Archive for the ‘Wives’ Category

Willie and Connie Nelson

Friday, June 27th, 2008


Congratulations, Micah Nelson

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008
by James Joyce III
Yakima Herald-Republic

It was hard to miss the braided ponytail hanging to the waist of Willie Nelson on Saturday at the Yakima Area Arboretum.

The famed country singer and his wife, Annie, were in town to honor their son, Micah Nelson, who graduated from Christa McAuliffe Academy, a Yakima-based Internet school.

Micah was chosen as co-salutatorian of Christa McAuliffe’s 28-student graduating class.

Based in Paia, Hawaii, Micah spends much of his time traveling and doing humanitarian work while still attending high school through Christa McAuliffe’s time-flexible courses over the Internet.

Allan Korvola, Christa McAuliffe’s director of education, said he thought the guy with the ponytail looked familiar at first, but didn’t realize until later that it was Willie Nelson.

“He didn’t want to sing or anything. He sat there quietly. He was there for his son’s graduation. It was his son’s time to shine,” Korvola said. “I just thought that was neat.”

Willie’s low-key demeanor may also be attributed to the fact that he’s no stranger to the Yakima area.

He’s played several shows here and had purchased a home for his late mother, Myrle Harvey, in the Gleed area.

During his latest visit, the braided ponytail wasn’t the only signature to identify the singer-songwriter/actor. Korvola and a handful of others in the estimated crowd of 110 people also walked away with Willie’s “John Hancock” in their graduation programs.

Willie Nelson and Family

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Newsweek (8/14/78) 

Willie first spied his present wife, Connie, while playing in Cut and Shoot, Texas.  “I turned to my steel-guitar player and said, ‘Get that tall good-lookin’ blond for me.”  Like any good, obedient steel player, he came up after the show and said, “Here she is.”

More to the point, Nelson found Connie and married her.  They now have two young daughters, Paula Carlene and Amy, and they make their home at a mountaintop retreat near Denver — mainly so Connie could escape the tourists who frequently appeared at their well-known Austin ranch.

Willie Nelson and Connie Nelson

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Annie and Willie Nelson, Woody Harrelson talk about Sustainable Biodiesel

Monday, March 10th, 2008


Last September, Willie Nelson and some family members attended a fundraiser for the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance, founded by Annie Nelson, and others ( at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York City.   Woody Harrelson acted as mc, and he, Willie and Annie Nelson, and Daryl Hannah were interviewed before the event.

Songwriting Was Better Than That

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Willie Nelson and Shirley Collie

There were times during Willie’s ten year marriage to his second wife, Shirley Collie, when they enjoyed periods of domestic bliss.  At one point, Willie even went so far as to quit the road and the two of them settled down near Nashville on his 100-acre farm to raise hogs.  (He also had 45 head of cattle and 390 chickens.)  But it was an unsuccessful venture. “Hogs is an art,” ex-wife, Shirley told Pete Asthelm (Newsweek, August 14, 1978), “but we didn’t know that.  We just left those feeders full and the hogs ate till they ruptured or died.”

“We were buying hogs for twenty-seven cents a pound and selling them for nineteen,” added Willie (Newsweek).  “Songwriting was better than that.”

By 1969, his last year in Nashville, Willie was at an emotional low.  He recalled the circumstances that led up to his decision to move back to Texas:  “the night before, Hank Cochran and I had been sitting in the basement writing songs.  That year, I went through a divorce.  I had four cars wrecked.  We were kicking all this around, and we wrote a song, “What Can You Do To Me Now’.  The next day, my house burned down.”

Lost in the flamers were tapes of hundreds of Willie’s unrecorded songs.  In fact, all he was able to save was his cherished, ancient Martin guitar, and his stash bag.  “I had a pound of good Colombian in there and I knew I was going to need it” (Rolling Stone, January 15, 1978).

Within a few days, Willie was back in Texas.  He put up his band at a friend’s dude ranch near Bandera, Texas, and they started playing the road again.  “It wasn’t necessarily an overnight move” (Hustler), “I was closer to where I was workin’ all those years.  Livin’ in Nashville, I had to drive so much that I wanted to start livin’ where I was working.  It gave me time to concentrate and get some plan of action together.”

Waylon and Willie
Bob Allen

Sustainable Biodiesel at National Biodiesel Board Conference (2008)

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Annie Nelson and Darryl Hannah

Visit the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance (SBA) website, and learn more about the benefits of sustainable community-based biodiesel, the work of the SBA, and how you can get involved or contribute at:

SBA Board members and staff attended the 2008 National Biodiesel Board Conference, and you can read about their conference and see more pictures at the site, as well.

