April 30 ~  Making Music Willie's music

"The life I love is makin' music with my friends." ~ Willie Nelson

willie nelsonWillie Hugh Nelson (1933- ) was born in Abbott, Texas on this day. Singer, songwriter, guitar player, Farm Aid philanthropist, and income tax rogue, his career spans half a century, with over 100 albums.

Willie has endured. With a unique, recognizable voice that sounds bluesy and with off-beat phrasing, Nelson continues to tour and play over 200 shows a year.

"I tell...all my kids: No matter what you do, be truthful," Nelson once said.

His grandfather bought him a guitar at the age of 6, and by 7, he was writing songs. At age 10, he joined John Raycheck's Bohemian Polka Band and regularly sang gospel music in church. By 1964, Willie was a regular member of the Grand Ole Opry.

He first found fame as a Nashville songwriter, creating songs that reflected his stormy personal life with emotional lyrics that touched the heart. Patsy Cline immortalized his tune, Crazy and Roy Orbison did Pretty Paper.  "I like myself better when I'm writing regularly," Nelson admitted.

Through the years Willie strummed his favorite Box guitar, Trigger, so much he wore a hole in the body. He said the guitar's sound grows richer as the hole gets bigger.

When he sings On the Road Again, you feel the nuances of life on the road as a music maker. When he croons You Were Always On My Mind, you hear the pain and longing of lost love.

"When you open your heart to an audience, you share your deepest feelings with them," he said. "They want to find love in your heart."

More MUSIC Quotations | Song: A Song For You

Endearing friends make the heart smile.