Willie Nelson

Artist Note

Willie Nelson's Website



Willie Hugh Nelson (/w?li n?ls?n/; born April 29, 1933) is an American country music singer-songwriter, as well as an author, poet, actor, and activist. The critical success of the album Shotgun Willie (1973), combined with the critical and commercial success of Red Headed Stranger (1975) and Stardust (1978), made Nelson one of the most recognized artists in country music. He was one of the main figures of outlaw country, a subgenre of country music that developed in the late 1960s as a reaction to the conservative restrictions of the Nashville sound. Nelson has acted in over 30 films, co-authored several books, and has been involved in activism for the use of biofuels and the legalization of marijuana.Born during the Great Depression, and raised by his grandparents, Nelson wrote his first song at age seven and joined his first band at ten. During high school, he toured locally with the Bohemian Polka as their lead singer and guitar player. After graduating from high school, in 1950, he joined the Air Force but was later discharged due to back problems. After his return, 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 tonks. Nelson moved to Vancouver, Washington, where he wrote "Family Bible" and recorded the song "Lumberjack" in 1956. In 1958, he moved to Houston, Texas after signing a contract with D Records. He sang at the Esquire Ballroom weekly and he worked as a disk jockey. 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. Due to this success, Nelson signed in 1964 with RCA Victor and joined the Grand Ole Opry the following year. After mid-chart hits in the late 1960s and the early 1970s, Nelson retired in 1972 and moved to Austin, Texas. The rise of the popularity of hippie music in Austin motivated Nelson to return from retirement, performing frequently at the Armadillo World Headquarters.In 1973, after signing with Atlantic Records, Nelson turned to outlaw country, including 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. The same year, he recorded another outlaw country album, Wanted! The Outlaws, along with Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser. During the mid-1980s, 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 & Lefty", he joined the country supergroup The Highwaymen, along with fellow singers Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson. In 1990 Nelson's assets were seized by the Internal Revenue Service, which claimed that he owed US $32,000,000. It was later discovered that his accountants, Price Waterhouse, did not pay Nelson's taxes for years. The difficulty of paying his outstanding debt was aggravated by weak investments he had made during the 1980s. In 1991, Nelson released The IRS Tapes: Who'll Buy My Memories?; by 1993, the profits of the double album, destined to the IRS, and the auction of Nelson's assets cleared his debt. During the 1990s and 2000s, Nelson continued touring extensively, and released albums every year. Reviews ranged from positive to mixed. He explored genres such as reggae, blues, jazz, and folk. Nelson made his first movie appearance in the 1979 film The Electric Horseman, followed by other appearances in movies and on television.Nelson is a major liberal activist and the co-chair of the advisory board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, 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. Nelson is also the honorary chairman of the Advisory Board of the Texas Music Project, the official music charity of the state of Texas.

