Archive for the ‘television’ Category

Willie Nelson in first ever Austin City Limits show on PBS (Jan 2, 1975)

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

photo: Scott Newton

by: G. Thompson

On Jan. 2, 1975, Austin City Limits premiered on PBS. The show’s inaugural episode, which aired as part of a PBS pledge drive, featured Willie Nelson as its very first guest.

ACL‘s original first episode actually taped on Oct. 13, 1974, and included an appearance by B.W. Stevenson. But when that recording was found unusable, Nelson became the first guest on the now-iconic show, singing “Good Hearted Woman,” “Whiskey River,” “Okie From Muskogee” and “Will The Circle Be Unbroken.”

Austin City Limits was so popular that it was quickly made into a regular series. Although the show was designed to focus on Texas music, including Texas swing and Tejano music, it quickly became known as a place for talent of all genres to perform. The Foo Fighters, Alabama Shakes, Björk, Bruce Hornsby, Suzanne Vega and Nine Inch Nails are among the many, many artists who have graced the ACL stage.

In 2014, Austin City Limits aired a star-studded prime-time special in honor of its 40th anniversary, hosted by Jeff Bridges, Sheryl Crow and Matthew McConaughey. Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt and Kris Kristofferson were among the performers during the two-hour show.

“This is a huge milestone for us,” ACL executive producer Terry Lickona said. “This show captures the essence of what Austin City Limits is all about. We set the bar high for this celebration, and we exceeded it! The lineup of talent speaks volumes about the respect that artists have for ACL.”

Austin City Limits is the longest-running music program in television history to date.

Also in 2014, Austin City Limits launched the ACL Hall of Fame. Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Asleep at the Wheel, Loretta Lynn, Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt are among the inductees so far.

More information on Austin City Limits, including a TV schedule, can be found on their website.

Willie Nelson & Friends, Austin City Limits 2014 Hall of Fame Special “Texas Flood”

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

Willie Nelson on the Jimmie Kimmel Show, “Fly Me to the Moon” and “Vote ’em Out”

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

Willie Nelson on Jimmy Kimmel Live TONIGHT!

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

Don’t be confused, the band’s not in LA.  This was filmed earlier.

I love pictures of Willie with other famous people, and seeing that they are such big fans and just as excited as any of us to get their picture taken with Willie Nelson.  Thanks to Elaine Schock of Shock, Inc. for reminding us about him being on the show tonight.

This day in Willie Nelson history: appearance on Jimmy Fallon Show (September 30, 2016)

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

Willie Nelson appeared on the Jimmy Fallon Friday, September 30th.

This picture was from his appearance with Lukas Nelson in 2012. They performed “Just Breathe” together.

Willie Nelson on the Stephen Colbert Show

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

by:  Patrick Doyle

“We’ve never had so much attention,” says Willie Nelson. He’s sitting on his bus, the Honeysuckle Rose, parked outside the Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Nelson, animated and full of laughs, is killing time hitting a weed pen and sipping coffee before performing “Summer Wind” from My Way, his moving new Sinatra tribute album. But the attention Nelson is referring to is his endorsement of Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, who stands a real chance to unseat Ted Cruz in November. Nelson, 85, will play a rally for O’Rourke on September 29th at Austin’s Auditorium Shores, alongside his sons Lukas and Micah, Leon Bridges, Carrie Rodriguez, Tameca Jones and Joe Ely. Some Nelson fans were upset about the singer’s endorsement; right wing sites quoted a select few commenters saying things like, “I adored you – but no more” and “I always thought you were a patriot.”

“People will sometimes get upset because I’ve got a vote, too,” Nelson says, before breaking out an old saying: “Opinions are like assholes, everybody’s got one.”

For anyone surprised by his endorsement, Nelson says he’s been on campaign trails doing fundraisers ever since cowboy singer Tex Ritter (who was born in 1905) ran for Senate in Tennessee in 1970. “I’ve endorsed a lot of people: Jimmy Carter, Dennis Kucinich, and Hillary and Bill, Obama,” Nelson says. “A lot of people seem surprised that I’m backing a candidate, but it ain’t my first rodeo.”

