There is a great deal of joy that comes with writing this story and tribute of a true American icon….cuz Bone Daddy has known the its subject for nearly 50 years….which 1st began in the early 1972….when this music legend began performing at the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin, Texas. During the early 1970’s, Bone Daddy owned a rent house that had a renter named John Mayne, known to BD as Big John….who was a well-known local bassist musician….who played with a popular local group called The Tazmanian Devils….which featured the best saxophone player in Austin, Tomas Rameriz….who played at the Armadillo World Headquarters often….plus, Big John was the door manager of the famous Austin music venue ….and he knew that BD loved attending live Willie Nelson performances….so, he would provide backstage passes to BD every time he would show up for a Willie Nelson concert….and that is how BD got to know The Red-Headed Stranger that this story is about. The truth be known, Willie Nelson not only became an Austin music legend and “favorite son”….but he went on from these early days in Austin to become an iconic American music legend….as this story will provide plenty of evidence of that moniker. As for BD and Willie, well, Nelson became a frequent sports fan at Madison Square Garden, The Sports Place at 302 E. 6th Street in downtown Austin….and during the decade of the 1980’s….a time that BD calls it a “revival of the gay 90’s and the F. Scott Fitzgerald era”…..which was a decade of “fun and frolic” that happened all over Austin in the form of significant parties….where BD would often run into Willie. So, this tribute to a true living legend, Willie Nelson, comes with a great number of memories stored in the crevices of Bone Daddy’s mind….that will come to life again after reviewing this post….which makes this lil ole chiweenie Sportsphile happy all over.
Music – 1933 To 2003 – Biography – The Life & Career Of Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson (born April 29, 1933) is an American musician, actor, and activist. The critical success of his album Shotgun Willie in 1973…..while combined with the critical and commercial success of his albums, Red Headed Stranger in 1975 and Stardust in 1978, made Nelson one of the most recognized artists in country music….and was one of the main figures of outlaw country….which was a sub-genre of country music that developed in the late 1960’s…..as a reaction to the conservative restrictions of the Nashville sound. Willie Nelson has acted in over 30 films…..co-authored several books….and has been involved in activism for the use of bio-fuels and the legalization of marijuana.
Music – 1933 to 2021 – Special – “Willie Nelson Texas Style”
Music – 1980 – Anaheim Stadium Concert Live – Merle Haggard + Willie Nelson + Johnny Paycheck – “Send Me Back Home” & “Okie From Muskogee” + “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink”
Born during the Great Depression….and raised by his grandparents….when Nelson wrote his 1st song at age seven and joined his first band at ten….then during high school, he toured locally with the Bohemian Polka band as their lead singer and guitar player…..when after graduating from high school in 1950, he joined the U.S. Air Force….but was later discharged due to back problems. After his return from the military, Nelson attended Baylor University for two years…..but dropped out because he was succeeding in music. During this time, he worked as a disc jockey in Texas radio stations and a singer in honky-tonk nightclubs. In 1956, Nelson moved to Vancouver, Washington…. where he wrote “Family Bible”…..and recorded the song “Lumberjack” in 1956. He also worked as a disc jockey at various radio stations in Vancouver and nearby Portland, Oregon. In 1958, he moved to Houston, Texas, after signing a contract with D Records……where he sang at the Esquire Ballroom weekly…..and he worked as a disc jockey…..when during that time, he wrote songs that would become country standards, including “Funny How Time Slips Away”, “Hello Walls”, “Pretty Paper”, and “Crazy”. In 1960 he moved to Nashville, Tennessee…..and later signed a publishing contract with Pamper Music….which allowed him to join Ray Price’s band as a bassist. In 1962, he recorded his first album, …And Then I Wrote…..and due to its success, Nelson signed with RCA Victor in 1964….. and joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1965…..then after mid-chart hits in the late 1960’s and the early 1970’s, Nelson retired in 1972 and moved to Austin, Texas…..however, the ongoing music scene of Austin motivated Nelson to return from retirement….while performing frequently at the Armadillo World Headquarters.
Music – 1997 – Willie Nelson Live – “Funny How Time Slips Away”
Music – 1961 – The Porter Waggoner Show – With Guest Willie Nelson – “Hello Walls”
Music – 2016 – Live In Studio With Willie Nelson – “Pretty Papers”
Music – 1992 – Willie Nelson Live With The Highwaymen – “Crazy”
Willie Nelson signed with Atlantic Records in 1973….and turned to outlaw country with albums such as Shotgun Willie and Phases and Stages. In 1975, he switched to Columbia Records….where he recorded the critically acclaimed album Red Headed Stranger…..plus, that same year, he recorded another outlaw country album, Wanted! The Outlaws, along with Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser. During the mid-1980’s, while creating hit albums like Honeysuckle Rose and recording hit songs like “On the Road Again”, “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before”, and “Pancho and Lefty”…..for that is when he joined the country super-group The Highwaymen….while joining with fellow singers Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson.
Music – 1981 – Austin City Limits Live – Willie Nelson – “Shotgun Willie”
Music – 1983 – Country Music Assn Awards Show – Julio Iglesias + Willie Nelson – “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before”
Music – 2015 – The Tonight Show With Jay Leno – Willie Nelson – “Stardust”
In 1990, Nelson’s assets were seized by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service)…..which claimed that he owed $32 million….then the difficulty of paying his outstanding debt was aggravated by weak investments he had made during the 1980’s. In 1992, Nelson released The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories?….with the profits of the double album being earmarked for the IRS…..and the auction of Nelson’s assets cleared his debt. During the 1990’s and 2000’s, Nelson continued touring extensively….and released albums every year…..as reviews ranged from positive to mixed…..when he explored different genres such as reggae, blues, jazz, and folk.
Music – 1990 – Willie Nelson & His Sister Bobbie – “Who’ll Buy My Memories”
Music – 1990 – Willie Nelson – “I’m Falling In Love Again”
Music – 1993 – Sinead O’Connor + Willie Nelson – “Don’t Give Up”
Nelson made his first movie appearance in the 1979 film The Electric Horseman….which was followed by many other appearances in movies and on television…..plus, Nelson is a major liberal activist….and the co-chair of the advisory board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)…..which is in favor of marijuana legalization. On the environmental front, Nelson owns the bio-diesel brand Willie Nelson Biodiesel…..which is made from vegetable oil…..plus, Nelson is also the honorary chairman of the advisory board of the Texas Music Project, the official music charity of the state of Texas.
Music – 1955 To 2012 – Legends of Music Special – “Willie Nelson: The Man And His Music”
Willie Nelson was born in Abbott, Texas, on April 29, 1933….as the son of Myrle Marie and Ira Doyle Nelson…..when his birth was incorrectly recorded by Dr. F. D. Sims as April 30th. He was named Willie by his cousin Mildred….who also chose Hugh as his middle name, in honor of her recently deceased younger brother. Nelson traces his genealogy to the American Revolutionary War….in which his ancestor John Nelson served as a major. His parents moved to Texas from Arkansas in 1929 to look for work…..where his grandfather, William, worked as a blacksmith….while his father worked as a mechanic. His mother left soon after he was born…..and his father remarried and also moved away…..while leaving Willie and his sister Bobbie to be raised by their grandparents…..whom had taught singing back in Arkansas…..and therefore started their grandchildren in music…..as Nelson’s grandfather bought him a guitar when he was six…. and taught him a few chords…..when Willie sang gospel songs in the local church alongside Bobbie. He wrote his 1st song at age seven…..and when he was nine, he played guitar for local band Bohemian Polka. During the summer, the family picked cotton alongside other Abbott residents…..as Willie disliked picking cotton….so he earned money by singing in dance halls, taverns and honky tonks from age 13…..which he continued to do throughout high school. His musical influences were Hank Williams, Bob Wills, Lefty Frizzell, Ray Price, Ernest Tubb, Hank Snow, Django Reinhardt, Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong. Nelson attended Abbott High School…..where he was a halfback on the football team….point guard on the basketball team….and shortstop in baseball….as he also raised pigs with the Future Farmers of America…..and while still at school, he sang and played guitar in The Texans….which was a band formed by his sister’s husband, Bud Fletcher….as the band played in honky tonks….while also having a Sunday morning spot at KHBR in Hillsboro, Texas. Meanwhile, Nelson had a short stint as a relief phone operator in Abbott….which was followed by a job as a tree trimmer for the local electric company…. as well as a pawn shop employee. After leaving school in 1950, he joined the U.S. Air Force….where he served for nine months before being medically discharged because of issues with his back. Upon his return in 1952, he married Martha Matthews….and from 1954 to 1956 studied agriculture at Baylor University….where he joined the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity…..until dropping out to pursue a career in music. He worked as a nightclub bouncer, auto house partsman, saddle maker and tree trimmer again. He later joined Johnny Bush’s band.
