WILLIE NELSON Biography - Musicians


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Name: Willie Hugh Nelson                                                                   
Also known as Red Headed Stranger                                                           
Born: 29 April 1933                                                                         
Willie Hugh Nelson (born April 29, 1933) is an American entertainer and                     
songwriter. He is widely viewed as one of the most beloved and notorious country           
music singers in the world. He reached his greatest fame during the so-called "outlaw       
country" movement of the 1970s, but remains iconic, especially in American                 
popular culture. In recent years he has continued to tour, record, and perform,             
and this, combined with activities in advocacy of cannabis, as well as a well-publicized   
2006 arrest for cannabis possession, have made him the subject of renewed media             
Nelson was born and raised in Abbott, Texas, the son of Myrle and Ira D. Nelson,           
who was a mechanic and pool hall owner. His grandparents William Alfred                     
Nelson and Nancy Elizabeth Smothers gave him mail-order music lessons starting             
at age six. Willie played the guitar, while his sister Bobbie played the piano.             
He met Bud Fletcher, a fiddler, and two siblings joined his band, Bohemian                 
Fiddlers, while Nelson was in high school.                                                 
Beginning in high school Nelson worked as a disc jockey for local radio stations.           
Nelson had short DJ stints with KHBR in Hillsboro, Texas and later with KBOP in             
Pleasanton, Texas while singing locally in honky tonk bars.                                 
In 1956, Nelson moved to Vancouver, Washington, to begin a musical career,                 
recording "Lumberjack," which was written by Leon Payne. The single sold fairly             
well, but did not establish a career. Nelson continued to work as a radio                   
announcer in Vancouver and sing in clubs. He sold a song called "Family Bible"             
for $50; the song was a hit for Claude Gray in 1960, has been covered widely and           
is often considered a gospel music classic.                                                 
Willie Nelson performing at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, California.