Willie Nelson

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About Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson is one of the most groundbreaking, history-making country artists to have emerged in the 20th century, a key architect of the Nashville Sound of the ’60s and the outlaw-country movement in the ’70s. Born in Abbott, TX, in 1933 and influenced as much by jazz standards as country, he first found fame as a songwriter, penning standards of his own like the Patsy Cline smash “Crazy” and the Faron Young evergreen “Hello Walls.” Willie’s upbringing on Western swing’s boundary-busting jazz-country blend became an important ingredient of the special sauce he cooked up with the rough ’n’ ready outlaw-country template on mid-’70s albums like Shotgun Willie, Phases and Stages, and Red Headed Stranger, infusing the records with honky-tonk spirit and rock ’n’ roll attitude. Later, usually backed by his stalwart road band The Family, Willie brought his serpentine, swinging croon and Django Reinhardt-goes-cowboy guitar sound to explorations of the Great American Songbook (Stardust), gospel, and more. One of country’s most influential artists, the indefatigable road dog maintained a relentless recording and touring pace into his nineties.

Abbott, TX, United States
April 30, 1933
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