Nelson has even written a new song he plans to play at the O’Rourke rally, called ‘Vote ‘Em Out.’” He starts singing: “If you don’t like who’s in there, vote ’em out / that’s what Election Day is all about / the biggest gun we’ve got is called the ballot box / if you don’t like who’s in there, vote ’em out.” He already recorded the track, and his sons Lukas and Micah are going to add their parts when Nelson returns to Texas.

Nelson and O’Rourke previously hung out at Nelson’s most recent annual Fourth of July picnic. At the time, O’Rourke had just finished visiting all 254 Texas counties while holding town halls, logging hundreds of thousands of miles. That immediately impressed Nelson, a guy who knows something about being on the road. “I like the way he goes about trying to get elected – he’s been to every county in Texas. He’s knocked on every door. And that’s hard work. And it looks like it may have paid off a little bit.”

Nelson also likes that O’Rourke is a musician. Though he has not yet heard the candidate’s old punk rock band Foss, Nelson did like singing songs like “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” with him at the Fourth of July picnic. “He seems to be pretty good,” Nelson says. O’Rourke has said his musical days prepared him for politics: “A bunch of friends in a van… and we’ve got all our gear in here, and we’re just going from one town to the next, both telling our story and listening to and learning from other people’s stories.” Nelson nods after hearing that quote. “He seems to have a good attitude.” Are Texans ready for such a progressive candidate? “Oh, you know,” Nelson says. “Texans are ready for anything.”

Nelson becomes more impassioned while talking about issues, especially immigration. He’s been disturbed watching children being separated from their parents at the border – some of whom have yet to be reunited. “[O’Rourke] has been down to the border and he’s seen that bad stuff that’s still going on. The zero tolerance thing is bad. That kind of judgement has always been bad. What does it say in the good book? ‘Judge not lest you be judged?’ If you say zero tolerance, you’re gonna get zero tolerance. A lot of things are wrong right now.”

“It’s horrible to see kids pulled away from their parents arms when our Statue of Liberty said, ‘Bring us your tired and weak, we’ll make them strong,’” Nelson says, paraphrasing. “I did a song one time called, ‘Living in the Promiseland.’ What happened to that? Why don’t we like people coming in anymore? That’s not right. Our borders have always been: come on in, we need you.”

At the same time, Nelson expresses sympathy for Ted Cruz. He’s felt bad watching him seek help from President Trump – the same guy who coined a nasty nickname about him, spread conspiracy theories linking Cruz’s father to the Kennedy assassination and once tweeted, “Why would the people of Texas support Ted Cruz when he has accomplished absolutely nothing for them. He is another all talk, no action pol.”
“Getting insulted, called ‘Lyin Ted’, they talk about his wife’s appearance and all that horseshit. I just can’t imagine him still feeling the same love after that or any of his followers. His followers have gotta have had their feelings hurt a little bit, too, to hear that stuff about their guy.”

Cruz recently warned Texans that Democrats “want us to be just like California, right down to tofu and silicon and dyed hair.” Nelson responds: “Well, all right, cool!”

Still, Nelson can’t help but laugh when thinking about Cruz’s recent moves, like when he said “if Beto wins, BBQ will be illegal” after PETA apparently handed out barbecued tofu at a Cruz rally. “Well, I can see that happening, also guitars,” Nelson jokes. And then there was Cruz’s recent statement that the Democrats “want us to be just like California, right down to tofu and silicon and dyed hair.” “Well all right, cool!” Nelson says, getting excited at that prospect. His wife Annie speaks up: “He forgot that soybeans are [a major] crop in Texas, and that’s how you make tofu. He got hammered for that. Has he never been to Whole Foods? They started in Austin – they sell tofu! “

“He’s not that bad a guy, you know,” Nelson says of Cruz. “But for the whole process and what we’re looking for, Beto is the best man.”

