Willie Nelson Day in Abbott, Texas

Abbott, Texas, honors its best-known hometown boy with Willie Nelson Day

Billboard Magazine
November 24, 1973

Abbott, TX. Some 10,000 country music fans were in the neighborhood when Willie Nelson’s hometown honored him at it’s 1973 homecoming last week. With Willie, who now makes his home in Austin, were his friends who put on a 12-hour stage show for the town’s 375 people and their thousands of guests. Appearing on stage with the Atlantic recording artist were Waylon Jennings, Billy Joe Shaver, Jerry Jeff Walker, Kinky Friedman, Johnny Bush, Michael Murphey, Kenneth Threadgill and Sammi Smith.

It was quite a cast for a show sponsored by the Abbott PTA. The audience played no favorites. It responded uniformly and favorably to all of the entertainers. Most of the audience was college and post college age.

People began arriving Saturday night for the Sunday show and the 300-acre site reserved for the event was dotted with campers, pickups, mobile homes, tents and bedrolls. Some of the latecomers had to park several miles away, but were offered lifts in cars and pickups of those who were willing to chance finding parking closer in.

Willie and his band had to drive across Texas to make the event, having worked for the Saturday Terligua Chili Cook-Off. He worked the morning stint, then closed the show with Sammi Smith.

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