With a huge announcement this week, Willie Nelson is hitting the road again, which you can read about here. I wanted to do a deep dive into Willie's past and see all of the things you can learn about a guy, who's seen and done it all. From performing in front of thousands of fans, being an activist, writing books, and acting in movies, it makes you wonder how he's had enough time for all of it. Did you know he wrote his first song at the age of 7? Which is actually a great place to start.

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1. Willie has written over 2,500 songs. It's just kind of strange, some of his most popular songs were covers.

2. Willie Nelson has appeared in more than 25 films. One of my favorite appearances has to be when he appeared in the Dukes of Hazzard release in the year 2005.

3. He used to be a Bible salesman. Not only did he sell the bible he was also a disc jockey.

4. He tried to retire in 1972. Good thing for country music fans, it didn't last long.

5. In 1985 he co-founded Farm Aid. These organized festivals to raise money for farmers.

6. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1993.

7. He has two birthdays. Sort of... the hospital staff had a problem with the paperwork and it wasn't completed until after midnight. He now just celebrates his birthday for 2 days every year.

8. His first job as a musician was in a polka band. They were called Bohemian Polka 

9. Last year he and his wife Annie celebrated 30 years of marriage. They were married on September 16, 1991, in Nashville.

10. He and his sister Bobbie were raised by their grandparents. His mother left after he was born and his father remarried and moved on soon after.

11. His Grandfather got him started on guitar. He bought him his first guitar when he was 6.

12. He wrote the song "On the Road Again" on an airplane barf bag. He originally was writing the song for a movie.

13. He's been playing the same guitar for 50 years. His famous guitar known as "Trigger" has had to have some work done on the inside but for the most part, is still hanging in there.

14. He's taken home 13 Grammys. 7 from the American Music Awards, 10 CMA Awards, and 5 Academy of Country Music Awards to go along with the Grammys.

15. He and Merle Haggard recorded Haggard's last album.

16. His grandmother would "tether" Willie to a pole when he was a toddler, to prevent him from wandering off. "Don’t know where I’d have gone if I could have, but I had the itch early on–the itch to look beyond the end of the road,” Nelson said 

17. Nelson enlisted in the Air Force in 1950. He had a short-lived military career due to persistent back problems.

18. He smoked pot on the roof of the white house.

19. He is worth $25 million dollars. This number was surprising to me as it looks a little low for the country music icon. Turns out in 1990 the IRS claimed Willie had unpaid taxes and owed $32 million. His lawyer did eventually get that amount to be lowered to $16 million

20. He and his son, Lukas, covered Pearl Jam's "Just Breathe." This video has been watched almost 20 million times on youtube.


Jess' article is linked at the top of the page for any information you need about his latest tour announcement. One of the all-time great performers and songwriters of this century is going to keep at it, at 88 years old.


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