July 13, 2024

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Solo leveling artist Willie Nelson – Anyway you look at it, he is a music icon, keeps on recording: Videos, Photos

It seems like Willie Nelson has been on the road again for as long as anyone can remember. But then, his web site does say to “Check back often. Willie is always on the road again.” Currently, his Outlaw Music Fest is making the rounds with such luminaries as Bob Dylan, Robert Plant & Allison Krauss, John Mellencamp, The Willie Nelson Family, and others.

Willie is 91 and seemingly has no plans to stop performing any time soon. He has plans for Willie’s 4th of July Picnic in the Philadelphia area at the Freedom Mortgage Pavilion in Camden, NJ.

The only thing that may keep Willie from performing is his health. It was announced June 27, 2024, he has canceled a performance in Virginia Beach scheduled. The Outlaw Fest will go on with the other scheduled performers and Willie’s Family band led by son Lukas Nelson filling in for him.

Willie Nelson’s team says the performance was canceled under doctor’s orders. They “expect Willie to return to the tour shortly.”

Willie Nelson cancels another Outlaw Music Festival Tour performance

Willie was among the ten Solo Living Artists inducted into the Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame over the weekend of April 19 and 20, 2024. It was just the latest in series of honors that include induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame (1993), the Kennedy Center Honors (1998), induction into the National Agricultural Hall of Fame for his labor in Farm Aid and other fundraisers to benefit farmers, the Gershwin Prize (2015), the lifetime award of the Library of Congress, and induction into The Texas Institute of Letters for his songwriting. And just last year, Willie joined fellow country music star Johnny Cash in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

KVAN in Vancouver, Washington hired Willie in the mid-1950s and it was there he recorded his first record – “No Place For Me” – in 1956. His music career got off to an inauspicious start as the record did not do well. After a number of other setbacks, he quit the music business for a year and worked as a dishwasher and then sold vacuum cleaners and bibles door-to-door.

After living in Texas for a couple of years, he moved to Nashville in 1960. It was there Willie wrote songs that soon became hits for other artists, including “Hello Walls” for Faron Young, “Night Life” for Ray Price, “Pretty Paper” for Roy Orbison, and perhaps most famously, “Crazy” for Patsy Cline.

Willie had some modest success in the next decade but once again retired from music. He was frustrated by lagging record sales and poor tour performances. A move to Austin, Texas in 1972, however, rejuvenated him. It was in Austin he found acceptance for his brand of country music that included folk and jazz influences. Teaming with Waylon Jennings and later Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson (The Highwaymen), Willie created what has since become known as Outlaw Music. The hits followed.

Willie Nelson's Team Shares New Health Update After String Of Show  Cancellations

“You Were Always On My Mind,” “Mamas Don’t Let Your Baby’s Grow Up To Be Cowboys” (written and previously performed by Ed Bruce), “Pancho & Lefty” (with Merle Haggard), “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before” (with Julio Iglesias), and, of course, “On The Road Again” all became signature songs for Willie in the late 70s through the mid-80s. He also began supporting charitable causes such as Live Aid and started Farm Aid in 1985. He also has been a staunch supporter and advocate for such causes as marijuana legalization, the use of biofuels, animal welfare, and LGBTQ rights.

Anyway you look at it, Willie Nelson is a music icon. He keeps on recording – 75 albums to date – and keeps on performing. Hopefully his absence from performing will be brief. Expectations are he needs only a few days rest to recover. It is likely he will keep on touring and holding his annual 4th of July Picnics for as long as he is able. After all, the life he loves truly is making music with his friends.

Yet, when the time comes to stop – as it inevitably does for all of us – don’t be surprised if he repeats what he said at the end of his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony: “Thanks for appreciating my music.”

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