Today is Willie Nelson's 75th birthday. In Texas he is an icon (see Texas Monthly magazine's current issue and hear KUT's hour long inteview, with Nelson biographer, Joe Nick Patoski, along with rare footage here) and he lives just outside Austin on his ranch. Thankfully I got to see him play a few years ago in his hometown and it was a privilege. Throughout his years Willie has had his ups and down with IRS problems, houses destroyed by fire and whatnot but he continues to have an amazing attitude to life and all that surrounds him. He was a founder of Farm Aid (along with Neil Young and John Mellencamp) back in the 80s as he saw that so many family owned farms were going under and started BioWillie to "to help eliminate America's dependence on foreign oil, put the American family farmer back to work and clean up the environment." Way back when he realized that he was a terrible drunk and so Willie became a proponent of weed since then he has appeared on radio shows, benefits to support its benefits and the need for legality which I am sure didn't help his case when his tour bus was famously pulled over and busted with a significant stash of 1 1/2 lbs of weed and mushrooms (at the time he was 73 and the other passengers were 75, 59, 54, and 50-what a trip!).
Apart from all of the great stuff above of course is that Wilie Nelson continues to endure as a master songwriter who has written timeless classics such as 'Crazy' (made famous by Patsy Cline) and was a part of the country supergroup, The Highwaymen, along with Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings. The only dubious thing really, in my mind, that he has done has got to be his reggae crossover album, Countryman, which leaves a lot to be desire but we can forgive him for that one faux pas after so many great choices that he has made to this day.Each year he also throws the July 4th celebration with nothing but a good show so if you're planning on being in Selma, TX check out this years event details here).
So Willie, happy birthday sir. Keep on doing what you are doing as it must be right with so many people taking a dance, a smoke or raising a glass in your honour on this day.