Music – 1994 – Johnny Cash + Willie Nelson – “Family Bible”
Music – 2014 – Willie Nelson & Bobbie Nelson – “I’d Rather Have Jesus”
Nelson moved with his family to Pleasanton, Tx….. where he auditioned for a job as a DJ at KBOP….. when the owner of the station, Dr. Ben Parker, gave Nelson the job despite his lack of experience working on radio…..where with the equipment of the station, Nelson made his first two recordings in 1955…..“The Storm Has Just Begun” and “When I’ve Sung My Last Hillbilly Song”…..as he recorded the tracks on used tapes…..and sent the demos to the local label SARG Records….which rejected them. He then had stints working for KDNT in Denton, KCUL, and KCNC in Fort Worth…..where he hosted The Western Express, taught Sunday school and played in nightclubs. He then decided to move to San Diego but, when he was unable to find a job there, he hitchhiked to Portland, Oregon, where his mother lived…..when nobody picked him up and ended up sleeping in a ditch before hopping a freight train bound for Eugene…..as a truck driver drove him to a bus station and loaned him $10 for a ticket to reach Portland.
Music – 2017 – Willie Nelson – “I’ll Be Seeing You”
Music – 1990 – The Highwaymen – “Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again)”
Music – 2012 – Willie Nelson – “The Scientist”
Nelson was hired by KVAN in Vancouver, Washington….and appeared frequently on a television show. He made his 1st record in 1956, “No Place for Me”…..which included Leon Payne’s “Lumberjack” on the B-side….but the recording failed…..so Nelson continued working as a radio announcer and singing in Vancouver clubs…..then he made several appearances in a Colorado nightclub….while later moving to Springfield, Missouri…..when after failing to land a spot on the Ozark Jubilee, he started to work as a dishwasher. Unhappy with his job, he moved back to Texas…. when after a short time in Waco, he settled in Fort Worth….and quit the music business for a year…..and that is when he sold bibles and vacuum cleaners door-to-door….and eventually became a sales manager for the Encyclopedia Americana.
Music – 1957 – Willie Nelson – “Lumberjack” + “No Place For Me”
Music – 2011 – Willie Nelson & Bobbie Nelson – “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”
After his son Billy was born in 1958, the family moved to Houston, Texas…..when on the way, Nelson stopped by the Esquire Ballroom to sell his original songs to house band singer Larry Butler…. but Butler refused to purchase the song “Mr. Record Man” for $10….but instead he gave Nelson a $50 loan to rent an apartment and a six-night job singing in the club….so, Nelson rented the apartment near Houston in Pasadena, Texas…. where he also worked at the radio station as the sign-on disc jockey….when during this time, he recorded two singles for Pappy Daily on D Records “Man With the Blues”/”The Storm Has Just Begun” and “What a Way to Live”/”Misery Mansion”…..after which Nelson was hired by guitar instructor Paul Buskirk to work as an instructor in his school….when he sold “Family Bible” to Buskirk for $50 and “Night Life” for $150…..as “Family Bible” turned into a hit for Claude Gray in 1960.
Music – 1959 – Willie Nelson – “Man With The Blues”
Music – 1959 – Willie Nelson – “The Storm Has Just Begun”
Music – 1959 – Willie Nelson – “What A Way To Live”
Music – 1959 – Willie Nelson – “Misery Mansion”
Nelson moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1960…. but was unable to find a label to sign him…..so, during this period he often spent time at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge…..which was a bar near the Grand Ole Opry that was frequented by the show’s stars and other singers and songwriters. There Nelson met Hank Cochran, a songwriter who worked for the publishing company Pamper Music….which was owned by Ray Price and Hal Smith…..when Cochran heard Nelson during a jam session with Buddy Emmons and Jimmy Day…..when Cochran had just earned a raise of $50 a week….but convinced Smith to pay Nelson the money instead to sign him to Pamper Music….and on hearing Nelson sing “Hello Walls” at Tootsie’s….that is when Faron Young decided to record it. After Ray Price recorded Nelson’s “Night Life”…..and his previous bassist Johnny Paycheck quit….that is when Nelson joined Price’s touring band as a bass player. While playing with Price and the Cherokee Cowboys, his songs became hits for other artists, including “Funny How Time Slips Away” by Billy Walker…. “Pretty Paper” by Roy Orbison…. and, most famously, “Crazy” by Patsy Cline….for as the story goes, Nelson and Cochran met Cline’s husband, Charlie Dick at Tootsie’s….as Dick liked a song of Nelson’s he heard on the bar’s jukebox….so, Willie played him a demo tape of “Crazy”….when later that night Dick played the tape for Cline….who decided to record it…..and “Crazy” became the biggest jukebox hit of all time.
Music – 1996 – Special -Willie Nelson & Faron Young – The Story Behind “Hello Walls”
Music – 1974 – Live At The Austin Opry House – Willie Nelson Medley – “Funny How Time Slips Away” + “Crazy” + “Night Life”
Music – 1996 – Interview By Kinky Friedman With Willie Nelson – On Texas, Nashville, The Grand Old Opry And Abbott, Tx Playing With His Sister Bobbie
Nelson signed with Liberty Records and was recording by August 1961 at Quonset Hut Studio. His first two successful singles as an artist were released by the next year….which included “Willingly”…..as a duet with his soon-to-be 2nd wife, Shirley Collie, that became his 1st charting single….as well as his 1st Top Ten at # 10…..and “Touch Me”….which was his 2nd Top Ten at # 7. Nelson’s time at Liberty brought his 1st album entitled …And Then I Wrote….which was released in September 1962. Collie and Nelson were married in Las Vegas in 1963…..and then he worked at the west coast offices of Pamper Records in Pico Rivera, California. Since the job did not allow him the time to play music of his own, he left it…..and bought a ranch outside of Nashville in Ridgetop, Tennessee…..and soon thereafter, Fred Foster of Monument Records signed Nelson in early 1964…. but the only single was released was “I Never Cared For You”…..when by the fall of 1964, Nelson had moved to RCA Victor at the request of Chet Atkins…. while signing a contract for $10,000 per year…..as Country Willie – His Own Songs became his 1st RCA Victor album….which was recorded in April 1965…..and that same year he joined the Grand Ole Opry…..where he met and became friends with Waylon Jennings after watching one of his shows in Phoenix, Arizona. In 1967, he formed his backing band “The Record Men”…..as it featured Johnny Bush, Jimmy Day, Paul English and David Zettner…..when during his first few years on RCA Victor, Nelson had no significant hits….but from November 1966 through March 1969, his singles reached the Top 25 in a consistently…..with “One in a Row” at # 19 in 1966…..“The Party’s Over” at # 24 during a 16-week chart run in 1967…..along with his cover of Morecambe & Wise’s “Bring Me Sunshine” coming in at # 13 in 1969….as these were Nelson’s best-selling records during his time with RCA.
