Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Willie Nelson & Family in San Angelo, Texas (8 times in 44 years)

Thursday, May 2nd, 2019
by: Matthew McDaniel

Read article, see lots more photos at their website here.

One would be hard-pressed to find a major recording artist who has performed in San Angelo more often than Mr. Willie Nelson.

Willie, as he prefers to be called, first played in town back in 1967, as a fresh-faced country-music artist breaking out of Nashville’s confines to create a new sub-genre of music known as “Outlaw Country.”

According to an item from Page 12B of the May 18 edition of that year, Nelson, a composer-guitarist who hit bestseller lists with “The Party’s Over,” was among several performers who entertained audiences at the San Angelo Coliseum that day.

Willie Nelson first played in San Angelo in May 1967

It’s been almost 52 years since that inaugural San Angelo performance, and during his career, Nelson has recorded an impressive 69 solo records, 29 collaborative albums, a dozen live albums, and 42 compilation albums — in addition to the soundtracks for The Electric Horseman and Honeysuckle Rose motion pictures.

Nelson doesn’t appear to have any plans for going gently into retirement, as he recently celebrated his 86th birthday on April 29, and is releasing a new record soon with a big tour this summer.

The Standard-Times clippings file is barely contained by the little manila envelope, which is bursting at the seams from overcrowding.

A young Rick Smith caught up to Willie in Odessa during a concert in 1975. He talked with the singer about the new direction country music was taking, noting there was a very broad cross section in attendance that night, ranging from young hippies to self-proclaimed rednecks.

Two years later, Nelson was on stage at the San Angelo Coliseum with Dolly Parton, as 2,500 fans cheered for the performers on Jan. 26, 1977.

Willie also made appearances in San Angelo on May 13, 1981; Oct. 30, 1991; April 6, 1997; March 30, 2003; March 12, 2008; and Nov. 17, 2011 — giving him a total of eight San Angelo concerts during a 44-year period.

Willie also made appearances in San Angelo on May 13, 1981; Oct. 30, 1991; April 6, 1997; March 30, 2003; March 12, 2008; and Nov. 17, 2011 — giving him a total of eight San Angelo concerts during a 44-year period.

Nelson has made a lifelong habit of appearing for benefit concerts, including one concert near Mertzon that took two attempts to pull off, as the first date was flooded out by a massive downpour on March 16, 1987, which caused it to be rescheduled to June 8. The event had been organized by famous San Angelo entrepreneur Sam Lewis to benefit two people in need of organ transplants.

Lewis had previously worked with the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce to secure Willie’s presence at a benefit concert for the city of Lima, Ohio, on July 30, 1982.

The two cities became linked by a Wall Street Journal article comparing the two economies side-by-side, which cast San Angelo in a very positive light, while highlighting the Ohio town’s struggles with unemployment, which was above 15 percent at that time.

“Willie was really moved and agreed immediately to do the benefit in Lima,” Lewis told the Standard-Times. “A lot of people don’t know it, but Willie puts on benefits all the time.”

He also appeared at a benefit concert in Big Spring back in 1981 to raise money for a Jaycees-supported college for the handicapped in Gonzales. Nelson is nationally known for his support of Farm Aid through annual concerts going back to 1985.

Nelson’s new album, entitled “Ride Me Back Home,” is set to be released June 21, with two Texas tour dates.

Willie Nelson is on cover of “Freedom Leaf” Magazine (May 2015)

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

Willie Nelson is featured in the May 2015 edition of Freedom Leaf, the new magazine of the Marijuana Legalization Company.   The issue includes a preview of Willie Nelson’s new book, “It’s a Long Story:  My Life”

From their website:

Freedom Leaf, The Marijuana Legalization Company™ is a multi-media, “movement marketing” business. We cover the latest news, art, fashion, lifestyle, entertainment and the cannabis industry in our print magazine, through social media and on our website.

