Willie Nelson and Family, Pine Bluff, Arkansas (December 29, 1977)

December 29, 1977
Convention Center
Pine Bluff, AR

We had an opportunity to visit with Willie before the concert began and we are happy to report his ankle is doing fine and he looked great.  In keeping with the winter weather, Willie had exchanged his T-shirt for a plaid flannel shirt and his tennis shoes for lace-up hiking boots.  Willie showed us a turquoise watch band he had, quote “Took right off ole’ Johnny Rodriguez’s wrist”, and it’s a beauty.  Willie said he had a good feeling about this tour and I think he is right, for the night before, at the Tarrant County Convention Center, Ft. Worth, TX, 10,000 fans gathered to hear Willie and Family and this night in spite of heavy ground fog and a weather forecast calling for sleet, the Convention Center at Pine Bluff was filled to capacity.

Jerry Jeff Walker got the evening off to a great start with “Bo Jangels”, “L.A. Freeway”, “Desperados” and “Redneck MOther” among many others.  The crowd brought Jerry Jeff back for an encore that closed with “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”

Willie, in his usual great form, and the fans on their feet from the very beginning with “Whiskey River”, “Hello Walls”, “Funny How Time Slips Away”, the “Redheaded Stranger” album, “Me and Paul”, “If You’ve Got the Money”, “Good Hearted Woman”, “Until I Gain Control Again”, Leon Russell’s “My Song” and many, many more ending with the great gospel songs, “Uncloudy Day” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”  Willie didn’t get a chance to leave the stage.  These fans were not ready for that and they let him know it with shouts of, “More Willie”, “We love you”, “Willie”, bringing him back for an encore of “Whiskey RIver” once more “Milk Cow Blues” and “Goodnight Irene.”  The Hat swapping had been as brisk as the pace set by Willie and Family’s music and  fans were all around the stage by the end of the concert.  Although Willie’s bus was only a few feet from the stage steps, it took him some time to get back to it as he stopped to sign autographs and talk with the fans.  A great evening, thanks to Willie and Family.

— Jan Coney

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