to reveal a Beto O’Rourke shirt.

Texas’ U.S. Senate candidate, who earlier in the day made an appearance at Austin rock & roll bar Hotel Vegas, delivered an impassioned, three-minute speech about living up to the highest ideals of America – specifically, better serving veterans and embracing immigration.

“El Paso is one of the safest cities in United States of America, a city that is safe, not in spite of the fact that we’re immigrants of the world over, but in large part because people chose to come to this country,” noted that area’s acting congressmen. “They crossed Mexico. They arrived here at our front door in the United States and they were part of this American story.”

Though he simply strummed open chords in 1-4-5 progressions, O’Rourke, who played bass in Nineties post-hardcore band Foss, which included future At the Drive-In vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala on drums, appeared very much in his element on Independence Day – even if he still has his work cut out for him in winning the outlaw country vote.

While overwhelming cheers resounded to O’Rourke’s vision of America, significant booing also occurred, particularly in the second level of amphitheater seating inhabited by a significantly older demographic. One group near “Playback” became incensed when the candidate said, “We will not be a country of walls. We will not be a country that locks kids up in little cages.”

“Yes we will!,” yelled one woman shaking a flag furiously.

O’Rourke then appealed to them as Texans:

“They want us to be afraid of one another. They want us to be afraid of immigrants. They want us to be afraid of Muslims. In this moment, we need to stand up to that small stuff, the big, bold, competent, strong people of the state of Texas helping this country.”

Two hours later, during Willie & Family’s closing performance, O’Rourke quietly reemerged with an acoustic guitar and played rhythm while singing backup on “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” and “It’s All Going To Pot.” He stayed on for a curtain call gospel medley of “Will the Circle be Unbroken” and “Fly Away.”

see more photos here Full photo gallery.