Friday, April 29, 2016

Happy Birthday Willie

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday, dear Willie...

glad to type that, and see that Willie is still going strong.

Some 30 years ago, Willie gave me due to a gig at the Hallenstadion in Zurich, my first front page story and picture in one of the biggest Sunday newspapers in Switzerland. A week earlier, I was able to interview and shoot him at the legendary Wembley Arena in London, where he was part of a three day country music festival over the Easter weekend. This and a personal favor while in Switzerland - not what you are thinking - I simply organized him a gym where he could go and work out, without being bothered, led to a great friendship with his late tour manager Poodie Locke. After moving to Austin, I was able to go see Willie and "Trigger" when ever I wanted. So thanks for still being around, for still pickin' and grinnin'...

A couple of weeks ago, Loretta Lynn turned 84 and just had a brand mew album "Full Circle" out. Hard to believe that both Willie and her with 50+ year careers, never recorded together before. The two octogenarians hit it off on the first take and duet beautifully on this album. Even though their collaboration "Lay Me Down" deals with mortality, it's amazing to see the "joie de vivre" in their performance. The video was shot at the Ryman Auditorium, the original Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

Loretta Lynn & Willie Nelson

I actually don't know of any other artist in every music genre that has recorded more duet songs with such a variety of artists. From Toots & The Maytals and U2, beyond Bob Dylan and Matchbox20 to all the regular country "suspects" as well as from his first wife Shirley Collie, Norah Jones, Julio Iglesias and Tony Bennett, just to name a few.
Less than a year ago, Willie and the late Merle Haggard had a number-one country music album with their duet album "Django & Jimmie," not only honoring Reinhardt and Rogers, but also the Man in Black "Missing Johnny Cash." Well "all the whiskey in Lynchburg, Tennessee just couldn't hit the spot, it's all going to pot..."

Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson

Celebrating same more herbal medicine, the original gangster and birthday boy together with Snoop Dog.

Celebrating same more herbal medicine, the original gangster and birthday boy together with Snoop Dog.
So celebrate like Willie would (will), today and while you are listening to the below concert, recorded on June, 7th, 2000 at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, come up in the comments with some duets Willie did that belong to your favorites.

Willie Nelson & Family Live in Amsterdam

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