Celebrate Willie Nelson’s 87th Birthday With Songs You’ve Probably Never Heard

An hourlong broadcast Saturday explores the Red Headed Stranger, from his short hair and turtlenecks to braids and bandanas.

By Rhonda Fanning & Laura RiceApril 24, 2020 10:36 am,

Texas Monthly writer John Spong has been working with Willie Nelson biographer Joe Nick Patoski to cohost the upcoming show, “For the Love of Willie,” airing Saturday on Austin radio station KUTX and online, in celebration of Nelson’s 87th birthday. The show will featuring Nelson’s songs and the stories behind them.

For The Love Of Willie

When: Saturday, April 25, 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. CST

Where: Tune into KUTX 98.9 in Austin/Central Texas, or stream online

More: Listen later on the My KUTX archive

“[Texas Monthly has] been working for about seven months creating a discography of all of Willie’s records, and reviewing all of Willie’s records and then ranking them,” Spong told Texas Standard host David Brown on Friday.

Spong said that’s 143 records in total.

“And one of the great revelations of that, which hardcore fans know, is that even though people like to think that he starts being Willie Nelson in the ’70s in Austin, and that’s where you need to start listening, the fact of the matter is there are some great records in the ’60s,” Spong said.

Spong said Nelson’s music is more than just country.

“Oh wow: ‘Across The Borderline’ from 1993 – man, that’s a breathtaking album,” Spong said. “That ain’t country, but it’s Willie.”


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