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  • On the Road Again: The Best of Willie Nelson, 2010
  • The Sound in Your Mind, 1976
  • Hill Country Christmas, 1997
  • Heroes, 2012
  • Always: 20 Superb Songs, 1996
  • Christmas With Willie Nelson, 1997
  • Picture in a Frame, 2004
  • The Party's Over and Other Great Willie Nelson Songs, 1967
  • Rainbow Connection, 2001
  • Classic & Unreleased
  • Playlist: The Very Best of Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson, 2012
  • Stardust, 1999
  • You Don't Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker, 2006
  • Revolutions of Time... The Journey 1975-1993, 1995
  • The Electric Horseman, 1979
  • Phases and Stages, 1974
  • Always on My Mind, 1982
  • Love Songs, 1987
  • Naked Willie, 2009
  • Tougher Than Leather
  • The Platinum Collection, 2008
  • Lost Highway, 2009
  • Face of a Fighter
  • Things to Remember
  • Yesterday's Wine, 1971
  • Remember Me, Volume 1, 2011
  • Live And Kickin', 2003
  • The Promiseland, 1986
  • Me & Paul, 1985
  • To Lefty From Willie, 2003
  • Country Willie: His Own Songs, 1965
  • City of New Orleans, 1984
  • Home Is Where You're Happy
  • Pretty Paper, 1979
  • Standard Time
  • December Day (Willie's Stash, Volume 1), 2014
  • America's Troubadour, 2005
  • One for the Road
  • Willie Nelson's Greatest Hits (& Some That Will Be)
  • All the Songs I've Loved Before
  • Waylon & Willie, 2008
  • Honeysuckle Rose, 1980
  • The Best of Gospel
  • Shotgun Willie, 1987
  • Two Men With the Blues, 2008
  • Evergreens
  • Willie Nelson Live, 1998
  • The Best of Johnny Cash & Willie Nelson, 2001
  • Is There Something on Your Mind
  • Songbird, 2006
  • Natural Renegade, 2007
  • Nite Life: Greatest Hits & Rare Tracks (1959-1971)
  • 16 Biggest Hits, 1998
  • Teatro, 1998
  • The Best of Willie Nelson
  • The Early Times, 1999
  • Live From Austin TX, 2006
  • Run That by Me One More Time, 2003
  • The Greatest Hits: 38 Timeless Classics, 1995
  • Good Ol' Country Singin', 2000
  • The Eyes of Texas, 2002
  • Nashville Was the Roughest...
  • ... And Then I Wrote, 1962
  • Super Hits, Volume 2, 1995
  • Playlist: The Very Best of Willie Nelson, 2008
  • Outlaws
  • Healing Hands of Time, 1994
  • Legendary Willie Nelson
  • Night Life, 2004
  • Sweet Memories: 36 All-Time Favorites, Volume 2
  • The Words Don't Fit The Picture, 1972
  • His Very Best, 2002
  • Half Nelson, 1985
  • Two Men With The Blues [Borders Exclusive]
  • Sings Kristofferson, 1979
  • Let's Face the Music and Dance, 2013
  • Classic Willie
  • Pancho & Lefty, 2003
  • Willie Waylon Kris & Cash, 1991
  • Gold, 1993
  • The Troublemaker, 1976
  • 2001: Farm Aid
  • Live, 1976
  • Stars & Guitars, 2002
  • It Always Will Be, 2004
  • Certified Hits, 2001
  • Country Favorites Willie Nelson Style, 2000
  • 20 Country Classics
  • Across the Borderline, 1993
  • Last of the Breed, 2007
  • Crazy: The Demo Sessions, 2003
  • A Country Christmas
  • Covered by Willie, 2006
  • Gospel Favorites, 1995
  • WW II, 1982
  • Here We Go Again, 2011
  • The Winning Hand, 1982
  • 20th Century Masters: The Christmas Collection: The Best of Willie Nelson, 2005
  • Willie Nelson: 3 CD Set (disc 3: Crazy), 2005
  • To All The Girls..., 2013
  • Without a Song
  • Songbook, 2003
  • Greatest Songs
  • Burning Memories, 1997
  • Love And Pain, 1984
  • Country Music, 2010
  • Across the Tracks: The Best of Willie Nelson, 1987
  • San Antonio Rose, 1980
  • Six Hours at Pedernales (feat. Curtis Potter), 1995
  • Red Headed Stranger, 1990
  • Honky Tonk Heroes, 2000
  • Every Song Tells a Story, 2013
  • Band of Brothers, 2014
  • Countryman, 2005
  • December Days
  • All of Me, 2002
  • Original Album Classics, 2011
  • A Horse Called Music, 1989
  • Live Country Music Concert
  • iTunes Originals, 2005
  • Blame It On The Times
  • 16 Top Tracks, 1988
  • Texas in My Soul, 1968
  • Seashores of Old Mexico, 1987
  • Outlaws and Angels, 2004
  • Moonlight Becomes You
  • So Much To Do
  • Milk Cow Blues, 2000
  • Who'll Buy My Memories? The IRS Tapes, 1992
  • All Time Greatest Hits, Volume 1
  • Walking the Line, 1987
  • The Outlaws, 1977
  • Me and the Drummer
  • Whiskey River and Other Hits, 2003
  • Willie and the Wheel, 2010
  • Born for Trouble, 1990
  • Setlist: The Very Best of Willie Nelson Live, 2010
  • Country Willie, 2002
  • Willie Nelson, 1995
  • The Best Of
  • Songs, 2005
  • The Complete Atlantic Sessions, 2006
  • Collections
  • Who Do I Know in Dallas, 2007
  • Shotgun Willie / Phases and Stages, 1993
  • The Willie Nelson Special: With Special Guest Ray Charles, 2002
  • 1975-02-26: Panther Hall, Fort Worth Texas
  • Just One Love, 1996
  • The Essential Willie Nelson, 2003
  • Super Hits, 2006
  • The Early Years, 1994
  • Clean Shirt, 1991
  • Here's Willie Nelson, 1963
  • Any Old Arms Won't Do, 1992
  • Nacogdoches, 2004
  • Exodus
  • What a Wonderful World
  • Night and Day, 2000
  • Before His Time, 1977
  • Legend: The Best Of, 2008
  • It's Been Rough and Rocky Travelin': The Earliest Willie Nelson 1954 - 1963
  • Laying My Burdens Down, 1970
  • The Great Divide, 2002
  • Both Sides Now, 1970
  • Willie Nelson & Friends: Live At Third Man Records, 2013
  • 1993-09-03: Ras G Vaults #3
  • Good Times, 1969
  • Smokin' at the Paradiso: Live in Amsterdam, 2004
  • Backtracks, 2009
  • American Classic, 2009
  • Live in Concert: Back to Back
  • Willie Nelson (live), 1995
  • VH1 Storytellers, 1998
  • Legendary Country Singers, 1995
  • The Many Sides of Willie Nelson
  • Island in the Sea, 1987
  • Essential Willie Nelson
  • It's Magic, 2007
  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow, 1981
  • Box of Willie Nelson
  • Spirit, 1996
  • The Willie Way, 1972
  • The Country Collection, 2005
  • Moment of Forever, 2008

This entry is automatically sourced from Musicbrainz external link, the public domain music database. Visit the Willie Nelson external link page on Musicbrainz to correct or update this entry. Any changes made to the article will not be immediately available here. The ABC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

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Willie Nelson

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On Jul 27, 2009. 7:23am
The Other Farrelly Brother said

I am amazed it took Willie and Asleep At The Wheel so long to record together but it was worth it.

On Dec 18, 2011. 1:02pm
Courage said

Willie's been around for 'ever'... and still has the goods!

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