Tuesday, April 30, 2013

WILLIE NELSON - 80th Birthday Tribute

'Cause God blessed Texas with His own hand. Brought down angels from the promised land. - Little Texas

And one of those angels was Willie Nelson!

Happy Birthday Willie!

Eighty years old! That’s a long time to live through some of the things Willie Nelson has seen and done… if you’re to believe half of what the media has reported. With the exception of a couple of things, I believe Mr. Nelson has taken everything in his laid-back style we have come to love. I mean, seriously, who doesn't want to have his kind of existence. He is one of the greatest songwriters to ever grace our planet, has a voice most of today’s artists only wish they’d been blessed with, is passionate about music, causes he believes in, his family, friends and fans (over 238,000 on twitter). Most people have to die before they get the become immortalized in a statue. To top it off, he has his own town! He is a true Living Legend!

Of all the people I know, or have had the pleasure of meeting in this business over the years, Willie Nelson is probably the most comfortable in his own skin. He does pretty much what he pleases, doesn’t hurt anyone in the process and is loved and admired by probably more people than the President. Speaking of, do you know how many times his name has come up for holding the auspicious office? I don’t either, but you can bet he’d have a large voter turn-out. That has nothing to do with legalizing recreational substances, but more about his over-all beliefs in the things this country needs to get back on track and stand strong.

Willie Nelson may be perceived as having multiple characteristics. The man is smart and he’s philosophical. His opinions are based on lots of time to think, to read and to discuss the things that pique his interest. He doesn't speak without thinking and he doesn't talk to hear himself. I’d give almost anything to sit and visit with him again.

I met Willie Nelson several years ago when he performed at the Heart of Illinois Fair in Peoria IL. I was in the process of getting autographs on a picture quilt for the UCP telethon in Nashville. I've only been nervous about meeting one celebrity in my entire life… and it was not Willie Nelson. Stepping onto his bus was I’m sure, like walking in the front door of his home  - warm and welcoming. I instantly felt at ease in his presence.

Over the years, he has worked with a wide range of people, crossing genres in music, television and books. The list of artists he has worked with over the past almost sixty years is too long for this column. But it is my opinion the multiple genres he has infused himself with and into show him to be a true Texan. I think, for him it isn't about ‘country’ music. It’s about the MUSIC as a whole. Whether he’s doing something with Snoop Dog or Kris Kristofferson doesn't matter. What I think does matter is that it’s the best product that can come of the collaboration and touch people. Music is universal. And because of this, Willie Nelson is the best Ambassador of Good Will we will ever have.

Country Blessings, Willie Nelson.
aka The Country Angel

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