Archive for category music

Its Willie’s Birthday, Happy Birthday Willie Nelson!

by cj

Willie Nelson, the legendary country singer and songwriter turned 80 today, he was born on April 29, 1933, in Abbott, Texas. Nelson a country singer, actor, poet, author, activist and songwriter best known for his classic hit songs “Crazy” and “On the Road Again”, is described by some as the best country songwriter ever. The peak of his fame came in the ’70s during the “outlaw country” sub-genre, but he remains iconic in American culture.

Willie Hugh Nelson’s was born during the Great Depression in Abbot Texas, a small rural railroad town whose population peaked at 713, in 1914 and has declined ever since, Willie humorously describes Abbott’s as a town where “every time a baby is born a man leaves town”. The confusion about Nelson’s birthday is really very simple, he was born on April 29, 1933, but his doctor (F. D. Sims) didn’t record the birth until the next day, April 30. His cousin Mildred chose both his first name (Willie) and middle name (Hugh), his ancestry includes English, Irish and Cherokee. His mother left Abbott shortly after his birth and soon after that his father remarried and moved also, leaving Willie and his sister Bobbie to be raised by their grandparents.

At the age of six Nelson’s grandfather bought him a guitar and showed him how to play a few chords, at that time his family along with many other citizens of Abbott, picked cotton during the summer. By the age of 13 Willie knew picking cotton wasn’t for him so he earned money singing in taverns, dance halls and honky tonks. He wrote his first song at seven and was a member of a band at ten. During high school, he performed as the lead singer and guitar player with the Bohemian Polka. In 1950 after graduating from high school, he joined the Air Force but was discharged nine months later due to back problems. After his return to Texas, Nelson attended college at Baylor University, worked as a disc jockey at several radio stations and sang in honky tonks. His music success and interests soon caused him to drop out of Baylor after two years.

He then moved to Vancouver Washington and wrote “Family Bible” recorded the song “Lumberjack” in 1956. In 1960, he signed a publishing contract with Pamper Music; during this time, he wrote songs including “Funny How Time Slips Away”, “Hello Walls”, “Pretty Paper”, and “Crazy”, music that would become country standards. Nelson wrote the country ballad “Crazy” in 1961 for country singer Billy Walker, who turned it down because he said it was “a girls song”. Willie at the time was a known singer-songwriter who had written several hits for other artists but hadn’t had a major recording of his own. Patsy Cline, who was a country superstar at the time was looking to extend her string of music hits picked the song as her follow up to her previous big hit “I Fall to Pieces”, “Crazy” became the #2 country hit in 1962 and eventually helped launch Nelson as a performer as well as a songwriter.

In 1962, Nelson recorded his first album, “And Then I Wrote”, owing to this success, he was signed by RCA Victor in 1964 and joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1965. After mid-chart success with hits in the late ’60s and early ’70s, Nelson decided to retire in 1972 and moved to Austin, Texas. It became a short retirement, Nelson motivated by the resurgence and popularity of hippie music in Austin, came out of retirement and performed often at the Armadillo World Headquarters. His albums Shotgun Willie (1973), Phases and Stages (1974), Red Headed Stranger (1975) and Stardust (1978) were critical and commercial successes and made Nelson one of the most recognized artists in country music.

Nelson and Waylon Jennings were combined into a genre called “outlaw country”, a subgenre of country music that grew in the late ’60s as a reaction to the old school conservative restrictions of Nashville sound. “Wanted! The Outlaws” an album by Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Jessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser, released in 1976 and consisting of previously released material earned its place in music history by becoming the first country album to sell a million copies and received critical praise.

His musical influences were Hank Williams, Bob Wills, Lefty Frizzell, Ray Price, Ernest Tubb, Hank Snow, Django Reinhardt, Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong.

In his book, “The Tao of Willie: A Guide to Happiness in Your Heart”, Willie describes the influence of the guitar in his style: “One of the secrets to my sound is almost beyond explanation. My battered old Martin guitar, Trigger, has the greatest tone I’ve ever heard from a guitar…If I picked up the finest guitar made this year and tried to play my solos exactly the way you heard them on the radio or even at last night’s show, I’d always be a copy of myself and we’d all end up bored. But if I play an instrument that is now a part of me, and do it according to the way that feels right for me…I’ll always be an original”.

Willie Nelson certainly is an original and is widely recognized as an American icon. In 1979, Willie Nelson received Country Music’s highest honor when he was selected “Entertainer of the Year” by the Country Music Association, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1993. in 1982 “Always on my Mind” won the Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance. His Albums Without A Song (1984) and City of New Orleans (1984) reached the top or near the top of the country charts. “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before” was a big hit in 1984.

