Today in Country Music April 30th featuring Willie Nelson
Today in Country Music Monday, April 30
On this day in 2011, Reba, The Band Perry and Taylor Swift were tweeting on behalf of friends and loved ones in Alabama, Georgia And Tennessee, after one of the worst tornado outbreaks in history.
Today in 2007, Shania Twain announced a new fragrance with Coty called "Shania Starlight."
Faith Hill's "Piece Of My Heart," a cover of the Janis Joplin pop hit, became her second country #1 in 1994.
And happy birthday wishes go out to music icon Willie Nelson who turns 79 years old today… Nelson was born in Abbott, Texas.
Willie Hugh Nelson (born April 30, 1933) singer-songwriter, as well as an author, poet, actor, and activist. The critical success of the album Shotgun Willie (1973), combined with the critical and commercial success of Red Headed Stranger (1975) and Stardust (1978), made Nelson one of the most recognized artists in country music. He was one of the main figures of outlaw country, a subgenre of country music that developed at the end of the 1960s as a reaction to the conservative restrictions of the Nashville sound. Nelson has acted in over 30 films, co-authored several books, and has been involved in activism for the use of biofuels and the legalization of marijuana.
In 1956, Nelson moved to Vancouver, Washington to begin his formal musical career. His first record, "No Place For Me" included Leon Payne's "Lumberjack" on the b-side, but was not successful. Nelson continued working as a radio announcer and singing in Vancouver clubs. He sold the song "Family Bible" for US$50 to a guitar instructor, and the song turned into a hit for Claude Gray in 1960. Nelson moved to Nashville in 1960, but no label signed him. Although most of his demos were rejected, thanks to his songwriting and Hank Cochran's help, he signed a publishing contract with Pamper Music. After Ray Price recorded Nelson's "Night Life", Nelson joined Price's touring band as a bass player. While playing with Price and the Cherokee Cowboys, Nelson's songs became hits for other artists, including "Funny How Time Slips Away" (Billy Walker), "Hello Walls" (Faron Young), "Pretty Paper" (Roy Orbison), and, most famously, "Crazy" (Patsy Cline), which became the biggest jukebox hit of all time. In the early 70’s Willie along with pal Waylon Jennings were combined into a genre called outlaw country, since it did not conform to Nashville standards. During the 1980s Nelson recorded a series of hit singles including "Midnight Rider", a 1980 cover of the Allman Brothers song which Nelson recorded for The Electric Horseman, the soundtrack "On the Road Again" from the movie Honeysuckle Rose, and a duet with Julio Iglesias titled "To All the Girls I've Loved Before". Pancho & Lefty, a duet album with Merle Haggard, and WWII, with Jennings, came out in 1982, while Take it to the Limit was released in 1983, also with Jennings.
In the mid-1980s, Nelson, Jennings, Kristofferson, and Johnny Cash formed The Highwaymen, who achieved platinum record sales and toured the world. Meanwhile, he became more involved with charity work, such as singing on We are the World in 1984. In 1985, Nelson had another success with Half Nelson, a compilation album of duets with a range of artists such as Ray Charles and Neil Young. In 1980, Nelson performed on the south lawn of the White House. The September 13 concert featured First Lady Rosalynn Carter and Nelson in a duet of Ray Wylie Hubbard's "Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother". Nelson frequently visited the White House according to his biography, Willie Nelson: An Epic Life, where he smoked marijuana on the White House roof.