This week, Ira spoke with Willie Nelson.
With more than 65 studio albums, 10 live albums, 37 compilations and 40 million records sold worldwide, including the critically acclaimed classics Shotgun Willie, Red Headed Stranger and Stardust, Willie Nelson is one of country music’s most recognized artists of all time. As a Nashville artist in the ’60s, Nelson himself penned more than a few tunes that have arguably become American classics themselves, including “Crazy,” “Night Life” and the sublime “Funny How Time Slips Away.”
He has won multiple awards, including Grammys, American Music Awards and Country Music Awards. This year, the Country Music Association honored Nelson with an all-star tribute at the CMAs in Nashville. He has performed in several musical genres with great crossover success and has remained active through five decades of music, acting, and civic engagement in social causes such as Farm Aid and support of veterans.
Nelson’s latest release, 2012’s Heroes, contains classic country songs, as well as new songs by Nelson and his son Lukas. With several guest artists, including Ray Price, Merle Haggard, Snoop Dogg, Kris Kristofferson and Sheryl Crow, among others, the album peaked at number four on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and number 18 on the Billboard 200. In addition to more than 50 years in the music industry, Nelson has co-authored several books and appeared in more than 30 films and television shows.