Join The Discussion

 

Super PAC Men: How political consultants took a Fort Worth oilman on a wild ride

The head of a Texas oil dynasty joined the parade of wealthy political donors, aiming to flip the Senate to Republicans. By the time consultants were done with him, the war chest was drained and fraud allegations were flying

read more >

Bridge collapse on I-35 north of Austin

SALADO, Texas (AP) — Emergency crews are responding to a reported bridge collapse along an interstate in Central Texas.

read more >

Latin-inspired restaurant set to open in downtown Fort Worth

Downtown Fort Worth’s dining scene is about to get spicier with the opening of a new restaurant featuring Latin-inspired coastal cuisine.

read more >

Amazon begins Prime Now program in Dallas area

If you just have to have it now, as in one hour, you can, at least in the Dallas area, as Amazon.com Inc. announced Thursday it will offer Prime Now.

read more >

Texas jobless rate falls as employers add workers

Texas unemployment fell to 4.3 percent during February for the sixth straight month of declines, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday.

read more >

 

Willie Nelson: The outlaw at 80

 

Todd Leopold

CNN News Wire

(CNN) -- Does the singer come first? Or the songwriter?

Let's start with the songs: "Crazy." "Hello Walls." "Funny How Time Slips Away." "Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground." "On the Road Again."

Just the catalogue alone would qualify him for any number of musical halls of fame -- and, indeed, Willie Nelson is in the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Kennedy Center Honors. He has a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Country Music Association, the first it ever presented. They decided to name it for him.

Then there's the voice, that baritone as smooth as fine whiskey, capable of jaunty sing-alongs, angry despair, pensive melancholy. Amazingly, his delivery was once considered too unusual for Nashville, with a start-stop phrasing that skipped around the beat. Now it's as welcome as his other voice, the well-worn Martin N-20 acoustic guitar he calls "Trigger."

Add to that Willie Nelson the man.

He's the man who co-created Farm Aid, the annual festival that has raised more than $43 million to help farm families. (That got him into the Agricultural Hall of Fame.) He started BioWillie, which makes fuel out of soy and vegetable oils. He has a street named for him in Austin, Texas, his home since the early 1970s.

He's still at it, raising money for the victims of the West, Texas, explosion. West is not far from Abbott, where Nelson was born.

OK, Willie Nelson isn't without flaw. He's been busted for marijuana on more than one occasion. He hasn't always been faithful to his wives; his first one famously tied a passed-out Nelson in a bedsheet and beat him with a broom handle. He had a little tax problem with the IRS and put out a 1992 album called "The IRS Tapes: Who'll Buy My Memories?" to pay his multimillion-dollar debts.

But who would want a flawless Willie Nelson?

On Tuesday, Willie Nelson turns 80. He'll be playing music, of course -- the Germain Arena in Estero, Florida, according to his website. What else would he do?

"I seem to be happier when I'm working," he told The New York Times in 1995. "I tend to get into trouble with too much time on my hands."

That's OK, Willie. We hope you never stop.

 

< back

Email   email
hide
Catch
How 'bout them Cowboys?