Music – 1964 – Willie Nelson – “I Never Cared For You”
Music – 1962 – Willie Nelson – “Touch Me”
Music – 1962 – Willien Nelson + Shirley Collie – “Willingly”
Music – 1965 – Willie Nelson – “The Party’s Over”
Music – 1969 – Willie Nelson – “Bring Me Sunshine”
Music – 1966 – Willie Nelson – “One In A Row”
By 1970, most of Nelson’s songwriting royalties were invested in tours that did not produce significant profits. In addition to the problems in his career, Nelson divorced Shirley Collie in 1970…. then in December, his ranch in Ridgetop, Tennessee, burned down. He interpreted the incident as a signal for a change…..so, he moved to a ranch near Bandera, Texas….and married Connie Koepke. In early 1971 his single “I’m a Memory” reached the top 30. After he recorded his final RCA single, “Mountain Dew”….which was followed by “Phases, Stages, Circles, Cycles and Scenes” in late April 1972….when RCA requested that Nelson renew his contract ahead of schedule….with the implication that RCA would not release his latest recordings if he did not. Due to the failure of his albums….and particularly frustrated by the reception of Yesterday’s Wine…..albeit his contract was not over….that is when Willie decided to retire from music….when he decided to move to Austin, Texas…..where the burgeoning hippie music scene as seen at the famous venue Armadillo World Headquarters…..which rejuvenated the singer. His popularity in Austin soared as he played his own brand of country music marked by country, folk and jazz influences. In March, he performed on the final day of the Dripping Springs Reunion….which was a three-day country music festival aimed by its producers to be an annual event. Despite the failure to reach the expected attendance, the concept of the festival inspired Nelson to create the Fourth of July Picnic, his own annual event, starting the following year.
Music – 1984 – Live At Willie Nelson’s New years Eve Party – “I’m A Memory”
Music – 2009 – The Willie Nelson Special – With Ray Charles – “Mountain Dew”
Music – 1973 – Willie Nelson’s 4th Of July Picnic – Willie & David Allen Coe Sing “Good Hearted Woman” + “It’s Not Supposed To Be That Way”
Nelson decided to return to the recording business and signed Neil Reshen as his manager to negotiate with RCA…..who got the label to agree to end his contract upon repayment of $14,000. Reshen eventually signed Nelson to Atlantic Records for $25,000 per year….where he became the label’s 1st country artist….and he formed his backing band, The Family, and by February 1973 is when he was recording his acclaimed Shotgun Willie at Atlantic Studios in New York City. Shotgun Willie, released in May 1973, earned excellent reviews but did not sell well. The album led Nelson to a new style….while later stating that Shotgun Willie had “cleared his throat”. His next release, Phases and Stages, released in 1974, was a concept album about a couple’s divorce….which was inspired by his own experience…..as side one of the record is from the viewpoint of the woman…. and side two is from the viewpoint of the man. The album included the hit single “Bloody Mary Morning”. The same year, he produced and starred in the pilot episode of PBS’ Austin City Limits.
Music – 1974 – Pilot Episode Of Austin City Limits – Starring Willie Nelson & The Family Band
Music – 1981 – Willie Nelson – “Whiskey River”
Music – 1997 – Austin City Limits – Songwriters Special – With Waylon Jennings + Kris Kristofferson + Billy Joe Shaver + Kimmie Rhodes + Willie Nelson
Music – 1981 – Austin City Limits – Willie Nelson – “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”
Music – 1990 – Wustin City Limits – Willie Nelson – “You Were Always On My Mind”
Nelson then moved to Columbia Records….where he signed a contract that gave him complete creative control….which was made possible by the critical and commercial success of his previous albums. The result was the critically acclaimed and massively popular 1975 concept album Red Headed Stranger…..and albeit Columbia was reluctant to release an album with primarily a guitar and piano for accompaniment….that is when Nelson and Waylon Jennings insisted. The album included a cover of Fred Rose’s 1945 song “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”….which had been released as a single previous to the album….and became Nelson’s 1st # 1 hit as a singer. As a side note….the album cover featured an oil painting of red-headed Nelson portrait….which was painted by Austin local artist, Monica White…..who was also working as a cook for Bone Daddy at his sports bar at the time. Throughout his 1975 tour, Nelson raised funds for PBS-affiliated stations across the south promoting Austin City Limits…..as the pilot was aired 1st on those stations….while later being released nationwide…..as the positive reception of the show prompted PBS to order ten episodes for 1976, formally launching the show….which is still airing on PBS today in 2021.
Music – 1976 – Austin City Limits Live – Willie Nelson – “Red Headed Stranger”
Music – 1990 – Austin City Limits Live – Willie Nelson – “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain”
Music – 1976 – Austin City Limits Live – Willie Nelson – “Time Of The Preacher”
Music – 1974 – Special – WFAA Story on Willie Nelson and the 1974 Austin Music Scene
While Jennings was also achieving success in country music in the early 1970’s….and that is when the pair combined into a genre called “outlaw country”……which did not conform to Nashville standards…..as the album Wanted! The Outlaws in 1976 with Jessi Colter and Tompall Glaser cemented the pair’s outlaw image and became country music’s 1st platinum album. Later that year Nelson released The Sound in Your Mind….which certified gold in 1978 and platinum in 2001…..and his 1st gospel album Troublemaker also went certified gold in 1986.
Music – 1991 – Waylon Jennings + Willie Nelson – “If I Can Find A Clean Shirt”
Music – 1976 – CMT Special – Waylon Jennings + Willie Nelson – “The Outlaw Movement In Country Music”
Music – 1982 – Waylon Jenning + Willie Nelson – “Whiter Shade Of Pale”
Music – 1986 – Waylon Jennings + Willie Nelson – “I Can Get Off On You”
In the summer of 1977, Nelson discovered that Reshen had been filing tax extensions and not paying the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) since he took over as his manager. In June, a package containing cocaine was sent from Reshen’s office in New York to Jennings in Nashville…..as the package was followed by the DEA….and Jennings was arrested…..but the charges were later dropped, since Reshen’s assistant, Mark Rothbaum stepped in and took the charges…..and was sentenced to serve time in jail. Willie was impressed by Rothbaum’s attitude…..so he fired Reshen and hired Rothbaum as his manager.
Music – 1993 – Special – Willie Nelson’s Country Music Hall Of Fame Induction
Music – 2018 – Austin City Limits – Willie Nelson – “Fly Me To The Moon”
Music – 2019 – Willie Nelson – “When I Dream”
In 1978, Nelson released two more platinum albums…..with one being Waylon & Willie….which was a collaboration with Jennings that included “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”….as a hit single written and performed by Ed Bruce…..and albeit observers predicted that Stardust would ruin Willie’s career….but instead, it went platinum the same year. Nelson continued to top the charts with hit songs during the late 1970’s….which included “Good Hearted Woman”, “Remember Me”, “If You’ve Got the Money I’ve Got the Time” and “Uncloudy Day”.
Music – 1986 – Farm Aid Live – Waylon Jennings + Willie Nelson – “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys”
Music – 1990 – The Highwaymen – “Good Hearted Woman” – With Willie Nelson + Waylon Jennings + Kris Kristofferson + Johnny Cash
Music – 1977 – Willie Nelson – “Remember Me (I’m The One Who Loves You)”
Music – 1977 – Willie Nelson – “If You Got The Money Honey, I’ve Got The Time”
Music – 1979 – Willie Nelson – “Uncloudy Day”
During the 1980’s, Nelson recorded a series of hit singles including “Midnight Rider”…..which was a 1980 cover of the Allman Brothers song which Nelson recorded for The Electric Horseman…..plus, the soundtrack “On the Road Again” from the movie Honeysuckle Rose…..and a duet with Julio Iglesias titled “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before”.
Music – 1980 – Willie Nelson – “Midnight Rider”
Music – 2014 – Willie Nelson + Daughter Paula – “Have You Ever Seen The Rain”
Music – 1981 – Willie Nelson + Julio Iglesias – “Blue Spanish Eyes”
Music – 1981 – Willie Nelson + Julio Iglesias – “As Time Goes By”
In 1982 was when Willie recorded, Pancho & Lefty….which was a duet album with Merle Haggard that was produced by Chips Moman was released. During the recording sessions of Pancho and Lefty, session guitarist Johnny Christopher….who was also co-writer of “Always on My Mind”…..tried to pitch the song to an uninterested Haggard….and that is when Nelson, who was unaware of Elvis Presley’s version of the song, asked him to record it. Produced by Moman, the single of the song was released, as well as the album of the same name…..when the single topped Billboard‘s Hot Country Singles….while it reached # 5 on the Billboard Hot 100…..plus, the release won three awards during the 25th Annual Grammy Awards for Song of the Year, Best Country Song and Best Male Country Vocal Performance…..as the single was certified platinum….while the album was certified quadruple-platinum….and later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008.
