Willie Nelson Interview: Texas Girl (12/79)

Texas Girl
December 1979
by Sam Kindrick

The man with more than 500 hit songs to his writing credit and more in the can, had laid his groundwork well. He is not only the top record seller in America today, he’s a stylish singer with jazz and blues overtones, and he is a “picker” as only another “picker” can understand. Nelson’s unique style of guitar play ranks him with the country’s best as an instrumentalist, and non hard-core Nelson lover can accept a singer who stands with hands on hips or griped around a microphone stand. this is only a vocalist; Wilie is a “picker.” And a true picker with fingers, heart and the very fiber of his soul. Combine it all, music fans, and you’ve got the entertainer of entertainers who was judged this go-round by the highest court of them all- the people.

In his interview with Texas Girl, the personality went on to outline plans for his next July 4 picnic – sighing with content over his last hassle-free outing which lost only $250,000 — and the renegade musical phenomenon from Abbott, Texas expressed optimistic excitement over the fledgling film company he heads and a string of flicks which now loom upon the Nelson horizon.

While I was on the August-September tour, I asked if there was an opportunity to get an exclusive interview with Willie for Texas Girl Magazine. Nelson was quick to cooperate, for he told me that Texas Girl Magazine is “one hell of a publication. One hell of an idea. And a cinch for success in Texas and even other states if the publication continues it’s excellent format.”

Nelson, I must point out, is a dry-wit jokester who somberly jacks with the minds of his friends — even when one such friend is attempting to interview him for a Texas girlie publication.

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Texas Girl: What about your move career? How many movies do you have in the making? And do you enjoy the work?

Willie Nelson: We just finished filming ‘Electric Horseman’ with Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. The release date is sometime in December. I play the manager of a rodeo cowboy in th one. And we star filming in Austin duirng October on the move to be called “Honeysuckle Rose.” It’s about a band leader on the road with a girl singer and an old lady at home.

Sometime next year, we’ll release “Redheaded Stranger,” a movie based on the story of my album. There will also be a film base don my life story which may be released sometime next year. And some writers from the Dallas-Fort Worth area have already written a script titled “Phases and Stages.’. Then we have plans on down the line for a movie and possibly a book titled “Me and Paul”. This one will feature some rough and rocky times experienced by me and my best friend, Paul English. And I now own my movie production company.

“And yes, I do enjoy film work. I find it relaxing. And I guess I’ve always wnated to play a cowboy here with a guitar, riding Champ or Trigger and doing all those good things. And I also enjoy the people. Guys like Robert Redford are okay. He’s just a down-home type guy who originally came from San Marcos, Texas.

Texas Girl: Did your friend Kris Kristofferson have any influence upon you taking up an acting career?

Nelson: Sure he did. Before our first July Fourth picnic, a bunch of us drove down to Durango, Mexico to watch Kris and Rita filming “Billy the Kid.” Kris is one hell of a talent. He writes well and he’s a fine actor. He just does everything well.”

Texas Girl: What’s on tap for your next album?

Nelson: It’ll be an all Kris Kristofferson record. It’ll be called, “Willie Nelson Sings Kristofferson.” I’ll do all of Kris’ great ones. The songs will be ‘Sunday Morning Coming Down,”Help Me Make It Through the Night,’ ‘Please Don’t Tell Me How The Story Ends,’ ‘You Show Me Yours and I’ll Show You Mine,” Why Me, Lord,”Loving Her Was Easier,’ and ‘Me and Bobbie McGee.’ I figure we might sell a few copies of this one.”

Texas Girl: What happened to your record company, Lone Star Records?

Nelson: Lone Star was set up to help some friends get recording contracts. For now, it’s been terminated and set aside for a while. But I’ll probably come back and do something with it at a later date.

Texas Girl: Where do you really live? Texans and Texas claims you. But you’ve got a place in Colorado, and another spot in Tennessee.

Nelson: Well, I’m Texas. But I really live right here on this bus. I’ve got a place in Aspen, and Connie loves it. I’ve still got my ranch near Dripping Springs. And I’ve still got the farm near Ridge Top, Tennessee. My son Billie is on the farm now. I just bought him a new tractor.

Texa Girl: And what about your country club?

Nelson: We’ll keep it open for the public, and it will be a permanent site for our picnics. But there will be no bar or restaurant operation, just the swimming pool and golf course. It’ll be just a good place for me and the guys to hand out an play golf.

Texas Girl: What about your jogging and reports that you are on a health kick?

Nelson: For a health kick, I ain’t on one. But I like to play golf, and I find that running makes me feel better. It had gotten to the point where I was killing myself at night, so I had to do something in the daytime to make up for it. Now that I run, I don’t stay out as late as I did. I don’t drink much anymore, and I don’t even smoke cigarettes. (Except for those he burns from me). It’s not that I’m all that strong willed. It’s just that when you’re done running five miles you don’t want a drink or cigarrette. All you want to do is flatten out.