Our publications are designed to empower a network of activists in the US and around the world. As a result, our brands will be rightly identified with the success of the drive to end marijuana prohibition. We support the two leading non-profits working towards our common goal: NORML; the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and SSDP, Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

We send free copies of our print magazine to the NORML and SSDP chapter network around the country in almost every state that they deliver into the community. Soon we will offer a retail line of “Hemp Inspired™” clothing, apparel and lifestyle products and services. Our publications and products are designed by and for the activists, and other Like-minded individuals making it possible for those involved in this movement to build a career in freedom, marketing Freedom Leaf products and services.

Along with direct fundraising we donate a portion of all of our advertising sales, event sales and other revenues to NORML and SSDP.

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

Monday, April 29th, 2019

This day in Willie Nelson History: Austin City Limits Hall of Fame (April 26, 2014)

Friday, April 26th, 2019


The first Austin City Limits Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place April 26, 2014. The Austin City Limits Hall of Fame is located at The Moody Theater and consists of a photo gallery, timeline/anthology mural and an interactive online library of Austin City Limits content.

It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time when Willie Nelson was not an American icon.

In the early ‘70s, Nelson was best-known for writing hits for other people. The Abbott, Texas native had a successful career as a Nashville songwriter (“Crazy,” “Hello Walls,” “Night Life,” etc.) but had not yet achieved recognition under his own name. In 1974 all that would change. With the release of 1973’s Shotgun Willie and 1974’s Phases and Stages, two imaginative and successful LPs, the stage was set for his career to take off.

Then on October 17, 1974, Willie and his Family band entered Studio 6A to record the pilot for Austin City Limits. Broadcast as part of the national pledge drive in March 1975, the show was one of the top programs on PBS that year, securing a future for ACL as a series.

Willie has appeared on the show 16 times, with six headlining slots (most recently in 2009), seven songwriters specials and three guest appearances with Johnny Rodriguez, Roger Miller and Asleep at the Wheel. Not only is he the artist who launched Austin City Limits, he’s also one of our most frequent – and favorite – guests.

“That man is a natural treasure” — another Willie Nelson fan

Thursday, April 25th, 2019

Jeff Hephner talks about Willie Nelon in Parade Magazine Interview
by: Riely Haven

Favorite band

“The band of angels that keeps Willie Nelson on tour! National treasure, that man!” — Jeff Hephner

Read entire interview here.

Happy birthday, Micah Nelson

Thursday, April 25th, 2019

photos: Janis Tillerson

Janis Tillerson took this photo, in Luck, Texas

Micah and his big brother, at Red Rocks.


Texas Music

November 2014

Micah Nelson: When It Comes to Willie Nelson’s Youngest Son, expect the unexpected
by Steve Uhler

Micah Nelson has been screwing with everyone’s expectations since before he was even born.

His dad originally wanted to name him Jake — a “cowboy name” — but the still-gestating prodigy had other ideas. “Apparently, when my mother was pregnant with me, she had a dream in which I came to her and said, “Hey, listen. I’m gonna be showing up soon, so I want to let you know ahead of time. My name is Micah. You can call me whatever you want, but that’s my name. Micah. OK, great — see you soon.” Then she woke up and turned to my dad and said, ‘Hey, uh… so his name is Micah, apparently.”

“That wasn’t enough convincing, however. “They settled on Jacob, Jake for short,” he continues. “But then I showed up and said my name is Micah. Only doctors and cops and people at the DMV call me Jacob.”

Anyone expecting Willie Nelson’s youngest son to reflect the spitting image of his iconic father is likely to be simultaneously disappointed and amazed. Flying in the face of preconceptions — ore -re-anything — is a lifelong motif for the 24-year-old musician. his music is as similar to his dad’s as John Cage is to Johnny Cash. Same canvas, wildly different colors. “Micah has never followed the herd in anything he odes,” says his older brother, Lukas. “To follow any formula would limit him, which he knows. He’s as unique as he is creative.”

Even as a toddler, Nelson was messing with people’s heads. “I started playing harmonica in my dad’s band when I was about three,” he recalls. “I thought I was just getting harmonica lessons. I was oblivious to the thousands of people watching. My Aunt Robyn asked me if I was nervous in front of all those people? I said, “If I don’t see them, they can’t see me.’ Eventually I got pretty decent at the harmonica, and my dad would throw me the nod to take a solo or two.”

