It's a story of restlessness and the purity of the moment and living right. Of my childhood in Abbott, Texas, to the Pacific Northwest, from Nashville to Hawaii and all the way back again. Of selling vacuum cleaners and encyclopedias while hosting radio shows and writing song after song, hoping to strike gold.
I’ve yet to meet someone that doesn't admire Wille. Any rightfully so, he’s earthy, gritty and soulful and radiates kindness. This ‘long story’ tells about his early days in Abbot Texas growing up with his beloved grandparents and sister. His parents were a bit on the wild side and thus left him and his sister Bobby to be raised with Grandma and Grandpa, but still stayed drifting present.
Grandma and Grandpa Nelson were very christian and Willie grew up playing in the church. They were also very texan, and he was surrounded by a racially diverse crowd picking cotton in the fields. As he grew older, his Grandma was reluctant to let him start playing in taverns, until she saw how much money he could pull in compared to picking cotton.
Willie’s astonishingly prolific music career does make for some interesting stories, and afterall, stories are what country music is all about.
Startdust by Willie is one of my favorite albums. I must have listened to hundreds of times and will surely listen to hundreds more. My eyes brightened as I read that none other than Booker T. Jones was musical director and keyboardist on Stardust! This story is especially meaningful to me because as a keyboardist, I am naturally a huge Booker fan.
I think part of what makes Willie such a mensch is his that he is comfortable in his own skin. He’s not trying to put on airs, he’s just being his own amazing and creative self.