Willie Wednesday on the Radio

I know, I know, it’s Thursday, but I got thrown off by Halloween last night and all the festivities.


www.billmackcountry.com

Willie Nelson called in to the Bill Mack xm satellite radio show yesterday.  Willie told Bill that he was calling in from Austin, from his bus, and that he was was with Billy Joe Shaver and BC.

Bill reminded Willie about one time when he was on the bus with him, and Willie was listening to Billy Joe Shaver music and  “I remember you saying, “There’s not a better songwriter on the face of the earth.”

Willie said, “That’s still true.  He’s the best song writer around these days.  He’s still doing it.”

It being Halloween, Bill talked about the holiday with Willie and Billy Joe.  He asked Willie how Ben Dorsey was dressing up for Halloween. 

“It’s hard to tell when Ben’s in costume, or not,” Willie said.

Bill asked, “Hey, Billy Joe, did you ever write a song about Halloween?”

“No, I never did like Halloween that much.  People kept coming up to me trying to rip my face off.  ‘Take off that mask.'”

When Willie was asked the same question, “No, I never have.  I’m kinda like Billy Joe, Halloween is not my favorite holiday.”

Bill  Mack:  “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.”

WN:  “Oh, That’s okay.  I’ll make it through it.” 

BM:  You could record, ‘I don’t stand a ghost of a chance.”

WN:  “Or, ‘I don’t stand a chance with a ghost like you.'”

Willie said that he was leaving tonight on his bus, heading to Huntsville, Alabama, for a show Thursday night.  Then on to Biloxi, Mississippi, Orange Beach, Alabama and Tupelo, Mississippi.  Then, he goes to Nashville, Tennessee, where he will be honored by BMI with an award.

Willie takes telephone calls from fans on Wednesday, and there are always so many who want to talk with him.  He is so kind, makes everyone feel so special.  Fans call in to tell him how much they love him, talk about shows they’ve been to; folks ask him to sing happy birthday, or to talk about music, biodiesel, trucking — everything. It’s a great show.  Willie is so kind, always sings ‘Happy Birthday,’ no matter how many times asked.  If he gets tired of doing it, he never shows it.  

Every time Willie’s calls in someone asks him about the status of Carl’s Corner, the truck stop on Highway 35 in Texas, near Hillsboro, Texas.  Asked about Carl’s Corner, Willie said that the plan was to get it opened up next March. 

Another caller told Willie how much they liked his duet with Sean King, “I give,” and wondered if he had plans to record with her again.   Willie complimented Sean, and said he hoped so.

Miss Tex, a friend an Willie Nelson fan from Texas, called in and got through to talk with Willie.  She and Willie talked about the song, “Precious Memories,” which was written by her great great uncle J.B.F. Wright.

Here’s a picture of Miss Tex, for anyone who would like a name with a face.  This was taken at a Texas Road House.

Pat talked with Willie about the song, “Precious Memories,” which Willie has recorded.  The song was written by her great, great uncle, J.B.F. Wright.  “That song gets sung at every Wright funeral,” she said.

Precious Memories
Words and Lyrics by J.B.F. Wright

Precious memories, unseen angels,
Sent from somewhere to my soul;
How they linger, ever near me,
And the sacred past unfold.

Chorus
Precious memories, how they linger,
How they ever flood my soul;
In the still ness of the midnight,
Precous, sacred scenes unfold.

Precious father, loving mother,
Fly across the lonely years;
And old homescenes of my childhood,
In fond memory appears.

Chorus
Precious memories, how they linger,
How they ever flood my soul;
In the still ness of the midnight,
Precous, sacred scenes unfold.

In the stillness of the midnight,
Echoes from the past I hear;
Old time singing, gladness bringing,
From that lovely land somewhere.

Chorus
Precious memories, how they linger,
How they ever flood my soul;
In the still ness of the midnight,
Precous, sacred scenes unfold.

As I travel on life’s pathway,
Know not what the years may hold;
As I ponder, hope grows fonder,
Precious memories flood my soul.

Chorus
Precious memories, how they linger,
How they ever flood my soul;
In the still ness of the midnight,
Precious, sacred scenes unfold.