Like his iconoclastic father, Nelson does things his own way — and he does a lot of things. In addition to being a full-time musician, both with his band, Insects vs Robots, and as a solo artist, he’s an accomplished painter, photographer, filmmaker and animator. Imagine H.R. Giger channeling John Audobon at a seance with David Lynch, and you’ll get some idea of Nelson’s vision.

As a musician, he eschews the formulaic and polished in favor of the ragged, unformed and spontaneous. As such a conduit as a creator, Nelson conjures “found sounds” into complex musical works of astonishing depth, imagery and surprising humor. An intuitive sonic forager, he finds inspiration in serendipitous places: the rhythm drip of a leaky faucet, the arthritic, groan of an old rocking chair, the distant howl of hungry coyotes in the night. “When I was in high school, every morning on Maui I’d wake up to the most psychedelic bird calls right outside my window,” he recalls. “the weirdest riffs. A human couldn’t write those melodies. I had a growing suspicion that all birds were just musical robots flying around with little tape decks built into them with old warped tapes that would loop the strangest, tweekiest sounds.”

So do inanimate objects, “I know a guy named Lewellyn with an old creaky rusty cat,” he continues. “Every time he opens his door it sings the strangest creaky melodies. I”ve ripped his car’s riffs off countless times. Sometimes I see music as this mysterious forest to be explored. Or like archeaology. You never know what treasures and artifacts you might find, but you can’t know unless you start digging.”

Nelson meticulously builds layers of tracks, weaving a tapestry of songs that are often otherworldly. Anyone expecting echoes of his dad’s distinctive voice and mainstream op sensibilities will find Nelson’s oeuvre disorienting. It’s a beguiling mash-up of traditional folk, psychedelia and world beat, peppered with guileless vocals, dissonant chordings and shifting time signatures. It’s musical Chaos Theory.

“A lot of popular music is so safe, so predictable, like it was processed in a factory,” he explains. “You can literally go in and buy it at Target next to the Tupperware. Not that there’s anything wrong with that .. except that a lot of it tends to sound like Tupperware. Some folks want ot make a pop hit that sells deodorant and plays every five minutes at Walgreens and gets them a Super Bowl halftime show. I tend to get bored with that intention. It spooks my horse.” Perhaps the closest he’s ever come to a traditional love song is “Mosquito,” his bizarre ode to the pesky insect.


Willie Nelson Fun Facts

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019

Here’s a look at the life of Grammy Award-winning musician Willie Nelson.

Birth date: April 30, 1933

Birth place: Abbott, Texas

Birth name: Willie Hugh Nelson

Father: Ira Nelson

Mother: Myrle (Greenhaw) Harvey

Marriages: Ann Marie D’Angelo (1991-present); Connie Koepke (1971-1988, divorced); Shirley Collie (1963-1971, divorced); Martha Matthews (1952-1962, divorced)

Children: with Ann Marie D’Angelo: Micah and Lukas; with Connie Koepke: Amy and Paula; with Martha Matthews: Billy (died in 1991), Susie, Lana; with Mary Haney: Renee

Education: Attended Baylor University, 1954

Military: US Air Force, 1950, medical discharge

Other Facts:
Raised by his grandparents.

Sold encyclopedias door-to-door and taught Sunday school.

Has collaborated with Johnny Cash, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Lee Ann Womack, Rob Thomas and Snoop Dogg, among others.

Has a fifth-degree black belt in GongKwon YuSul.

Nominated for 49 Grammy Awards and won eight. He has also been awarded the Lifetime Achievement and Legend Grammy Awards.

Nominated for one Academy Award.

Composed the song “Crazy,” which was made famous by singer Patsy Cline.

Is on the advisory board of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

1957 – Releases his first single, “No Place for Me.”

1960 – Moves to Nashville.

1962 – Releases his first album, “And Then I Wrote.”

1970 – Moves back to Texas.