The following year, he teamed up with Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson to form the Highwaymen. They first release, Highwayman (1985) which was a big hit and then Highwayman 2 (1995). Known for his compassion, Nelson along with Neil Young and John Mellencamp, organized the first Farm Aid concert in 1985. in an effort to help family farmers, to date they have raised more than $30 million to keep family farmers on their land Nelson has also been concerned and worked on behalf of the environment, most prominently promoting alternative fuels. Nelson is known for being generous not only with his money but with his time, after a show, “He’ll stay there for hours, signing autographs and meeting people,” friend Kris Kristofferson told Texas Monthly.

Willie first appeared as an actor in the movie “The Electric Horseman” (1979) with Robert Redford, shortly after he acted in Honeysuckle Rose (1980), playing the role of a veteran country musician; the movie featured Nelson’s song “On the Road Again,” which earned him an Academy Award nomination for “Best Original Song” and won the Grammy Award for “Best Country Song” (1980). Willie’s also appeared in the following movies; Thief (1981), Barbarosa (1982), “Red Loon” (1982), “Songwriter” (1984) with Kris Kristoferson, Red Headed Stranger (1986), Wag the Dog (1997) and “Gone Fishing”(1997). Willie has appeared in more than 30 movies to date.

On a personal note, Nelson has certainly had his share of tragedy and challenges in his life, most devastating was the death of his son in 1991. In 1990 he lost everything, when the IRS sized most of his assets after Price Waterhouse placed him into tax shelters that were later disallowed, the matter was settled and Willie’s debt was paid by 1993. Of course we all know about his problem on several occasions because of use of marijuana, Willie continues to be an advocate for legalizing marijuana.

Nelson lives in Maui, Hawaii, his neighbors include Kris Kristofferson, Woody Harrelson, and Owen Wilson, he married four times and has seven children. In 1991, he married his current wife, Annie D’Angelo, they have two sons together.

Nelson last performed a few days ago in Austin Texas on Sunday April 28, 2013, to benefit the West Volunteer Fire Department, located near the town of Abbott where he grew-up.

Happy Birthday Willie we wish you the best, peace, good health and happiness.

According to BMI sources: Willie Nelson has 351 song titles registered with them.

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George Jones Country Music Legend Died Today

by cj

George Jones Died Today April 26, 2013

George Jones, the legendary country singer who sang the heartbreak classic “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” died today at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville after being hospitalized in recent days.

In a career that lasted more than 50 years, Jones had No. 1 songs in five separate decades, from the 50s to the 90s, and was idolized by singers in many genres; including Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, James Taylor and countless others. Johnny Cash in response to the question “Who is your favorite singer?” would playfully tease “You mean apart from George Jones?”. Jones recorded more than 150 albums becoming the symbol of traditional country music. An accomplishment that even his idol Hank Williams would have been proud of. He is described as one of the greatest singers in American music history. Jones 1980 hit “He Stopped Loving Her Today” is regarded by many as the greatest country song ever recorded.

Jones was born in Saratoga, Texas, and played on the streets of Beaumont for tips as a teenager. He served in the Marine Corps than returned to Texas. In 1955, his “Why Baby Why” became his first Top 10 country single, moving up the charts to number four and beginning a remarkable career: Jones would ultimately record more than 160 charting singles, more than any other artist in any format in the history of popular music.

In 1969, Jones married Tammy Wynette; one of the most famous marriages in country music. Jones followed Wynette to Epic Records and began working with her producer, Billy Sherrill, who would be responsible for his biggest hits of the ’70s and ’80s.

Some of the people who knew Jones best paid tribute to the legendary singer tonight:

Vince Gill: ”There aren’t words in our language to describe the depth of his greatness. I’ll miss my kind and generous friend.”

Garth Brooks: ”The greatest voice to ever grace country music will never die. Jones has a place in every heart that ever loved any kind of music.”

Alan Jackson: “Well, heaven better get ready for some great country music. While George was known for his wild and crazy days, I’ve known him for 25 years as a friend. He had grown into a real good man. Of course, he will always be the greatest singer and interpreter of real country music – there’ll never be another. Like the song says, ‘You know this old world is full of singers, but just a few are chosen to tear your heart out when they sing. Imagine life without them…Who’s gonna fill their shoes.’”

Hank Williams Jr.: “Today is a sad day in Country music. We have lost another piece of history. George Jones was not only a good singer, but was a good friend. He will be missed by many.”

Merle Haggard: ”The world has lost the greatest country singer of all time. Amen.”

Kenny Rogers: “George Jones will always be one of the most amazing singers who ever lived. He was a true Country Music legend who made music very personal to the listener – I think more than anyone else. He will be dearly missed, but always remembered.”