Music – 2015 – Special – Willie Nelson + Merle Haggard – “Making of Django and Jimmie”
Music – 1983 – Merle Haggard + Willie Nelson – “Pancho & Lefty”
Music – 2015 – Merle Haggard + Willie Nelson – “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright”
Music – 2015 – Merle Haggard + Willie Nelson – “Unfair Weather Friend”
Meanwhile, two collaborations with Waylon Jennings were released….WWII in 1982….and Take it to the Limit was released in 1983. In the mid-1980’s, Nelson, Jennings, Kristofferson, and Johnny Cash formed a super-group called The Highwaymen…..who achieved platinum record sales and toured the world. Meanwhile, Nelson became more involved with charity work, such as singing on We are the World in 1984. In 1985, Nelson had another success with Half Nelson, a compilation album of duets with a range of artists such as Ray Charles and Neil Young.
Music – 1995 – Documentary – “The Highwaymen In The Studio” – With Waylon Jennings + Kris Kristofferson + Johnny Cash + Willie Nelson
Music – 1990 – The Highwaymen: Willie Nelson + Waylon Jennings + Kris Kristofferson + Johnny Cash – “The Ghost Riders In The Sky”
Music – 1990 – The Highwaymen: Willie Nelson + Waylon Jennings + Kris Kristofferson + Johnny Cash – “City Of New Orleans”
Music – 1990 – The Highwaymen: Willie Nelson + Waylon Jennings + Kris Kristofferson + Johnny Cash – “Me And Bobby McGee”
Music – 1990 – The Highwaymen: Willie Nelson + Waylon Jennings + Kris Kristofferson + Johnny Cash – “Sunday Morning Coming Down”
Music – 1990 – The Highwaymen: Willie Nelson + Waylon Jennings + Kris Kristofferson + Johnny Cash – “Help Me Make It Through The Night”
Music – 1990 – The Highwaymen: Willie Nelson + Waylon Jennings + Kris Kristofferson + Johnny Cash – “There Ain’t No Good Chain Gang”
Music – 1986 – The Highwaymen – “Highwayman”
In 1980, Nelson performed on the south lawn of the White House…..as the concert of September 13 featured First Lady Rosalynn Carter and Nelson in a duet of Ray Wylie Hubbard’s “Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother”…..for Nelson frequently visited the White House….where according to the biography by Joe Nick Patoski, Willie Nelson: An Epic Life, he smoked marijuana on the White House roof.
Talk Show & Music – 2020 – The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon – With Willie Nelson & Bobbie Nelson – On Willie Smoking Pot on the Roof of the White House with Jimmy Carter’s Son
News & Music – 2020 – Jimmy Carter: Willie Nelson Smoked Pot With My Son on White House Roof
Talk Show -2018 – The Ellen Show – Willie Nelson Broke Woody Harrelson’s Pot Sober Streak
In 1996, Nelson re-recorded the tracks “Hello Walls” with the band The Reverend Horton Heat, and “Bloody Mary Morning” with the Supersuckers for Twisted Willie…..which was a tribute album featuring rock versions of Nelson’s songs performed by artists such as Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Jerry Cantrell, Mark Lanegan, L7, The Presidents of the United States of America and Jello Biafra, among others. Proceeds from the sale of the record benefit Nelson’s Farm Aid.
Music – 1996 – Tonight Show With Jay Leno – Willie Nelson & The Supersuckers – “It’s A Bloody Mary Morning”
Music – 2018 – Willie Nelson – “It’s Just Me And You”
Music – 2020 – Willie Nelson – “Our Song”
During the 1990’s and 2000’s, Nelson toured continuously….while recording several albums including 1998’s critically acclaimed Teatro….while performing and recording with other acts including Phish, Johnny Cash and Toby Keith…..as his duet with Keith, “Beer for My Horses”, was released as a single and topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts for six consecutive weeks in 2003…..while the accompanying video won an award for “Best Video” at the 2004 Academy of Country Music Awards.
Music – 1998 – Willie Nelson – “I Never Cared For You”
Music – 2003 – Toby Keith & Willie Nelson – “Beer For My Horses”
Music – 2017 – Willie Nelson & Full Ensemble – “Luckenbach Texas (Back To The Basics Of Love”
Music – 1990 – The Highwaymen – “This Is The Last Cowboy Song”
A USA Network television special celebrated Nelson’s 70th birthday….when Nelson released The Essential Willie Nelson as part of the celebration…. then Nelson also appeared on Ringo Starr’s 2003 album, Ringo Rama, as a guest vocal on “Write One for Me”.
Music – 2003 – Ringo Starr + Willie Nelson – “Write One For Me”
Music – 2013 – Special – Ringo Starr Sends Happy 80th Birthday Wishes To Willie Nelson
Nelson was featured on the album True Love by Toots and the Maytals….which won the Grammy Award in 2004 for Best Reggae Album….and showcased many notable musicians including Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Trey Anastasio, Gwen Stefani, and Keith Richards. In the following year of 2005, Nelson released his own reggae album entitled Countryman which featured Toots Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals on the song “I’m a Worried Man”.
Music – 2004 – Willie Nelson + Toots & The Maytals – “I’m A Worried Man”
Music – 2005 – Willie Nelson + Toots Hibbert – “Still Is Still Moving To Me”
Music -2005 – Willie Nelson – “The Harder They Come (The Harder They Fall)”
Nelson headlined the 2005 Tsunami Relief Austin to Asia concert to benefit the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake….which raised an estimated $75 thousand for UNICEF. Also in 2005, a live performance of the Johnny Cash song “Busted” with Ray Charles was released on Charles’ duets album Genius & Friends. Nelson’s 2007 performance with jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis at the Lincoln Center was released as the live album Two Men with the Blues in 2008…..which reached # 1 in Billboard‘s Top Jazz Albums….as well as # 20 on the Billboard 200. The same year, Nelson recorded his 1st album with Buddy Cannon as the producer, Moment of Forever…..after Cannon had met Nelson earlier during the production of his collaboration with Kenny Chesney on the duet “That Lucky Old Sun”….for Chesney’s album of the same name. In 2009 Nelson and Marsalis joined with Norah Jones in a tribute concert to Ray Charles….which resulted in the Here We Go Again: Celebrating the Genius of Ray Charles album, released in 2011.
Music – 2005 – Willie Nelson + Ray Charles – “I Can’ Stop Loving You”
Music – 2005 – Wynton Marsilis + Willie Nelson – “Milk Cow Blues”
Music – 2007 – Willie Nelson + Kenny Chesney – “That Lucky Old Sun”
Music – 2005 – Willie Nelson + Ray Charles – “Georgia On My Mind”
Music – 2005 – Wynston Marsalis + Willie Nelson – “That’s All”
Music -2007 – Kenny Chesney + Willie Nelson – “Coconut Tree”
In 2010, Nelson released Country Music, a compilation of standards produced by T-Bone Burnett….when the album peaked # 4 in Billboard‘s Top Country Albums…..and # 20 on the Billboard 200…..plus, it was nominated for Best Americana Album at the 2011 Grammy Awards. In 2011 Nelson participated in the concert Kokua For Japan, a fund raising event for the victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan which raised $1.6 million.
Music – 2003 – Willie Nelson + Paul Simon – “Homeward Bound”
Music – 2004 – Carole King + Willie Nelson – “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”
Music – 2004 – Keith Richards + Willie Nelson – “We Had It All”
Music – 2012 – Sheryl Crow + Willie Nelson – “Today I Started Loving You Again”
Music – 2010 – The Beach Boys + Willie Nelson – “The Warmth Of The Sun”
Music – 2016 – Willie Nelson + Loretta Lynn – “Lay Me Down”
Music – 2005 – Willie Nelson + Ray Charles – “Seven Spanish Angels”
In February 2012, Legacy Recordings signed a deal with Nelson that included the release of new material…..as well as past releases that would be selected and complemented with outtakes and other material selected by him…..for with the new deal, Buddy Cannon returned to produce the recordings of Nelson…..when after selecting the material and the sound of the tunes with Willie…. that is when Cannon’s work method consisted in the recording of the tracks with studio musicians…. with the takes later being completed on a separate session by Nelson with his guitar, Trigger…..as Cannon’s association to Nelson also extended to songwriting…..with singer and producer composing the lyrics by exchanging text messages.