1973 – Holds the first annual Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic in Texas.

1975 – Wins a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance, Male, for “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain.”

1978 – Wins a Grammy, with Waylon Jennings, for Best Country Vocal Performance By A Duo Or Group for “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys.”

1978 – Wins a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance, Male, for “Georgia On My Mind.”

1979 – Makes his acting debut, alongside Robert Redford, in the film, “The Electric Horseman.”

1980 – Wins a Grammy for Best Country Song for writing “On The Road Again.”

1980 – Stars in the film “Honeysuckle Rose.”

1982 – Wins a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance, Male, for “Always On My Mind.”

1982 – Stars in the film “Barbarosa.”

1985 – Releases the album “Highwayman” with Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson.

1985 – Organizes Farm Aid, a concert to benefit family farmers.

1988 – Releases his memoir, “Willie: An Autobiography.”

1990 – The IRS seizes Nelson’s property and possessions to settle a $16.7 million tax debt. He also wins the Grammy Legend Award.

1991 – Nelson releases the album, “The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories?” Nelson gives the profits from the album to the IRS.

1991 – Nelson’s son, Billy, commits suicide.

1993 – Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

1994 – Is arrested for possession of marijuana. The case is later dismissed.

2000 – The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences presents Nelson with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

2002 – Wins a Grammy, with Lee Ann Womack, for Best Country Collaboration With Vocals for “Mendocino County Line.”

2002 – Releases the book, “The Facts of Life and Other Dirty Jokes.”

2006 – Releases the book, “The Tao of Willie.”

2006 – In Louisiana, Nelson is issued a citation for possession of marijuana and illegal mushrooms. Nelson receives six months’ probation and pays a fine.

2007 – Wins a Grammy, with Ray Price, for Best Country Collaboration With Vocals for “Lost Highway.”

2010 – Is charged with marijuana possession after US Border Patrol agents search his tour bus in Texas near the US-Mexico border.

2012 – Releases the book, “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road.”

2013 – Nelson donates his collection of awards and personal items to the University of Texas at Austin’s Briscoe Center.

July 9, 2015 – The Library of Congress announces Nelson as the latest recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

July 2016 – Nelson launches “Willie’s Reserve,” his own personal brand of marijuana that will be grown and sold wherever it’s legal. The brand will feature “high quality strains of marijuana,” and Nelson himself will work with “master growers” and local retailers to establish a set of “quality standards” for his special reserve.

February 12, 2017 – Wins a Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, for “Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin.”

July 4, 2018 – Launches his own blend of CBD infused coffee called “Willlie’s Remedy.”

September 29, 2018 – During a campaign rally for Beto O’Rourke’s senate run in 2018, Nelson plays a new election themed song called ‘Vote ‘Em Out.”

Monday, April 22nd, 2019

Willie Nelson & Family at Whitewater Amphitheater (April 12, 2019)

Saturday, April 13th, 2019

Thank you Janis Tillerson, for sharing photos from last night’s
Willie Nelson & Family Show
Whitewater Amphitheater, New Braunfels, TX
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2019whitewater6-1024x683.jpg

Friday, April 12th, 2019

Willie Nelson & Family at Whitewater Amphitheater (Friday, 4/12 & Saturday 4/13)

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

@ Whitewater Amphitheater
11860 FM 306
New Braunfels, TX 78132

Willie Nelson on Maui

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

It’s no secret that Willie lives on the north shore of Maui, along with a handful of other notable artists, musicians, actors, and other celebs such as Woody Harrelson, Owen Wilson, Don Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and others. Willie said in his autobiography It’s a long Story, ” I did a tour with Bonnie Raitt on a few of the Hawaiian Islands.  That’s when I fell in love with Maui.  I bought some beachfront property in a sleepy little town called Paia.  Things are pretty kicked back all over the island, but Paia has its own super-relaxed vibe.  Folks there leave you alone and aren’t too impressed with show business.  My kind of place.”

Is that really Willie Nelson’s ranch?

