The one and only

Willie Nelson

"Wilie is such a spiritual person and you can just see that in the way he sits sometimes and just stares out into the open," Raphael said. "We will be having some major problem, that was probably never a major problem and he just diffuses it and is like don't worry, there's nothing to worry about because you don't have any control. I wish I could have as much inner peace. I tend to worry about stuff and time after time he's prods it. Even though I haven't got it yet. He'll say here's something to really worry about and he'll give me something to worry about just to prove a point. He's always teaching. If we can just glean a few things, the lessons are there."     Mickey Raphael

 

 
B.B. KING BLUES HERO AWARD

 
In his long and eclectic career, Willie Nelson has recorded country music, standards, gospel, and much
more.  He was honored at the House of Blues with the 2000 B.B. King Blues Hero Award.  The award
is presented annually to an artist whose career has been characterized by community service and
charitable activity.   This "voice of America" was born on April 30, 1933 in the small town of Abbott, TX.
It was here at the age of six, that Nelson received a Stella guitar from his grandfather, and began play-
ing music.  At this young age Nelson found musical inspiration in the western Swing of Texas' own Bob
Wills and Earnest Tubb, along with Grand Ole Opry, Big Band, and the popular 1940's crooning of Frank
Sinatra.  In addition to these, Nelson claims influence from New Orleans Jazz, and the Gospel and
Southern Blues that surrounded his home and lifestyle.

"I was raised and worked in the cotton fields around Abbott with a lot of African-Americans and a lot of
Mexican-Americans, and we listened to their music all the time.  I guess that's why I was influenced a
lot by those around me--there was a lot of singing that went on in the cotton fields."

Willie Nelson made a name for himself in the early 1960's by writing hits for country stars like
"Crazy" for Patsy Cline and "Nite Life" for Ray Price.  But when the Nashville sound became too
overproduced for Nelson (and his home outside the city burned down), he decided to move back
to Texas and work on performing his own songs while also pairing down the recordings to make a
simpler, more unique sound.  This decision not only created the Texas Folk-County that he is
known for, but also put Austin on the map as a musical city.  Willie hit it big in 1975 with the pivotal
album, RED HEADED STRANGER.  Over 200 albums and 25 years later, Willie Nelson still works
to create music that includes a hybrid of genres and continually racks up awards and praises,
including his 1993 induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

In 1985, Nelson launched the first Farm Aid 
concert fund.  The much needed, yearly
benefit concert helps raise money and
give back to our Farmers.

 

Austin, Texas music fun

 

Willie and Ray Charles

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