Music – 2007 – Willie Nelson – “Gravedigger”
Music – 2012 – Willie Nelson + His Son Micha – “Just Breathe”
Music – 2012 – Willie Nelson – “My Own Peculiar Way”
Music – 2009 – Willie Nelson – “Last Thing I Needed The 1st Thing This Morning”
Nelson’s 1st release for the Legacy Recordings was Heroes…..which included guest appearances by his sons Lukas and Micah of the band Insects vs Robots, Ray Price, Merle Haggard, Snoop Dogg, Kris Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson, Billy Joe Shaver and Sheryl Crow…..as this album reached # 4 on Billboard‘s Top Country Albums. His 2013 release To All the Girls…..which was a collection of duets with all female partners featuring the likes of Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Rosanne Cash, Sheryl Crow, Mavis Staples, Norah Jones, Emmylou Harris, Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert…..as the album entered Billboard‘s Top Country Albums at # 2……while marking his highest position on the chart since the release of his 1989 A Horse Called Music…..and extending his record to a total of forty-six top ten albums on the country charts….. when Nelson scored as well his 2nd top ten album on the Billboard 200…..with the release entering at # 9.
Music – 2012 – Willie Nelson + Merle Haggard – “A Horse Called Music”
Music – 2012 – Willie Nelson – “Old Timer”
Music – 2018 – Willie Nelson – “Heaven Is Closed”
Music – 2020 – Willie Nelson – “The First Rose Of Spring”
In 2014, Willie Nelson released Band of Brothers…..which was the 1st Nelson album to feature the most newly self-penned songs since 1996’s Spirit…..when upon its release, it topped Billboard‘s Top Country albums chart at # 1….for the 1st time since 1986’s The Promiseland….and would be the last Nelson album to top it…..as the release reached # 5 on the Billboard 200….which was Willie’s highest position on the chart since 1982’s Always on My Mind. In December 2014, a duet with Rhonda Vincent, “Only Me”, topped Bluegrass Unlimited’s National Airplay chart….and in June 2015, his collaboration with Haggard on Django and Jimmie topped Billboard‘s Top Country albums chart and reached # 7 on the Billboard 200.
Music – 2015 – Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson – “Missing Ole Johnny Cash”
Music – 2017 – Farm Aid Concert – Willie Nelson + Lukas Nelson – “Texas Flood”
In 2017, Nelson released God’s Problem Child….. which consisted mostly of Nelson originals co-written with Cannon….when it entered the Top country albums at # 1…..while it reached # 10 on the Billboard 200.
Music – 2015 – Willie Nelson & Sons Lucas And Micha – “Living In The Promised Land”
Music – 2017 – Willie Nelson & Sons Lucas And Micha – “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain”
Music – 2017 – Willie Nelson & Sons Lucas And Micha – “Can I Sleep In Your Arms”
Music – 2017 – Willie Nelson & Sons Lucas And Micha – “Send Me The Pillow That You Dream On”
In 2018, Nelson sang a song written by Daniel Lanois called “Cruel World” for the soundtrack of Rockstar Games’s action-adventure video game Red Dead Redemption 2….as Lanois had written the song especially for Nelson….but when a hurricane prevented Nelson from recording the song, the production team sent the track to Josh Homme in the hopes that he could record it in time for the game’s release…..as Willie ultimately was able to record the song in time in Los Angeles….so, the team considered combining the two versions into a duet…..but ultimately included both versions in the game. Also in 2018, Nelson was one of several artists on Restoration, a cover album containing various country renditions of songs originally by Elton John….on which he performed “Border Song”. His 2019 release Ride Me Back Home charted at # 2 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart….and for the title-track, Nelson received the Grammy Award for Best Country Solo Performance.
Music – 2018 – Willie Nelson – “Ride Me Back Home”
Music – 1993 – Willie Nelson – “South Of The Border (Down Mexico Way)”
Music – 2020 – Willie Nelson – “We Are The Cowboys”
Following the U.S. coronavirus pandemic lockdowns that began in March 2020….and that is when Nelson live streamed a series of benefit concerts….with the first two raising $700,000 for people who had suffered financial loss due to effects on the U.S. economy….and the 3rd held on April 20, 2020 being a variety show titled Come and Toke It…..as some of the content was cannabis-themed….while some of the proceeds will be used to support The Last Prisoner Project…..which is a restorative justice program relating to persons convicted of cannabis related crimes. Also in 2020, Nelson was approached by Karen O of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs to collaborate…..which resulted in a cover of David Bowie and Queen’s “Under Pressure”.
Music – 1993 – Johnny Cash + Willie Nelson – “Ring Of Fire”
Music – 1988 – Porter Wagonner Show – Willie Nelson – “On The Road Again”
Music – 1979 – Austin City Limits – Willie Nelson – “Angel Flying Too Close To the Ground”
When it comes to Willie Nelson’s acting career….his debut was in the 1979 film The Electric Horseman….which was followed by appearances in Honeysuckle Rose, Thief, and Barbarosa….then he played the role of Red Loon in Coming Out of the Ice in 1982….and starred in Songwriter two years later. He portrayed the lead role in the 1986 film version of his album Red Headed Stranger…. with other movies that Nelson acted in including Wag the Dog…. Gone Fishin’….then as Billy ‘Catch’ Pooler the 1986 television movie Stagecoach with Johnny Cash….Half Baked….Beerfest…. The Dukes of Hazzard….Surfer….Dude….and Swing Vote. He has also made guest appearances on Miami Vice (1986’s “El Viejo” episode)….Delta….Nash Bridges….The Simpsons….Monk….Adventures in Wonderland….Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman….King of the Hill….The Colbert Report….Swing Vote….and Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
Music – 2019 – Willie Nelson – “It Gets Easier”
Music – 1996 – Willie Nelson – “She Is Gone”
Music – 2017 – Willie Nelson – “A Woman’s Love”
Willie Nelson wrote and published his 1st book in 1988….Willie: An Autobiography….which was followed in 2002 by The Facts of Life: And Other Dirty Jokes….as a personal recollection of tour and musical stories from his career combined with song lyrics…..then in 2005 he co-authored Farm Aid: A Song for America…..as a commemorative book about the twentieth anniversary of the foundation of Farm Aid. His 3rd book was co-authored with long-time friend Turk Pipkin titled The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart…. which was published in 2006. As a side note, Turk Pipkin was a street magician, humorist and writer in Austin, Tx….whom our Bone Daddy befriended on 6th Street where his sports bar was located at 302 E. 6th Street….for it was Pipkin who got BD, Sky Pilot and The Prince of Pleasure into the Magic Castle….which happens to be the Academy of Magical Arts….where Los Tres Amigos stayed throughout the entire 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games….when Los Tres Amigos from Austin,Tx set an Olympic fan record that can never be broken (only tied)…..when they attended a live event in every sport in which medals were competed for at the L A Games. In 2007 a book advocating the use of bio-diesel and the reduction of gas emissions, On The Clean Road Again: Biodiesel and The Future of the Family Farm, was published. His next book, A Tale Out of Luck, published in 2008 and co-authored by Mike Blakely, was Nelson’s 1st fictional book. In 2012, it was announced the release of a new autobiography by Nelson, Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road….was released on November 13th….as it was named after the song from his album Heroes. The book contained further biographical details, as well as family pictures and stories about Nelson’s political views….as well as his advocation for marijuana….in which the artwork of the book was designed by Nelson’s son, Micah….and the foreword written by Kinky Friedman. In 2015, the publication of a 2nd Nelson autobiography entitled It’s a Long Story: My Life….which was co-authored with David Ritz….when the book was published on May 5, 2015…..and Pretty Paper, another collaboration with Ritz, was published the following year.
