7 Things to Know About Willie Nelson


Iconic performer Willie Nelson will perform at FirstBank Amphitheater in Franklin on Friday, May 6th. Here are some things to know about Willie Nelson.

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1He Wrote a Song at Age Seven

Rolling Stone reported in 2004: “Back when we used to take music lessons from our grandmother, we’d go through lessons, and if we’d get the lesson right that day she’d take a gold star—a little star, about the size of your finger, with glue on one side—and she’d stick it on the sheet of music, which meant you’d done well. So I wrote this song with the line ‘They took a gold star away from me when you left me for another, long ago.’ I’d never been left by anybody, so it was kind of funny.”

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2Other than Songwriting, He’s had a Host of Jobs 

Nelson was in the Air Force. Other jobs he held include a cotton picker, saddle maker, disc jockey and door-to-door salesman. He sold Bibles, vacuum cleaners, and encyclopedias, reports purplecloverlittlethings.

photo by Wyatt McSpadden

3His Guitar is Almost as Famous as Nelson

Nelson named his Martin N- 20 guitarTrigger and it’s been with him for 50 years and played 10,000 shows reports country thang daily. 

photo from Willie Nelson Facebook

4A Sickness Bag on an Airplane was the Origin of One of His Greatest Hits 

“On the Road Again” got its beginnings on a sickness bag (or barf bag) on an airplane. The song won a GRAMMY for the Best Country Song in 1981, shares Southern Living. 

photo from Texas Monthly.com

5Nelson Has a Black Belt 

Nelson has always been a jogger and swimmer. He’s also been taking martial arts since he was a boy. In 2014, he was presented with his fifth-degree black belt in tae kwon do at the age of 81, reports purple clover little things. 

photo from Willie Nelson’s Cut n Putt Facebook

6He Owns a Golf Course

Nelson owns a nine-hole course, the Pedernales Country Club, in Texas. It is known as Willie Nelson’s Cut-N-Putt, adjacent to his recording studio in Spicewood, Texas. There is no dress code, and visitors can play the course, see more here. 

7He Had to Settle a $32 Million IRS Bill 

In 1990, Nelson had a $32 million IRS bill (one of the largest in history). The IRS raided his house and seized his assets. His agreement to settle with the IRS involved a new album – The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories. It sold for $19.95 on cassette or CD and was purchased by dialing 1-800-IRS-TAPE. Fifteen cents of every dollar made on the album went to the IRS, reports Mental Floss.

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