Willie Nelson Essay

1303 words - 5 pages

Willie Nelson, most commonly known for his musical abilities, is one of the most influential country western artist to ever pick up a guitar. From the start of Nelson’s life he faced deep troubles, one major problem was both parents leaving him to be raised by his Grandparents. Nelson shows great talent due to his many problems in his personal life, one in which left him close to bankrupt and others putting him in jail. Despite all the obstacles, he was able to go and become one of the greatest artists alive.

Once rejected as a country music singer, he turned around to become one of the most influential songwriters to date. Willie Hugh Nelson was born on April, 30, 1933, in Abbott Texas. Raised in the midst of the Great Depression, music was one of the tools Nelson used to cope in his small town. Nelson lived with his grandparents after his parents abandoned him at an early age and was forced to work in the cotton fields.

Nelson was first introduced to music by his grandparents. Willie himself was said in an interview with Teresa Taylor Von-Frederick that they were his “true, and earlier, inspiration.” He gained his first guitar from his grandfather in which he received only one training session. This day marked the begin of the legacy, because at the age of 10 he sold his first song.

After his grandfather died it was up to Nelson to support his family. Still in the years of the Great Depression, he was forced to pick up oddball jobs until he got his first professional job in the John Raychek Band. Although his straight-laced grandmother disagreed with his working in beer joints, she couldn’t deny the fact that it was better money than cotton picking. He went in between different musical groups until his late teens when he joined the Air Force.

Nelson was discharged not even 9 months into the Air Force due to his long term back injury. He decided to return back to his hometown in Abbott and continue playing music in local pubs. Soon after, Nelson was married and began to live paycheck to paycheck. Nelson was once noted in saying, “We’d live in one place a month, then pack up and leave when the rent would come due.” 50 cents a night wasn’t cutting it. It came clear to him that he had to pick it up and find a better job.

After moving to Houston, Texas, Nelson began to sell his songs to artists. Nelson had been making a collection of songs since the 1950s and it was now 1958. “Family bible” was the first song sold for $50. He then sold the hit “Night Life” which went on to be covered by over 70 artists. All the money Nelson was collecting was leaving his hands just as fast as it was gained. In 1962, Willie Nelson’s first wife filed for divorce and took the kids, one year later he married Shirley Collie. The couple moved off to Nashville where Nelson continued his career. While on the road, Nelson met his soon to be third wife, Connie Koepke. Once his wife Shirley found out she was quick to pack and leave,...

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