Music – 2020 – Willie Nelson – “I’m The Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised”
Animation + Music – 2020 – Willie Nelson – “Vote Em Out”
Music – 2018 – Willie Nelson – “Something You Get Through”
In 2010, Nelson founded with the collaboration of producers and filmmakers Luck Films….which was a company dedicated to produce feature films, documentaries and concerts. The next year, he created the Willie’s Roadhouse show which aired on channel 56 of SiriusXM radio. The channel was a result of the merger of his two other channels The Roadhouse and Willie’s Place.
Music – 1962 – Willie Nelson Medley – “Hello Walls” + “Funny How Time Slips Away” + “Night Life” + “Crazy”
Music – 2002 – Willie Nelson + Lee Ann Womack – “Mendocino County Line”
Music – 2010 – Willie Nelson – “Maria (Shut Up And Kiss Me)”
Music – 2013 – Willie Nelson – “Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die”
In November 2014, it was announced that Nelson would be the host of the television series Inside Arlyn, shot at Arlyn Studio in Austin, Texas. The thirteen-episode first season would feature artists being interviewed by Nelson and Dan Rather, followed by a performance. The series concept received attention from cable channels that requested to see the pilot episode. Following the legalization of marijuana in different states, Nelson announced in 2015 through spokesman Michael Bowman the establishment of his own marijuana brand, Willie’s Reserve. Plans to open chain stores in the states where marijuana was legalized were announced, to be expanded state-to-state if marijuana legalization is further expanded. Bowman called the brand “a culmination of (Nelson’s) vision, and his whole life”.
Music – 2015 – Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson – “It’s All Going To Pot”
Talk Show & Music – 2015 – Jimmy Kimmel Live With Willie Nelson – On Him Smoking Pot On The Roof Of The White House
Music – 2003 – Toby Keith + Scott Emerick + Willie Nelson – “I’ll Never Smoke Weed With Willie Again”
In 2017, Nelson appeared as himself in Woody Harrelson’s live film, Lost in London. In June 2017, he appeared alongside Merle Haggard in the documentary The American Epic Sessions directed by Bernard MacMahon…..as they performed a song Haggard had composed for the film, “The Only Man Wilder Than Me”…..as well as Bob Wills’s classic “Old Fashioned Love”…..which they recorded live direct to disc on the first electrical sound recording system from the 1920’s…..as it was the last filmed performance of the pair…..when Rolling Stone commented that “in the final performance of Sessions, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard perform the duet ‘The Only Man Wilder Than Me.’ Haggard has a look of complete joy on his face throughout the session in the old-timey recording set-up once used by his musical heroes.”
Music – 2015 – Merle Haggard + Willie Nelson – “He’s The Only Man Wilder Than Me”
Music – 2014 – Merle Haggard + Willie Nelson Live At The Austin ACL Moody Theater – “Old Fashion Love ” + “Living In Tennessee”
Willie Nelson uses a variety of music styles to create his own distinctive blend of country music….with a hybrid of jazz, pop, blues, rock and folk…..as his “unique sound”…..which uses a “relaxed, behind-the-beat singing style and gut-string guitar” and his “nasal voice and jazzy, off-center phrasing” has been responsible for his wide appeal…..and has made him a “vital icon in country music”….while influencing the “new country, new traditionalist, and alternative country movements of the 1980’s and 1990’s”
Music – 2020 – Willie Nelson – “Yesterday When I Was Young”
Music -2009 – Willie Nelson – “You Don’t Know Me”
Music – 2016 – Willie Nelson – “Summertime”
The story of Trigger….which Willie affectionately named after Roy Roger’s loyal horse….started in 1969 when the Baldwin company gave Nelson an amplifier and guitar with their “Prismatone” pickup….whereas, during a show in Helotes, Texas, Nelson left the guitar on the floor of the stage…. and it was later stepped on by a drunk man…..so We sent it to be rRepaired in Nashville by Shot Jackson…..who told Nelson that the damage was too great…..when Jackson offered him a Martin N-20 Classical guitar….and at Nelson’s request, moved the pickup to the Martin. Nelson purchased the guitar unseen for $750 and named it “Trigger”. The next year Nelson rescued the guitar from his burning ranch…..after which constant strumming with a guitar pick over the decades has worn a large sweeping hole into the guitar’s body near the sound hole…..as the N-20 has no pick-guard since classical guitars are meant to be played finger style instead of with picks. Throughout the years, its soundboard has been signed by over a hundred of Nelson’s friends and associates, ranging from fellow musicians to lawyers and football coaches. The first signature on the guitar was Leon Russell’s …..who asked Nelson initially to sign his guitar…. and when Nelson was about to sign it with a marker…..that is when Russell requested him to scratch it instead, explaining that the guitar would be more valuable in the future. Interested in the concept, Nelson requested Russell to also sign his guitar. In 1991, during his process with the IRS, Nelson was worried that Trigger could be auctioned off….while stating that “When Trigger goes, I’ll quit”…..so, he asked his daughter, Lana, to take the guitar from the studio before any IRS agent arrived there….and then deliver it to him in Maui. Nelson then concealed the guitar in his manager’s house until his debt was paid off in 1993.
Music – 2015 – Special – Willie Nelson And His Famous Guitar – “The Story Of Trigger”
Music – 2017 – Mark Erlewine Shares How He Repairs Willie Nelson’s Guitar “Trigger” – Part 1
Music – 2017 – Mark Erlewine Shares How He Repairs Willie Nelson’s Guitar “Trigger” – Part 2
Nelson has been a longtime activist in a number of issues. Along with Neil Young and John Mellencamp, he set up Farm Aid in 1985 to assist and increase awareness of the importance of family farms…..which came about after Willie heard Bob Dylan’s comments during the Live Aid concert that he hoped some of the money would help American farmers in danger of losing their farms through mortgage debt….so, the 1st Farm Aid concert included Dylan, Billy Joel, B.B. King, Roy Orbison, and Neil Young among many others…..and raised over $9 million for America’s family farmers. Besides organizing and performing in the annual concerts, Nelson is the president of the board of Farm Aid.
Music – 2020 – Farm Aid Concert With Willie Nelson – His Last Farm Aid Concert At Age 87 (Maybe!?!)
Also, Nelson is a co-chair of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) advisory board…..as he has worked with NORML for years promoting marijuana legalization. In 2005 Nelson and his family hosted the first annual “Willie Nelson & NORML Benefit Golf Tournament”, leading to a cover appearance and inside interview in the January 2008 issue of High Times magazine. After his arrest for possession of marijuana in 2010, Nelson created the TeaPot party under the motto “Tax it, regulate it and legalize it!”
Animation & Music – 2011 – Special – Willie Nelson’s TeaPot Party
News – 2010 – ABC San Jose, CA Special – Join Willie Nelson’s Teapot Party Movement!!!!
News – 2011 – CNN Live – Interview With Willie Nelson – On The Debt Ceiling + The Teapot Party
In 2001, following the September 11 attacks, he participated in the benefit telethon America: A Tribute to Heroes…..which led to the rest of the celebrities singing the song “America the Beautiful”. In 2010, during an interview with Larry King, Nelson expressed his doubts with regards to the attacks and the official story. Nelson explained that he could not believe that the buildings could collapse due to the planes, attributing instead the result to an implosion.
Music – 1995 – Willie Nelson + Toots & The Mayhals – “Sitting Here In Limbo”
Music – 2019 – Willie Nelson – “Cruel Cruel World”
Music – 2017 – Willie Nelson – “A Couple More Years”
Music – 2004 – Willie Nelson – “You Wouldn’t Even Cross The Street To Say Goodbye”
Music – 2020 – Willie Nelson – “Last Man Standing”
In 2004, Nelson and his wife Annie became partners with Bob and Kelly King in the building of two Pacific Bio-diesel plants….with one in Salem, Oregon…..and the other at Carl’s Corner, Texas….as the Texas plant was founded by Carl Cornelius, a longtime Nelson friend and the eponym for Carl’s Corner….then in 2005, Nelson and several other business partners formed Willie Nelson Biodiesel (“Bio-Willie”), a company that is marketing bio-diesel bio-fuel to truck stops. The fuel is made from vegetable oil (mainly soybean oil)….and can be burned without modification in diesel engines.
