Willie Nelson Biography
Willie Nelson is an American country music singer, songwriter, actor, author, poet, and activist. He was born on April 29, 1933 as Willie Hugh Nelson. Following the success of his albums such as Shotgun Willie, released in 1973, Red Headed Stranger, released in 1975 and Stardust, released in 1978, he became one of the most renowned artists in country music scene. He was one of the main figures of a subgenre of country music called outlaw country that developed in the late 60s as a reaction to the conservative restrictions of the Nashville sound.
Besides his singing career, he has also has acted in more than 30 films, is the co-author of several books, and is actively involved in activism for the legalization of marijuana and the use of biofuels as well. He was born during the Great Depression in Abbott, Texas, United States of America as the son of Myrle Marie and Ira Doyle Nelson. He is of Irish, English, and Cherokee descent and was raised by his grandparents. It was there he developed his passion for music and sang gospel songs. He wrote his first song when he was just seven years old and joined his first band at ten.
While he was still in Abbott High School, he toured locally as the lead singer and guitar player of a band called Bohemian Polka. Upon his high school graduation in 1950, he joined the Air Force but was later discharged due to back problems. Then he attended Baylor University for two years but eventually dropped out because his musical career was on the rise. He worked as a disc jockey in Texas radio stations and a singer in honky tonks. He moved to Vancouver, Washington, and it was there he wrote "Family Bible" and recorded the song "Lumberjack" in 1956. Two years later in 1958, on signing a contract with D Records, he moved back to Houston, Texas. He worked as a disk jockey and sang at the Esquire Ballroom every week. It was then he wrote songs such as "Hello Walls", "Funny How Time Slips Away", "Crazy" and "Pretty Paper". He moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1960 and on signing a contract with Pamper Music, he joined Ray Price's band as a bassist.
His first album, …And Then I Wrote was recorded and released in 1962 and following its success, he with RCA Victor signed in 1964 and the next year, joined the Grand Ole Opry. With numerous mid-chart hits in the late 60s and the early 70s, he retired in 1972 and moved to Austin, Texas. But that wasn’t the end of his career, with the rise of the popularity of hippie music in Austin, he was motivated to return from retirement and thus frequently performed at the Armadillo World Headquarters. He signed with Atlantic Records in 1973, and came up with albums such as Shotgun Willie and Phases and Stages. He switched to Columbia Records in 1975, and he recorded the critically acclaimed album, Red Headed Stranger and Wanted! The Outlaws. His album’s success followed suit with Honeysuckle Rose. The next decade, he toured extensively, and also released albums every year.
Willie married Martha Matthews in 1952 and had three children: Lana Susie and Billy (died by suicide in 1991). With Martha assaulting Wille several times, their marriage was marked by violence and thus they separated in 1962. Then in 1963, Nelson got married to Shirley Collie. They divorced in 1971 and he married Connie Koepke the same year. They have daughters, Paula Carlene and Amy Lee. He divorce in 1988, and married, Annie D'Angelo, in 1991. They have two sons, Lukas Autry and Jacob Micah. More on him is available in his detailed and recent bio in the Wikipedia.