Willie Nelson

Induction Year: 1973

Birth Name: Willie HughNelson
Birth Date: April 30, 1933
Place of Birth: Abbott, TX


Former Occupations:
Cotton picker
Encyclopedia salesman
Saddle maker
Vacuum cleaner salesman
Disc jockey
U.S. Air Force (during the Korean War)

High School--Abbott High School (graduated in 1951)
College--Baylor University (studied agriculture and business)
College--Waco University (from 3/54 to 7/54)


Discography / Career Highlights

Career Milestones:

1939--got his first guitar and started learning music from his grandparents who were learning trough mail-order courses
1940--began writing songs
1943--joined John Raycjeck's Bohemian Polka Band on a part-time basis
1949--first published song "Pullamo" with Sophisticate Music
1955--began broadcasting a radio show in Washington state featuring a half-hour live set by his own band
1956--recorded first record, "No Place For Me" in Vancouver; record was self-financed
1960--moved to Nashville
1961--Patsy Cline recorded "Crazy"; the song reached #1
1962--first success as a singer when "Willingly" and "Touch Me," duets with second wife Shirley Collie, reached the Top 10
1964--Grand Ole Opry debut on November 28
1970--returned to Texas
1972--began hosting the Fourth of July picnic concerts in Austin, TX
1973--breakthrough album "Shotgun Willie" released
1975--album "Red-Headed Stranger" released; included hit "Blue Eyes Crying In the Rain" and helped to establish Nelson as one of the top artists in country music
1980--first movie role in "Electric Horseman"
1980--first starring role in a film in "Honeysuckle Rose"
1985--song "Highwayman," featuring Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, and Johnny Cash (as The Highwaymen) went to #1;


1975--Grammy\Best Country Vocal Performance, Male\Blue Eyes Crying In the Rain

1976--CMA\Single of the Year (with Waylon Jennings)\Good Hearted Woman

1976--CMA\Album of the Year (with Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter and Tompall Glaser)\Wanted: The Outlaws

1976--CMA\Vocal Duo of the Year (with Waylon Jennings)

1978--Grammy\Best Country Vocal Performance, Male\Georgia On My Mind

1978--Grammy\Best Country Vocal Performance By a Duo or Group (with Waylon Jennings)\Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys

1979--CMA\Entertainer of the Year

1979--ACM\Entertainer of the Year

1980--Grammy\Best Country Song\On the Road Again

1982--Grammy\Best Country Vocal Performance, Male\Always On My Mind

1982--CMA\Single of the Year\Always On My Mind

1982--CMA\Album of the Year\Always On My Mind

1982--ACM\Album of the Year\Always On My Mind

1983--CMA\Vocal Duo of the Year (with Merle Haggard)

1983--Playboy\Hall of Fame induction

1983--National Academy of Popular Music\Lifetime Achievement\first country artist ever honored with this award and fourth only recipient

1984--CMA\Vocal Duo of the Year (with Julio Iglesias)

1984--ACM\Single of the Year\To All the Girls I've Loved Before

1984--ACM\Tex Ritter Award\songwriter with Kris Kristofferson

1989--Grammy\Living Legends Award

1993--Country Music Hall of Fame induction

Catalog Highlights:

"Crazy" - Artists: Patsy Cline (1962), Linda Ronstadt (1977)

"On the Road Again" - Artists: Willie Nelson (1980)

"Hello Walls" - Artists: Faron Young (1961)

"Good Hearted Woman" - Co-writer: Waylon Jennings, Artists: Waylon Jennings (1972), Waylon & Willie (1976)

"Funny How Time Slips Away" - Artists: Billy Walker (1961), Narvel Felts (1975)

"Night Life" - Artists: Ray Price (1963), Claude Gray (1968), Danny Davis/Willie Nelson/The Nashville Brass (1980)

"Family Bible"- Artists: Claude Gray (1960), George Jones (1961)


Due to financial situation in the late 1950s, Nelson sold the song "Family Bible" for $50 and "Night Life" for $150



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