Texas Girl: You say you lost $250,000 with your last picnic at the country club. But this one was hassle-free and you got lots of good press for a change. What about the future for picnics?

Nelson: The future is now. We’re already signing acts for next year’s show. And all future picnics will be at the country club site. I figure we might even make money with a picnic one of these days. Like this year, I intend to use all Texas musicians. For next year we hope to have Ernest Tubb back. I call him ‘the sincere vessel’. We’ll have Bill and Bonnie Hearn, the blind couple form Ausitn. I hope also to have Ray Price, Delbert McClinton, Hank Cochran, Asleep at the Wheel and maybe Jerry Jeff Walker.

Texas Girl: You’ve got more million-selling albums out in one year than any other American artist. How much oney are you worth?

Nelson: Beats the shit out of me. I can’t keep up with the figures. I haven’t the slighest idea what I’m worth.

Texas Girl: Why don’t you jet from city to city? You do take an airplane on occasion, but you usually ride the bus with your band.

Nelson: I’d rather be on a bus than sitting in some airport. It’s relaxing to me. We worked more than 200 days last year, and we covered thousands of miles. And I never intend to quit the road. On a bus, I am close to my people. I can relax, sleep when I want, and just be at home. And the road is really my home.

Texas Girl: How about that new song you’re playng for audiences now? The oen titled, “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground’? When will you record that great piece of work?

Nelson: When I get it just the way it ought to be.

Texas Girl: Don’t you fly to Hawaii every chance you get?

Nelson: that I do. If I had a choice, I’d live in the islands for awhile. I like the climate and the sea. We played a show in Honolulu once with Bonnie Raitt and Charlie Daniels. Had about ten thousand.

Texas Girl: It’s overwhelming to us from Texas to watch you bringing down houses in Yankee land. It’s almost weird.

Nelson: It’s sometimes weird for me to comprehend. But music is music, and it really ain’t weird at all when you stop to realize that the year is the same in Michigan that it is in Austin, Houston or San Antonio.

Texas Girl: You’ve been criticized for not writing as many songs since your star really rose. What about it? And what do you think of the critics?

Nelson: I don’t worry about it. I’m still writing, and I’ve got sacks full of songs that nobody has yet bought. When I signed years ago with Pamper Music in Nashville as a song-writer on a weekly draw, the owner of Pamer, Hal Smith, started pressuring me to write more songs and faster. I was 27 at the time. I told him it took me 27 to write what they had and that it might take me another 27 years to write more. Francis Scott Key didn’t write but one song, and Will Rogers never even cut a record.

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32 Responses to “Willie Nelson Interview: Texas Girl (12/79)”

  1. Joe says:

    I’d like to know if Texas Girl Magazine is still in publication. I have the Premier Issue Oct./ Nov. 1978 Vol. 1 Number 1 and the Holiday Issue Dec.1978/Jan. 1979 Vol. 1 Number 2. Is there any collectors out there looking for these issues?

  2. tom says:

    I’m interested in the issues that Joe spoke of: Oct/Noc ’78 and Dec/ Jan

  3. dikntx says:

    same here,,it was a great magazine how long did they publish? # of issues?

  4. LindaLee says:

    I’d never heard of it before this issue. Sorry, I just don’t know answer to your question.

  5. fred says:

    i have a later one with willie nelson … in it dec 79 its great the women are beautiful and long hair is natural beauty, any one need one , i have one

  6. fred says:

    i have dec 79 issue of texas girl , with willie nelson in it.. any one interested ,,,, its great

  7. fred says:

    i nevetill today heard of it before girlsw guy rodeos swimming nude,,, great art,,,,,,,,truly makes a more that he is…….

  8. fred says:

    never heard of it till today… it has girls and guys, rodeos, swimming nude,,, great art,,, truly a man is made more than what is his or potential with a gal a texas gal or state of mind

  9. tom says:

    Fred,
    I would like to have a copy. How should we work this out?

    Here is an email for me junkyard4444@gmail.com

    Thanks

  10. Debbie Goodall says:

    I made the final cut in the search for the most beautiful girls in Austin, TX, in 1979 (Debbie Burson) when I was 18 years old; went on to the Summit in Houston to compete for the winner. Pat Paulson was the MC….and Willie was there…!!! I think I came out about 10th runner up out of 50. What a wonderful memory and fabulous time I had!!! I have lost my copy of the magazine and would love to obtain a copy. Please advise if/how I can get a copy. Peace B with U.