Music – 2020 – Willie Nelson – “Bad Breath”
Music – 2009 – Willie Nelson – “You Don’t Think I’m Funny Any More” – With Woody Harrelson + Owen Wilson + Jessica Simpson
Music – 2002 – Willie Nelson + Emmy Lou Harris – “Til I Gain Control Again”
Nelson is an advocate for better treatment for horses….and has been campaigning for the passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 503/S. 311) alongside the Animal Welfare Institute. He is on its board of directors and has adopted a number of horses from Habitat for Horses. In 2008, Nelson signed on to warn consumers about the cruel and illegal living conditions for calves raised to produce milk for dairy products. He wrote letters to Land O’Lakes and Challenge Dairy, two of the major corporations that use milk from calves raised at California’s Mendes Calf Ranch….which employs an intensive confinement practice that was the subject of a lawsuit and campaign brought by the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Nelson is seen in the film The Garden supporting the impoverished community South Central Farm in Southern Los Angeles.
Music – 1985 – Willie Nelson + Neil Young – “Are There Any More Real Cowboys”
Music -2020 – Willie Nelson – “Seven Year Itch”
Music – 2018 – Willie Nelson – “Me and You”
A supporter of the LGBT movement, Nelson published in 2006 through iTunes a version of Ned Sublette’s “Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly Fond of Each Other”, that met instant success. During an interview with Texas Monthly in 2013, regarding the Defense of Marriage Act and Same-sex marriage in the United States, Nelson responded to a comparison the interviewer made with the Civil Rights Movement, stating: “We’ll look back and say it was crazy that we ever even argued about this”. He also presented two logos with the pink equal sign, symbol of the LGBT movement….with the 1st one featuring the sign represented with two long braids….while the 2nd one featuring the sign represented with two marijuana cigarettes. The use of the logos became popular quickly in social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
Music – 2014 – Willie Nelson – “Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond Of Each Other”
Music – 2009 – Willie Nelson – “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys”
Music – 2003 – Willie Nelson – “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord”
Music – 1996 – Willie Nelson & Bobbie Nelson – “Just As I Am”
During his childhood, Nelson grew interested in martial arts…..so, he ordered self-defense manuals on jujitsu and judo that he saw advertised in Batman and Superman comic books…..then Nelson started to formally practice kung fu after he moved to Nashville in the 1960’s. During the 1980’s, Nelson began training in taekwondo and now holds a second-degree black belt in that discipline. During the 1990’s, Nelson started to practice the Korean martial art GongKwon Yusul…..when in 2014, after twenty years in the discipline, his Grand Master Sam Um presented him with a fifth-degree black belt in a ceremony held in Austin, Texas. A 2014 Tae Kwon Do Times magazine interview revealed that Nelson had developed an unorthodox manner of training during the lengthy periods of time he was on tour…..as Nelson would conduct his martial arts training on his tour bus “The Honeysuckle Rose” and send videos to his supervising Master for review and critique.
Music – 2017 – Willie Nelson – “Still Not Dead”
Music – 2017 – Willie Nelson – “Cottage For Sale”
Music – 2017 – Willie Nelson – “Summer Wind”
Music – 2018 – Willie Nelson – “One For My Baby (And One More For The Road”
Nelson has been arrested several times for marijuana possession. The first occasion was in 1974 in Dallas, Texas…..then in 1977, after a tour with Hank Cochran, Nelson traveled to The Bahamas…..when Nelson and Cochran arrived late to the airport and boarded the flight without luggage…..as the bags were later sent to them….and when Nelson and Cochran claimed their luggage in the Bahamas….that is when a customs officer questioned Nelson after marijuana was found in a pair of his jeans…..so, Nelson was arrested and jailed…..as Cochran made arrangements to pay the bail, he took Nelson a six-pack of beer to his cell…..and when Nelson was released a few hours later….he was inebriated and fell after he jumped celebrating….and was taken to the emergency room. He then appeared before the judge….who dropped the charges….but ordered Nelson to never return to the country….then in 1994, a highway patrolmen found marijuana in his car near Waco, Texas….when his requirement to appear in court prevented him attending the Grammy awards that year…..and after that, while traveling to Ann W. Richards’ funeral in 2006, Nelson, along with his manager and his sister, Bobbie, were arrested in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana….and charged with possession of marijuana and hallucinogenic mushrooms….when Nelson received six months probation. On November 26, 2010, Nelson was arrested in Sierra Blanca, Texas, for possession of six ounces of marijuana found in his tour bus while traveling from Los Angeles back to Texas. He was released after paying bail of $2,500…..when prosecutor Kit Bramblett supported not sentencing Nelson to jail due to the small amount of marijuana involved…. but suggested instead a $100 fine and told Nelson that he would have him sing “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” for the court…..but Judge Becky Dean-Walker said that Nelson would have to pay the fine but not to perform the song…..while explaining that the prosecutor was joking….so, Nelson’s lawyer Joe Turner reached an agreement with the prosecutor…..as Willie was set to pay a $500 fine to avoid a two-year jail sentence with a 30-day review period, which in case of another incident would end the agreement…..but the judge later rejected the agreement….while claiming that Nelson was receiving preferential treatment for his celebrity status….as the offense normally carried a one-year jail sentence….so, Bramblett declared that the case would remain open until it was either dismissed or the judge changed her opinion.
Talk Show & Music – 2019 – The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon – With Guest Willie Nelson As Chief Tester At His Weed Company
News – 2015 – CBS Special – Rebel On A Roll – Willie Nelson On New Memoir, Music + Marijuana
Music – 2008 – Snoop Dogg + Willie Nelson – “My Medicine”
Talk Show & Music – 2012 – NBC Today Show With Guest Willie Nelson – ” I Haven’t Seen Any Side Effects Of Pot (Marijuana)”
In 1990, the IRS seized most of Nelson’s assets, claiming that he owed $32 million. In addition to the unpaid taxes, Nelson’s situation was worsened by the weak investments he had made during the early 1980’s. In 1978, after he fired Reshen, Nelson was introduced by Dallas lawyer Terry Bray to the accounting firm Price Waterhouse…..when to repay the debt Reshen had created with the IRS, Nelson was recommended to invest in tax shelters that ultimately flopped. While the IRS disallowed his deductions for 1980, 1981 and 1982 (at a time that Nelson’s income multiplied), due to penalties and interests, the debt increased by the end of the decade. Therefore, his lawyer, Jay Goldberg, negotiated the sum to be lowered to $16 million. Later, Nelson’s attorney renegotiated a settlement with the IRS in which he paid $6 million, although Nelson did not comply with the agreement. Nelson released The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories? as a double album….with all profits being earmarked for the IRS. Many of his assets were auctioned and purchased by friends….who donated or rented his possessions to him for a nominal fee. He sued Price Waterhouse, contending that they put his money in illegal tax shelters. The lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount and Nelson cleared his debts by 1993.
Music – 1990 – The Highwaymen – “American Remains”
Music – 2017 – Willie Nelson Tribute To Merle Haggard – “He Won’t Ever Be Gone”
Music – 2011 – Wynton Marsalis + Norah Jones + Willie Nelson – “Hallelujah, I Love Her So”
Nelson is widely recognized as an American icon. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1993….and he received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1998. In 2011, Nelson was inducted to the National Agricultural Hall of Fame, for his labor in Farm Aid and other fund raisers to benefit farmers. In 2015 Nelson won the Gershwin Prize…. which is the lifetime award of the Library of Congress. In 2018 The Texas Institute of Letters inducted him among its members for his songwriting. He was included by Rolling Stone on its 100 Greatest Singers and 100 Greatest Guitarists lists. In 2003, Texas Governor Perry signed bill No. 2582, introduced by State Representative Elizabeth Ames Jones and Senator Jeff Wentworth, which funded the Texas Music Project, the state’s official music charity…..as Nelson was named honorary chairman of the advisory board of the project. In 2005, Democratic Texas Senator Gonzalo Barrientos introduced a bill to name 49 miles (79 km) of the Travis County section of State Highway 130 after Nelson, and at one point 23 of the 31 state senators were co-sponsors of the bill. The legislation was dropped after two Republican senators, Florence Shapiro and Wentworth, objected, citing Nelson’s lack of connection to the highway, his fund raisers for Democrats, his drinking, and his marijuana advocacy.
