Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Today In History; Willie Nelson, Country Singer

1933: Popular songwriter and country music singer, Willie Nelson, was born in Abott, Texas. Raised by his grandfather, Nelson began playing guitar at an early age and joined a band while in high school. After graduation, Nelson worked as a disc jockey and sang in local honky-tonk bars. At the age of 23, he recorded, financed, and sold his first song, "No Place For Me." Eventually Nelson moved to Nashville to pursue a career in music. He didn't gain much momentum there, so he returned to Texas where he began to both write and perform, and his popularity grew. In 1975, he recorded his first hit album, Red-Headed Stranger. Nelson's style was part of the outlaw country style that was popularized in the 1970s. Nelson has recorded hundreds of songs both as singles and as albums, several of which reached the top of Billboard's top play list. He has also acted in several films, starting in 1979 with The Electric Horseman. During the 1980s, Nelson became involved with charities and in 1985 established Farm Aid. Originally a concert to raise money for farmers in the United States, Farm Aid has evolved into an organization promoting awareness of the importance of family farms.

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