Willie Nelson, at the 1984 CMA’s

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008



[Thanks to Willie Nelson fan Katie for sending these pictures from her collection.]

Wife Used Ropes to Tie Sleeping Willie

Friday, January 18th, 2008

Susie,Billy,Martha and Lana Nelson

by Martha Jewel Mathews
from Willie:  An Autobiography
by Willie Nelson, with Bud Schrake

“One story everybody thinks they know about Willie and me is the one about me catching him passed out drunk and sewing him up in a bedsheet and then beating the hell out of him with a broom handle.

For years I’ve been hearing and reading that story.  People who’ve never so much as said hello to me or Willie tell that bedsheet story like they saw it with their own eyes.  They just laugh and laugh, like, hey, that Martha, she was one tough cookie, wasn’t she?

Well, it never happened.

How dumb would I have to be to try to sew Willie into a bedsheet?  You know how long that would take to sit there and take stitch after stich?

The truth is, I tied him up with the kids’ jump ropes before I beat the hell out of him.

I scooted the jump ropes underneath him while he was asleep and knotted them up on top.  I tied him up as tight as I could.  The kids were waiting outside in our getaway car.  I started whipping Willie pretty good, and he commenced yelling, and I was crying and cussing.  Oh, it was quite a commotion, but nothing our neighbors at Dunns Trailer Park in Nashville hadn’t heard coming out of our trailer before.

Hell, we were just kids trying to deal with being married and having babies but no money and no home life to speak of — just one beer joint after another, sleeping under a different roof every few months, drinking way too much whiskey.  Neither me nor Willie knew what to expect form marriage.  We thought being young and in love was all we needed.”

Willie Nelson, Shirley Collins, ‘Willingly’

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

It was on the road as a bass player with Ray Price and the Cherokee Cowboys that Willie met a red-haired country singer named Shirley Collie.  She already had a recording contract with Liberty Records in California, and Willie had approached her to pitch one of her songs.

“It was instant love,” Shirley later told Time Magazine.  “I saw things in him that give me goose bumps now.”

At the same time Willie was boiling over with Shirley, Hank Cochran had once again stepped into Willie’s life and given things a lift.  At Cocran’s recommendation, Liberty Records had signed Willie as a singer.  Willie’s first Liberty release featured a Willie Nelson/Shirley Collie duet on ‘Willingly,’ a song written by Hank Cochran. 

That song cracked the Top Ten in March of 1962, and an enthused Liberty released ‘Touch Me’ with Willie Solo.  That song went to Number Seven later that year.  Liberty released a Willie Nelson album, ‘And Then I Wrote.’ which debuted to a world of praise. 

The album liner notes, from disk jockey Charley Williams, were bright with promise:

“It is rare that a truly great songwriter,” he wrote, “is also an exciting vocalist; among those are Johnny Mercer, Hoagy Carmichael and a handful of others.  Now, with pride, Liberty Records presents the latest member of that select group.  His name is Willie Nelson.”

The year 1963 dawned clear and full of promise.  After all the years, all the disappointments, Willie was in love and on the charts with his own songs.

He would be a star.

by Michael Bane

Willie and Connie Nelson (1981)

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

Connie and Willie Nelson, Songwriter’s Awards Banquet, Nashville

To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

Susie,Billy,Martha,Lana Nelson
Shirley Collie, Willie Nelson
Willie,Paula,Connie,Amy Nelson    Annie, Lukas, Willie Nelson

“I have noticed that for some reason, women have always loved me. 

I’ve done my best to love them in return, and generally get along well with them — until we got married, that is.  Now on marriage number four, I think I’ve about got it figured out, but it did take me a while.

Four marriages might lead you to believe that I’m a quitter, but consider that those four marriages have lasted a total of fifty years, which is over ninety percent of my adult life, so I guess I’m better at being married than I am at being single.

My first marriage, to Martha, who was tempered like hot iron, was a roller-coaster ride form the beginning till the end, and we did more than our share of fighting.  Instead of fighting we should have been talking, but we were facing the number one problem in most marriages.  Too many married people don’t know how to listen to each other…

When my third marriage, to Connie, fell apart, I never dreamed I’d get married again.  I already had a great bunch of kids — Lana, Susie, Billy, Paula and Amy — and figured I’d reached my quota on love.

