START A PETITION34,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
Group Discussions
  Surprise Me
| track thread
« Back to topics
Born This Day (4/30) ... Happy Birthday Willie Nelson!
5 years ago
| Surprise Me

Willie Nelson Biography <~~ see videos


Full name: Willie Hugh Nelson


Singer, songwriter, actor, and philanthropist. Born on April 30, 1933, in Abbott, Texas. During his extensive career, Willie Nelson has written more than 2,500 songs and has released close to 300 albums. He is recognized worldwide as an American troubadour and icon, transcended musical genres, and has remained relevant through five decades through his music, his acting, and as the face of such social causes as Farm Aid, development of bio-diesel, and the legalization of Hemp.


The son of Myrle and Ira D. Nelson, Willie Nelson and his older sister Bobbie were raised by their paternal grandparents during The Great Depression. With their grandmother, Willie and Bobbie attended their town's small Methodist church where they were first exposed to music. "The first music we learned was from the hymnbooks. Willie had such a beautiful voice," his sister Bobbie told Texas Monthly in 2008. Both grandparents loved music and encouraged Willie and his sister to play. Nelson's famous gospel song "Family Bible" refects the influence of his musical beginnings. He sold the song for $50 to his guitar teacher.


Nelson got his first guitar at the early age of six and soon started writing his own songs. A few years later, he played his first professional gig with a local polka band. Nelson later joined Bud Fletcher and the Texans and played the local club circuit. Also in the group was his sister Bobbie, who played piano. She later married Bud Fletcher. One of his early inspirations was Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys—a group known for their upbeat country dance music, which included some elements of swing.


After graduating high school in 1950, Nelson went into the U.S. Air Force. He did not last long, however. Stationed in Lackland in San Antonio, Texas, Nelson had to leave the service because of back problems. He tried college, attending Baylor University for a time. To make ends meet, Nelson took on odd jobs, including selling encyclopedias door to door.


Dropping out, Nelson worked as a radio disc jockey for several years and played gigs in his spare time. He continued writing songs, producing some of his most famous works—inclucing "Night Life," "Crazy," and "Funny How Time Slips Away"—in the late 1950s.


In 1960, Nelson moved to the country music capital: Nashville, Tennessee. He got a job as a songwriter for Pamper Music, earning about $50 a week. The next year, two of Nelson's songs become hits for other artists—Faron Young's version of "Hello Walls" and Patsy Cline's legendary rendition of "Crazy." His first album was released the next year without generating much notice. More

5 years ago

I don't think there's a Willie song I like more than this one...

This thread is archived. To reply to it you must re-activate it.

New to Care2? Start Here.