Sunday, April 7th, 2019
By Randal B. Thatcher

I like to keep an eye out whenever I go traveling around Sanpete Valley for those big, iconic ranch gates that dot this agricultural county. I love to read the names of these sprawling ranches on the big gate-signs that hang over the entrances—names like “Lazy 8 Ranch” or “Hill Top Ranch” or “The Double-D” or “Choice Acres.”

While spotting all these ranch gates and reading their respective gate-signs, however, one particular sign on one particular gate has always intrigued me more than all the others.

This gate can be seen along U.S. 89 at mile marker 298 as you pass through the tiny, unincorporated community of Birdseye, which is about 10 miles north of Indianola.

As ranch gates go, it’s pretty simple—lengths of pipe and wrought-iron welded together and painted white.

But it’s the ranch insignia that has always captured my attention and my imagination.        Just two letters: W.N.

Not long after moving here, I was told those letters stood for the initials of the famous country music singer, Willie Nelson. Subsequent inquiries confirmed that this much of the local lore was true.

I then heard that this “WN” ranch was, in fact, owned by Willie himself. Also true.

I subsequently learned that Willie had been obliged to sell the ranch, some years ago, to raise money to pay some back taxes. An internet search quickly revealed the sad proof of this part of the story, as well. (Which means, I suppose, that I can finally stop looking for Willie’s trademark red bandanna at the local grocery store.)

But then came the most disappointing rumor of all—that Willie never even visited his ranch and that it was merely a financial transaction on paper, arranged by some clever money manager.

This part of the story was more difficult to resolve. No one seemed able to conclusively refute or confirm the claim.

But in my dogged desire to know, I finally discovered the one person who was able to persuasively settle the question.

I happened to ask my cowboy neighbor, recently, what he knew about the history of that fabled “WN” ranch, and he promptly introduced me to his longtime friend, Kal, a resident of Mt. Pleasant, who proceeded to give me the following firsthand account, which I paraphrase:

Kal had once been a horse trainer and occasional stunt double for the actor Robert Redford, who introduced him to a friend who was looking to buy some horses. Kal said this would-be buyer did not have the look of a traditional horseman, with his scruffy, white beard, and his dingy, red bandanna tied around a head of long, strawberry-blonde hair.

The buyer turned out to be none other than the famous singer, Willie Nelson.

They instantly hit it off, and before he knew it, Kal was looking for property for the famous singer somewhere in the Central Utah area, where Willie could keep his newly acquired horses and bring friends to visit.

Kal crisscrossed the state from St. George to Spanish Fork looking at over a dozen available properties before finally settling on the 95-acre ranch in Birdseye.

When Willie’s Learjet landed at the Salt Lake International Airport, Kal was there to meet him in his mud-spattered pickup truck, squiring him down I-15, along U.S. 6 (stopping for a cheeseburger at “Big-D’s,” which, sadly, is long gone), then turning onto U.S. 89 and down those few more miles to Birdseye.

Willie approved immediately, declaring the surrounding countryside to be every bit as scenic as that of his beloved Luck, Texas.

Kal took up permanent residence, as the caretaker of Willie’s new ranch, where he soon undertook to build the white-brick ranch house in 1983 you can still see on the property, and to assemble, paint and install that simple, white ranch gate with those two prominent letters—WN—at the top.

Willie owned the property for nine years, during which time he visited the ranch on three separate occasions, always aboard his signature tour bus and accompanied by various members of his band.

During one of these visits, my neighbor had stopped by the ranch to see Kal and wondered aloud, “Who is that old hippie standing out there in the stalls?”

I asked whether Willie had ever considered the prospect of actually living on his WN Ranch during part of the year, and Kal said he likely would have done so at some point if he hadn’t been forced to sell it and that he really had come to love this scenic mountain valley.

Willie’s old ranch gate has become such a significant local landmark for me that it would’ve been heartbreaking to learn he’d never actually been there.

But, as it turns out, I now watch even more eagerly for that familiar “WN” every time I drive through Birdseye.

And, in fond tribute, I never fail, as I pass, to belt out his most famous refrain: “On the road again!”

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019