Annie has created several Cannabis-infused chocolates for Nelson’s marijuana company, Willie’s Reserve. Legalization remains a major focus of Nelson’s, and he’s excited to talk to O’Rourke about the subject. “There’s a couple other things I wanna talk about. I want to talk about the electoral college and how that happened. I wanna talk about the gerrymandering, how that happened. I wanna talk about, how can you be President of the United States and not show your income taxes? I can’t go nowhere without showing mine.” (Nelson had tax problems in the early 1990s.) “There are a lot of things I’m interested in having answers to. I’m not sure Beto has all the answers, but he might.”

Well before Trump, Nelson was floated as a possible celebrity Presidential candidate over the years. His shows have even featured “Willie For President” bumper stickers. “Oh, I’ve thought about it,” he says of running. “The first thing I would do is make ‘fuckit’ one word.”
“I don’t want the job,” he says. “It’s too hard. It’s too many people yelling at you. No matter what you do, someone’s not going to like it because they’re not supposed to. But with music, you could put ’em all there together – Cruz and Trump and Beto and me – and we’ll sing ‘Amazing Grace’, and it’ll be cool.”

But with the renewed interest into his politics, is Willie a little tempted to run and take on Trump?

“Oh, I could make so many people mad,” he says. “It would be almost worth it.”

Stephen Colbert interviews Willie Nelson on Late Night with Stephen Colbert on the bus tonight

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

Willie Nelson on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert TONIGHT!

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

Willie Nelson on the View, “Everybody has an opinion. Everybody has a right to an opinion. I think I have one too”

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

Music legend Willie Nelson has finally responded to the criticism he received from fans after he announced that he will be headlining a rally for Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke.

The country musician said Tuesday morning on The View that he does not care if some of his fans are upset over his support for O’Rourke.

“Everybody has an opinion. Everybody has a right to an opinion. I think I have one too,” Nelson said.

Dozens of fans were angry when Nelson shared a story on Facebook about the upcoming rally in Austin.

Some of the fans told Nelson that he needed to stay out of politics, while others threw insults at him.

The musician says that he does not know why people are shocked, because he has “supported Democrats all of his life.”

Nelson is scheduled to perform alongside Joe Ely, Carrie Rodriguez, Tameca Jones and Nelson’s sons, Lukas and Micah Nelson, on Sept. 29 at the Austin Auditorium Shores.

O’Rourke is in a fierce fight to unseat incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in November’s election.

Second chances, Ethan Hawke and Willie Nelson

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

Ethan Hawke tells Jimmy Fallon about his chance to smoke a joint with Willie Nelson.

Willie Nelson on the David Letterman Show (1987)

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

Willie Nelson on OBJECTified, with Harvey Levin

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

Aug. 26, 2018

Willie Nelson sits down with Harvey Levin to discuss his incredible life including his music, family and the time he got high at the White House.

Willie nelson with Harvey Levin on TMZ (Sunday ight, August 26th, Fox News)

Sunday, August 26th, 2018

OBJECTified, hosted by TMZ’s Harvey Levin, is a series on FOX News Channel (FNC) that features intimate interviews with high profile newsmakers and celebrities, who tell their life stories through the objects they’ve chose to keep over the years.  The objects become jumping off points in understanding how the experiences of the person shaped them into who they are today.

Catch it 2x SUNDAY on Fox News 8pm ET / 5pm PT and again at 11pm ET / 8pm PT


Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real on Austin City Limits will broadcast on PBS November 10th.

Monday, August 6th, 2018

photo:  Scott Newton

Read article and see more great photos by Scott Newton here

Austin City Limits announces a new season premiering October 6 with an an epic hour featuring innovative art-rock performer St. Vincent. ACL, officially the longest-running music program in television history, has provided viewers with a front-row seat to the best in performance for over 40 years, and continues its legendary run showcasing more stars, innovators and highly-anticipated debuts. The series airs weekly on PBS stations nationwide and full episodes are made available online for a limited time at immediately following the initial broadcast.