Music – 2017 – Rolling Stone Special – Willie Nelson and His Sons Lucas & Micha – “Discuss Growing up on Tour and Performing as a Family”
An important collection of Willie Nelson materials (1975–1994) became part of the Wittliff collections of Southwestern Writers, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas. The collection contains lyrics, screenplays, letters, concert programs, tour itineraries, posters, articles, clippings, personal effects, promotional items, souvenirs, and documents….and it documents Nelson’s IRS troubles and how Farm Aid contributions were used….as most of the material was collected by Nelson’s friend Bill Wittliff….who wrote or co-wrote Honeysuckle Rose, Barbarosa and Red Headed Stranger. In 2014, Nelson donated his personal collection to the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. The items include photographs, correspondence, song manuscripts, posters, certificate records, awards, signed books, screenplays, personal items and gifts and tributes from Nelson’s fans.
Music – 2020 – Otis Gibbs Tells Willie Nelson Stories – “Out Of His Mind And Starving In Nashville”
Music – 2020 – Otis Gibbs Tells Willie Nelson Stories – “The Making Of Shotgun Willie”
Music – 2020 – Otis Gibbs Tells Willie Nelson Stories – “The Legend Of Poodie Loche”
In April 2010, Nelson received the “Feed the Peace” award from The Nobelity Project for his extensive work with Farm Aid and overall contributions to world peace. On June 23, 2010, he was inducted into the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry. Nelson is an honorary trustee of the Dayton International Peace Museum. In 2010, Austin, Texas renamed Second Street to Willie Nelson Boulevard. The city also unveiled a life-size statue to honor him, placed at the entrance of Austin City Limits’ new studio.
Music – 2016 – Willie Nelson – “Someone To Watch Over Me”
Music – 2018 – Willie Nelson – “My Way”
Music – 1973 – Willie Nelson – “Sad Songs And Waltzes”
The non-profit organization Capital Area Statues commissioned sculptor Clete Shields to execute the project. The statue was unveiled on April 20, 2012. The date selected by the city of Austin unintentionally coincided with the number 4/20, associated with cannabis culture. In spite of the coincidence and Nelson’s advocacy for the legalization of marijuana, the ceremony was scheduled also for 4:20 pm. During the ceremony, Nelson performed the song “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die”. The same year, Nelson was honored during the 46th Annual Country Music Association Awards as the 1st recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award….which was also named after him. In 2013, he received an honorary doctorate from the Berklee College of Music…..and the following year, he was part of the inaugural class inducted into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame….while also included among the 1st inductees was his friend Darrell Royal….whose jamming parties that Nelson participated in were the source of inspiration for the show.
Music – 2017 – Bob Dylan + Willie Nelson – “You Win Again”
Music – 2015 – Legends Of Country Special – Willie Nelson + Leon Russell – “The Man And His Music”
For many years, Nelson’s image was marked by his red hair, often divided into two long braids partially concealed under a bandanna….when in the April 2007 issue of Stuff Magazine, Nelson was interviewed about his long locks…..“I started braiding my hair when it started getting too long, and that was, I don’t know, probably in the 70’s.” On May 26, 2010, the Associated Press reported that Nelson had cut his hair…..and Nashville music journalist Jimmy Carter published a photograph of the pigtail-free Nelson on his website….as Nelson wanted a more maintainable hairstyle….as well helping him stay cool more easily at his Maui home. In October 2014, the braids of Nelson were sold for $37,000 at an auction of the Waylon Jennings estate…..after Nelson cut his braids and gave them to Jennings as a gift during a party celebrating Jennings’ sobriety.
Music – 1999 – Willie Nelson & The Family Band Live At Woodstock Concert
Music – 2009 – Willie Nelson – “All Of Me”
Music – 2013 – Willie Nelson + Dolly Parton – “From Here To The Moon And Back”
Nelson’s touring and recording group, the Family, is full of longstanding members….with the original lineup including his sister Bobbie Nelson, drummer Paul English, harmonicist Mickey Raphael, bassist Bee Spears, Billy English (Paul’s younger brother), and Jody Payne…..whereas, the current lineup includes all the members but Jody Payne, who retired, and Bee Spears, who died in 2011. Willie & Family tours North America in the bio-diesel bus Honeysuckle Rose….which is fueled by Bio-Willie…..as Nelson’s tour buses have been customized by Florida Coach since 1979….when the company built the Honeysuckle Rose I in 1983…. which was replaced after a collision in Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1990….but the interior was salvaged and reused for the second version of the bus the same year….then Willie changed his tour bus in 1996, 2005 and 2013….as he is currently touring on the Honeysuckle Rose V.
Talk Show & Music – 2014 – Larry King Interviews Willie Nelson On Honeysuckle Rose
Talk Show & Music – 2018 – The Late Show With Stephen Colbert – Interview With Willie Nelson On His Tour Bus Honeysuckle Rose
Music – 2010 – Willie Nelson Interview For Time Magazine On Honeysuckle Rose – “10 Questions For Willie”
Music – 2014 – Special – While Touring On Honeysuckle Rose – Willie Nelson Shows Sister Bobbie A Card Trick
Talk Show & Music – 2016 – Late Night With Jimmy Fallon – Interview With Willie Nelson On His Tour Bus Honeysuckle Rose
The videos below pretty much sum up the wonderful feelings that we at ImaSportsphile feel with the posting of this story….for here is a man who has given so much to the millions of fans of his music and his heart….as in the 1st video he celebrates a bitter sweet 70th birthday with his long time friends Leon Russell and Ray Charles….while singing Russell’s legendary A Song For You…..as Willie knew Ray was dying and at 4:15 in the video….you can see what a Love and Friendship looks like….for they were friends for over 30 yrs…..and Ray was really speaking directly to Willie…..and Willie knows it and almost breaks down…..what a grand moment…and the look on Willie’s face was priceless….while The Genius Ray Charles moved to clap his praise…..with the purest energy on stage for all to share….as Willie is profoundly struck by what Ray is doing, how he’s doing it….for it is beautifully sad….and then comes the video with Willie just sitting with his two boys playing music….for you can see the unquestionable pride that he has in his boys….as he listens to a song that was written and sung by his son Lucas….when in the middle of the song Lucas says “Take it Dad”…..for it just doesn’t get any better than that in life….and best of all….the song’s title is “Just Outside Of Austin (I Fell In Love With You Again)…..cuz it reminds us all at ImaSportsphile just how lucky we are to have come into our existence in Austin, Tx…..which will always be home to Willie and ImaSportsphile. The 3rd video just personifies the legend of Willie Nelson….as he walks in the park in Austin with his guitar Trigger in hand…..and sits down on a park bench…..while he proceeds to play Rainbow Connection…..which is a song that defines Willie Nelson’s life perfectly….as people gather to sit on the grass and listen to a master of song, guitar and words. I chose the final video of Willie being interviewed by Southern Living Magazine….cuz it provides a wonderful synopsis of Willie’s philosophy of life….which is a good ending to his story. It is our hopes that Willie Nelson continues to do what he has done for the better part of 90 years on this Earth….for he is truly an American Treasure….who has given so much of himself to the world…..as evidenced by the videos posted in his story herewith. Willie Nelson, we thank you for all you are and all you have done.
Music – 2003 – Willie Nelson’s 70th Birthday Party – With Leon Russell + Willie Nelson + Ray Charles – “A Song For You”
Music – 2020 – Lucas Nelson & Dad Willie & Brother Micha – “”Just Outside Of Austin (I Fell In Love With You Again)”
Music – 2020 – Willie Nelson – “Rainbow Connection”
Music – 2017 – Southern Living Interview Of Willie Nelson – On Eggs, Martial Arts And Living Without Worry