Willie Nelson: Eight Decades of Incredible Music

This Country Legend Defines American Music

Willie Nelson grew to greatness while country music was also maturing as a distinct art form. He was born in 1933, a month before Jimmie Rodgers, the Father of Country Music died, and the same year Bob Wills formed the Texas Playboys. Nelson’s arrival into the world came a decade before the Carter Family disbanded and Ernest Tubb joined the Grand Ole Opry.

Born in Abbott, Texas and raised by his paternal grandparents, Nelson was learning the guitar and writing songs before he reached his teens. He would go on to become one of the most recorded and recognizable figures in the history of American music, regardless of genre. Along the way he would record 70 studio albums, 33 live albums, 25 albums with other artists, and soundtracks for movies he appeared or starred in. The number of singles he’s done for and with other artists are beyond counting.

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