Austin City Limits returns to PBS on Saturday, October 6 at 9pm ET/8pm CT (check local listings) beginning Season 44 with the promise of another year of musical trailblazers and vanguards. This season features—among many—the amazing St. Vincent, in a visually and sonically stunning hour, and songwriting legend John Prine—making his eighth ACL appearance —showcasing his acclaimed new release and gems from his catalogue.

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real on November 10th

The great Willie Nelson has been a mainstay of Austin City Limits since the 1974 pilot  – indeed, many of us think of him as ACL’s patron saint. It was inevitable that some of Willie’s kids would follow in his footsteps, not only in music, but onto our storied stage. Lukas Nelson is not merely a chip off the old block, however. With his band Promise of the Real, the 28-year old singer, songwriter and guitar-slinger has regularly backed Neil Young and built his own legacy over the course of a decade with five albums and a handful of EPs. Nelson the younger recorded his debut ACL episode in support of his and POTR’s acclaimed 2017 eponymous album, which formed the heart of the show that we streamed live around the world.

“You ever watch that show Rick & Morty?” said Nelson as he strapped on his guitar. “I wrote a song after watching it and I want you to hear it.” With that, he and the five-piece Promise of the Real (plus special guest Micah Nelson, Lukas’ brother) launched into the unrecorded song “Entirely Different Stars,” a psychedelic anthem that included plenty of fireworks from Nelson and steel guitarist Jesse Siebenberg and a coda redolent of Nelson’s native Hawaii. The frisky country rocker “Die Alone” revved the engines back up, while “Fool Me Once” took the same tack with a choogling tempo and sardonic lyrics. Nelson and company visited the other side of the law with “Runnin’ Shine,” with the scion really showing off his vocal resemblance to the father. “Caroline” showed an affectionate debt to the Texas singer/songwriter tradition, while “Lil Girl” incorporated reggae into the band’s rocking Americana.

“Four Letter Word” married clever wordplay with an expanded Nelson guitar solo, including a quick snippet of the Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).” The band brought the rock back for “Something Real,” including more six-string magic. Then the Real quit the stage, leaving the Austin-born Nelson alone with an acoustic guitar for the crowd-pleasing “Just Outside of Austin,” a song destined to be a mainstay in his set for decades. Nelson underscored the Austin connection by soulfully covering Willie’s “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground,” garnering an audience reaction as loud ‘n’ proud as that for “Austin.” Nelson then sang Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold,” paying tribute to his sometime employer, for whom he and the rest of Promise of the Real have provided backup for the last few years. He wasn’t done with other folks’ tunes yet, though, as he then went into Tom Petty’s “Breakdown,” connecting his father’s distinctive vocal style with the late classic rocker’s.

P of the R returned to the stage for “Forget About Georgia,” a melancholy country song that bespeaks driving all night and thinking too much about the love left behind. Nelson left heartbreak behind for the skanking kiss-off “Find Yourself,” which became an enthusiastic crowd singalong. A faithful cover, complete with a cappella intro, of Paul Simon’s “Diamonds On the Soles of Her Shoes” was a surprise, giving bassist Corey McCormick and percussionist Tato Melgar chances to show their stuff. The spotlight then turned to steel guitarist Jesse Siebenberg, who provided an extended intro to “Set Me Down On a Cloud,” returning the band to the kind of elegiac anthemry with which they began. Nelson reclaimed his acoustic guitar for the gentle ballad “Turn Off the News,” before sending the appreciative audience into the night with the Southern rock singalong “The Awakening.” It was a great show, and we can’t wait for you to see it when it airs in ACL’s forty-fourth, only on your local PBS station.

Willie Nelson on King of the Hill (Feb. 16, 1996)

Saturday, August 4th, 2018

This day in Willie Nelson history: “King of the Hill” (February 16, 1996)

Willie Nelson made a special guest voice appearance as himself on the ‘King of the Hill’ episode ‘Hank’s Got the Willies’ which aired Sunday, Feb. 16, 1996 on FOX.