  11. p.clemente says:

    I have collection of 5 Texas Girl Magazine. I have Willie Nelson issue and 4 others Are you interested

  12. tom says:

    PC,
    Yes, I am interested. My wife, Jennifer Graves, represented Dallas in the big pageant at the Summit in 1979. She was 1st runner up. I’m trying to get a magazine with her in it as a surprise. There were supposed to be lots of prizes for the top winners ( like a windjammer cruise) but nothing ever happened. Nada, Zip, Zero. I did not know until just recently that the magazine ever published.

    Here is my email; tommyg23@mac.com

  13. ronnie says:

    i want to buy a 12/79 of texas girl

  14. ronnie says:

    i want to buy a copy of the texas girl 12/79 issue.

    txcardlr@yahoo.com

  15. MW says:

    I think my wife may have appeared in this magazine but we are not sure. For privacy, I’ll give her initials LD from Austin. If you’ve seen her please let us know. She never got a confirmation then the magazine disappeared.

  16. Dan says:

    I recently came upon several issues including the Premier issue Otober/November 1978.

    Does anyone have an idea as to the value of these magazines? I saw a random issue posted for $15, but I imagine the first issues, especially the first one, are pretty valuable.

    Thanks in advance; and P.S. MW, I will look through the issues I have to check for an LD. The premier issue has no L.D.

    my email address: danmcafee@thegodbeygroup.com

  17. Noah says:

    I have this exact issue if any of you are interested in it make me an offer
    nastynoah@hotmail.com

  18. KT says:

    Wow, first time I have found anything online about this mag. I was the winner of this contest in 1979 and I was 18. I never rec any of the winnings they promised. I did get alot of hot checks : ( I did a few chili cookoffs, stereo promos and photo shoots. It was fun, I just wish I had some photos from those days.

  19. KT says:

    PS I do have the magazine with Willie and a wall plaque (with my name and stating Miss Texas Girl Winner 1979 and a 8 x10 photo shot in San Antonio for a poster. If anyone has pics let me know.

  20. DKG says:

    I was a finalist in the 1979 Texas Girl Beauty Pageant too…that was thirteen years ago……………

  21. DKG says:

    Oops, that was actually 33 years ago, ha! Just seems like yesterday :-}
    Sweet memories.

  22. Bruce Hinds says:

    Looking for the May 1979. Should be a woman named Lisa on the cover and the centerfold. All help appreciated! Contact Bruce at Timex421@aol.com

  23. HEP says:

    I have three Texas Girl Magazine mug/glasses with a pinup girl on them. I can’t find anything about them online, but I am going to put them up for auction.

  24. RED says:

    I have 2 copies of 1978 oct/nov,1 copy of vol1#4, 2copies vol1#5, 1 copy of Dec78/Jan79, 2 copies 1979 Dec, and 1copy of april/may any one interested.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Dkg are you Diane toupin? Did u know her if u r not? This is Jesse garza from Austin tx jesse_the_third@yahoo.com

  26. sandraburchell says:

    Hey Willie, i almost got to meet you once; you came to cleburne to see your good friend

  27. Red says:

    I have two copies of first edition and a few other copies if someone is interested in buying.

  28. Red says:

    I have 2 copies of 1978 oct/nov,1 copy of vol #4, 2 copies vol#5, 1 copy of Dec78/Jan79, 2 copies 1979 Dec, and 1 copy of april/may anyone interested. redroden@yahoo.com

  29. Misty says:

    Hello, this magazine is on ebay right now.

  30. Mary Dunn says:

    I was in the Willie edition and would live to have a copy!!!

  31. von mcdowell says:

    Looking for copies of Texas Girl Magazines. I was a Texas Girl & would love to see the magazines again. 1978- 1981

  32. David Baker says:

    Hey there,

    I have a copy of the very first issue of the “TEXAS GIRL” magazine, which they call the Premier Issue: Volume 1, Number 1, October/November, 1978. Unfortunately, this is all I have, but it’s in good condition and it features; “Bunches of the Best Looking Girls in the Lone Star State” and the following articles;

    1. Interviews with Country Music Star Mickey Gilley and hot new author of “The Kingdom”, Ron Joseph

    2. Coverage of Willie Nelson’s Lone Star Records Party

    3. A profile on U.S.A.C’s winningest driver “SuperTex” A.J. Foyt

    4. A Lone Star Space Station; “Up in Lubbock Station”….Science Fiction
    by Neal Barrett, Jr.

    5. Tongue-in-check history; “It started with the Alamo” by Dave Franklin

    6. Insight into the peculiar language of Texas, “Texanese” by Jim Everhart

    It’s really too bad it went belly up! If anyone would like to buy my copy of the first edition, please make an offer.

    Thank you,
    David….djbaker1050@gmail.com

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