Miss Tex shared this letter her great great uncle had written, at Willie’s Fan Association, www.clubluck.willienelson.com and you can read it here….

Brownwood, Texas
October 4, 1957

Dear Music Friends everywhere, Greetings.

I have been requested to write a brief sketch of my composing my National famous song “Precious Memories”.  I was in deep sorrow over the death of my little baby boy 31/2 years old, our little Everett J. Wright.  I awoke in the midnight hours Wednesday night Oct. 18 1923, with this tune and words crowding into my very soul and mind so I jotted them down in the midnight hours, Wednesday night, Oct. 18 1923 and copied them off the next day, and sent a copy of it to my son Harvey Wright, who was attending a music school at Jacksonville, Texas at the time taught by Mr. V.O. Stamps and Mr. V.O. Stamps published it in his first songbook, “Harbor Bells” in 1924 and it made such a tremendous hit with all America that it became a national favorite every body was singing it and now after 34 years it is still one of America’s favorites. 

I met Mr. V.O. Stamps at a singing convention in DeLeon, Texas in 1932, I believe it was and Mr. Stamps asked me if I would give him a bill of sale to “Precious Memories” telling me he would give me half the royalties of the recordings.  I told him I would, thinking I would likely get something worthwhile out of my part, so I signed away my bill of sale to Mr. V.O. Stamps and about 4 or 5 months I got a report on record sales of 1756 records at ½ cent per record, $8.78.  This proves my contract was recognized by Mr. V.O. Stamps but when Mr. Stamps died in 1940 my contract was buried with him. 

“Precious Memories” was recorded by every recording Laboratory in America and every quartet.  I am sure millions of “Precious Memories” records have went out from everywhere.  I have no way of knowing how much royalties have been collected half of which is justly mine.  I have had quite a round with Mr. Baxter, President of Stamps Baxter Music Company, but he won’t do any thing knowing he has the advantage of me knowing I have no written contract.  I told him I would be satisfied if he would do what Jesus said in Matt. 7:12, but of course he would not even make me any offer.  Why should he when he knows I no recourse to force him to any terms so I figure I lost a fortune in not getting a contract written at the time, yet if a religious music company is not willing to do what Jesus said, what are we going to do it.  It will all be settled at the Judgment Bar. 

Yours humbly grateful
J.B.F. Wright
Brownwood, Texas
1704 Vine St.

5 Responses to “Willie Wednesday on the Radio”

  1. MissTex says:

    Thanks for sharing this story, Linda.
    I loved hearing Willie tell me that my great-great uncle had wrtten a GREAT song. I love the song & I truly love it sung by WILLIE!!!!

    Thanks Willie, for talking with me about the song!!

  2. Marsha Gifford says:

    Reading a note from Miss TEX who captured Willie Nelson’s attention with the fact that her great, great uncle is JBF Wright author/composer of Precious Memories….

    JBF Wright is my Great Uncle.
    His sister Effie Wright married S.L. Exum and so of course, brought with her that WRIGHT gem as part of our family heritage! We were all very proud of Uncle John’s beautiful song.

    Since there were 12 brothers and sisters in their family…
    and Effie married late in life
    I unfortunately, never got to meet any of the Wrights.

    I’m not even sure where this email is going to end up!
    But I hope somehow to make contact with my cousin
    MissTEX here!

    Can you help?

    Thanks,
    Marsha Gifford
    In our Exum family….I am known as the SINGER.
    And often sing Precious Memories for funerals and gatherings of
    people I know and don’t know.
    We just buried my dad 2 years ago and of course, as is our family tradition, Precious Memories was sung. Didn’t know Willie had recorded it….so it was sung by Dolly Parton….BEAUTIFULLY.

    I would love to talk with you!

  3. LindaLee says:

    Marsha, e-mail me, with your e-mail. I will send your message to Pat (Miss Tex).

  4. MissTex says:

    Marsha, I would love to hear from you. Please contact Linda. I have asked her to give you my email as well. We must discuss the family tree. LOL I do have a lot of the family history. Hope to hear from you…Pat

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