Travis Tritt: “I am just devastated by the news that George Jones has passed away! The music world has lost one of the most original and innovative talents that the world has ever known. I feel such a personal loss of not only one of the greatest vocal influences of my life, but also I’ve lost a dear friend. Visits with George have always been full of joy and laughter. Every time I would see him, George would always greet me with a funny story or a joke! His legacy will put his name at the top of the most influential artists in history, right along with Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. His voice will be influencing singers 100 years from now and beyond! I’m reminded of the lyrics that Waylon wrote in the tune ‘It’s Alright.’ ‘If we all sang like we wanted to, we’d all sound like George Jones!’”

Lorrie Morgan: “Country music lost an icon today and I have lost a dear and beloved friend. With tear-filled eyes, I’m reminiscing this morning about all that I learned from and loved about George Jones. He was part of my ‘country music education;’ he made country music history and, in my opinion, George Jones is a song’s best friend. No one will leave an imprint on my life like George did.”

Mark Chesnutt: For a newcomer, it was intimidating to open for him; there was even more pressure to close for him. George gave me strength and encouragement; he kept telling me ‘you can do it, son.’ George Jones is the Father of Country. We will all miss his voice, and I will miss his voice to call me ’son.’”

List of George Jones number one country hits. Source:
“White Lightning” (1959)
“Tender Years” (1961)
“She Thinks I Still Care” (1962)
“Walk Through This World with Me” (1967)
“We’re Gonna Hold On” (with Tammy Wynette) (1973)
“The Grand Tour” (1974)
“The Door” (1975)
“Golden Ring” (with Tammy Wynette) (1976)
“Near You” (with Tammy Wynette) (1977)
“He Stopped Loving Her Today” (1980)
“I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” (with Barbara Mandrell) (1981)
“Still Doin’ Time” (1981)
“Yesterday’s Wine” (with Merle Haggard) (1982)
“I Always Get Lucky with You” (1983)

He will be missed; my thoughts and prayers are with his family.

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Adele, Daniel Merriweather, Celine Dion “Water and a Flame” cover by Iza

iZA – short for (Isabeka), is a young Polish girl in ‘s her early 20 who loves to sing. I just discovered her music yesterday after she added me as a contact on my YouTube channel. What’s unique about her is that she has a phenomenal voice and style. She has a channel on YouTube where she sings music covers and she has worked hard to build a sizable following. I picked this cover because I think it’s an amazing performance by an amateur with very little money or support; struggling to be discovered. My thoughts are what a loss it would be to the rest of the world if they don’t get to hear her sing.

Listen to this song and please post a comment I want your opinions and feedback, thank you. cj

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Music Artist: Nikki Boon Singing “Where You Been all My Life”

Country Artist: Nikki Boon Singing “Where You Been all My Life” I just recently discovered her music and I think she’s an amazing talent; I’m enjoying her music, loving this song. Nikki Boon moved to Nashville in pursuit of her dreams after winning a scholarship. I hear she’s been working hard writing, performing and recording music ever since her move to Nashville. Her music and singing has a “wild side ‘ to it, listen to “Where You Been all My Life”, “Just a Little Bit” and “Ain’t No Barbie Doll”. Nikki co-wrote the songs and that “wild side” style she shows in her music could be her formula to success.

Minneapolis, MN- North Central University student Nikki Boon took home the grand prize in Dr. Pepper’s Tuition Giveaway during the halftime show at the SEC football Championship Game in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday, December 4, 2010.

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One Voice, One Violin – Lindsey Stirling, Peter Hollens

One Voice, One Violin – Lindsey Stirling, Peter Hollens.

Unbelievable, breathtakingly BEAUTIFUL… Lindsey you’ve made playing the violin fun, sexy and inspiring. Your performance incredible, the production, cinematography and Peter’s voice amazing. Your many thrilling presentations have elevated the violin to a new level…


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Dwight Yoakam at Billy Bob’s, Fort Worth Texas 1/28/2012

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Set Fire to the Rain by Sara Niemietz

This is what one fan had to say about this video; “WOOOOW I heard at least 20 covers of this song and finally decided that you have the BEST cover by far… What can i say ? Amazing voice , you are a big STAR ! Congrats and greetings from Greece :-)”

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Rolling in the Deep by Sara Niemietz

I’ve received a lot of requests to do Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” and now I’m so happy to announce – it’s here!!!! Sara Niemietz

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One by U2

Great song, amazing performance…awesome video.

cj World News US

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“Do I” Song by Luke Bryan

This goes out to a little…Country Girl in Miami.
cj World News US

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