Willie’s Place, Carl’s Corner Texas


Willie’s Place Theater, at Carl’s Corner, Texas closed in 2011, but will always be one of fan’s favorites place to see Willie Nelson & Family perform.  When the Carl’s Corner truck stop changed hands, the Willie Nelson Theater and Willie Nelson themed truck stop were closed.  It was in operation for about three years, I think, it’s most recent version, anyway.  Truckers, tourists, and Willie Nelson fans loved it.

But the real joy about the place was Willie’s Place theater, and getting to see Willie Nelson and Family perform there.

Willie Nelson, Carl’s Corner, TX (photo by Janis Tillerson)

It was the greatest place;  it had great sound, it was cozy.  There wasn’t a bad seat in the house.  We sat at small tables set pushed up close to the stage, but you could stand at the bar and still make eye contact with Willie.   It was a low stage, and Willie generously spent time after every show talking with fans, signing autographs, hugging people, posing for photos.

Here’s Janis from Texas, hard at work hanging pictures at Carl’s Corner, Texas.  Janis personally framed thousands of pictures of Willie Nelson and Family and Friends and Fans, and hung them on the walls at Willie’s Place Theater.  The photos were sold off the walls when the Truck Stop closed.

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The place was a destination; when Willie did a show there we would all get there as early as we could so we could hang out with friends, eat at the Blue Skies Cafe, wander around and enjoy all the pictures on the wall, and display cases full of memorabilia.

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Janis Tillerson spent the three years Willie’s Place was open gathering pictures from fans, framing them, and hanging them on the wall.  She filled display cases with collections like the Tee-Shirt from the First Farm aid, albums, a miniature Trigger guitar, photos of fans with Willie.


Willie Nelson fans at Carl’s Corner, Texas, gather before the show.

Willie’s Place, on Sirius/XM Radio, broadcast from it’s studio in the Willie Nelson theater, and if they were on the air you could watch Dallas do his show.

There were three grand openings of Willie’s Place Theater at Carl’s Corner, that I know of.  There might have been more.  One year, there was a stage set up in the parking lot, and Lukas Nelson and 40 Points (his band before Promise of the Real) performed for the fans outside.  Willie surprised everyone by joining Lukas and the band for a few songs, before going inside to do his set with his Family band.   There was a pre fourth of July concert at Carl’s that year, too.    One of the grand openings featured a Barbeque Cook-off,


The news articles report that Willie Nelson biodiesel plant, located beside the truck stock, is not effected by the foreclosure actions, and will remain in his control, with other partners.

So I’ve been mourning the loss of the theater, but now I just have to smile about the good times we had there and all the great music we heard.   It was one of those moments in time, great memories for those of us lucky to have been there.  So, goodbye; we’re gonna miss you.

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