But I had forgotten one important thing — there is no limit on love.

Luckily, you don’t have to know of your own potential for something great to come of it.  After three marriages, I certainly didn’t dream that I would marry so well or that I’d have two more fine boys.  Between Annie and my boys Lukas and Micah, and all my early family, I feel like the luckiest son of a gun in the whole wide world.

Some people say we make our own luck, but that would practically make me a luck factory. 

It’s easier now to be on the road and be married.  That’s partially because Annie is as independent as I am.  We’ve done our best to allow each other to be ourselves.  She tolerates me being on the raod; I like having a home to go to.  That’s pretty hard to beat.

So Annie and the boys hold down the fort in Hawaii, and they also come out on the road with me during the summer tour.  Both of the boys play in my band — Micah on drums, Lukas on lead guitar — and I think there’s a lot of great music in their futures.

I guess the main thing that’s different about my approach to marriage now is that I finally started to let things happen.  Instad of trying to make everything happen, I just get out of the way and let it happen. That’s one of the biggest things I’ve learned, and once I did it, my relationships with everybody improved.

After fifty years of marriage, I guess I realized I’m just the marrying type.”


The Tao of Willie
A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart
by Willie Nelson, with Turk Pipkin

Willie and Connie Nelson (1980)

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

Willie Nelson Honored by UT

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

by John Lucas

The Daily Texan Online
by Christopher Crawford 

When Annie Nelson addressed the crowd of Austin’s business leaders, academics and entertainers at a dinner to honor her husband Friday night, she reminded the audience that working for peace is not always peaceful. Nelson remembered calling her husband Willie for help when protesting landed her in jail.

“I’ll be at an event where sometimes some of us get arrested for advocating for peace, which is sort of curious,” Annie Nelson said. “When I call him, he says, ‘Don’t worry honey. If I can’t get you out, I’ll get in there with you.'”

Willie Nelson’s outlaw country music and freewheeling spirit made him a national icon, but it is how Nelson used his music and fame as a platform for humanitarian work that earned him the first Bridging Divides Award from UT’s Project for Conflict Resolution.

Student groups, the Society of Professional Mediators and the Willie Nelson Center Students for Peace and Conflict Resolution also helped organize Friday’s award dinner at the Frank Erwin Center.

Madeline Maxwell, a communication studies professor and the project’s founder, said Nelson’s work with Farm Aid, his concert and album Songs for Tsunami Relief: Austin to South Asia and his biodiesel company were notable examples of his efforts to aid in peaceful conflict resolution, the aim of the award.

“He’s got involved in a lot of things you don’t hear too much about,” Maxwell said. “He’s also kind of a symbol of the common man. You don’t have to be Gandhi or Mother Teresa or Martin Luther King to do some good. He seems to be somebody who’s looked around to do some good when he could.”

Willie Nelson’s daughter Amy treated the audience to a rare live performance of the song she co-wrote with him, titled “A Peaceful Solution.”

Reflecting on his childhood in Abbott, Texas, Willie Nelson considered himself an unlikely candidate for an award honoring an individual for representing peace.

“We fought everything from each other to bumblebees,” he said.

Like Maxwell, Willie Nelson emphasized the importance of individual action and community involvement.

“I learned in the Air Force the term ‘police your own area.’ I think that’s important that we all look around us and police our own area,” Nelson said. “So if there’s anything wrong in your own area, fix it.”

Willie Nelson’s First Annual Bad Boy and Bad Girl Lawn Mower Race, in Luck, Texas (10/17/07)

Friday, October 19th, 2007


Willie Nelson invited friends and family to his ranch in Texas on Wednesday (10/17/07) to the first annual Bad Boy Lawn Mower Race.  The race was filmed as part of the music video for Willie’s new song, “You Don’t Think I’m Funny Anymore,” with Willie are Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Jessica Simpson, Dan Rather, Andrew Wilson, and Paula Nelson.

Friends and Willie Nelson fans KG, Ruth, and Jan (RailRoadLady) all from Texas, got to go to the special occasion, and KG took these great pictures and said I could post them here.

The course.


Jessica, and her fans.

Let the games begin. 

Flag bearers Scooter Frank and Ben Dorsey

Here’s a big-ass entry, the only bio-fueled vehicle, I think.

Johnny Bush checks out the competition.

Woody Harrelson shows off.

Fast Freddy Powers

Everyone wore Willie braids.

And the lovely Connie Nelson was there.