HAPPY BIRTHDAY: COUNTRY LEGEND/LGBT ADVOCATE WILLIE NELSON
Willie Nelson, 82 today, is a legend, not only in country music, but in American culture in general, activism and all around bad-assery. Willie started his music career in the 1950s, writing songs for himself and others, but his major mainstream success came when he decided to start writing and recording "outlaw country" in the mid-70s on such albums as Redheaded Stranger and Wanted! The Outlaws. Nelson forayed into film in the 80s appearing in The Electric Horseman and Honeysuckle Rose, all the while dropping classic country tracks like My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys, On The Road Again, Always On My Mind and Pancho and Lefty. Willie also crossed over to the pop charts with songs like Good Hearted Woman, the Julio Iglesias duet To All The Girls I've Loved Before, and the perhaps the first LGBT country anthem Cowboys are Frequently, Secretly Found Of Each Other, which was featured on the Brokeback Mountain soundtrack. Willie has been an outspoken advocate for many causes such as the legalization of marijuana and the use of biodiesel fuel, of which he has his own brand made from vegetable oil. Of course the thing that most endears Willie to me is his outspoken support for the LGBT community. Willie is quoted as saying, "It's ridiculous to me that this is something we're having a conversation about in this day and age....I thought it was something that was settled a long time ago. I've known straight and gay people all my life. I can't tell the difference. People are people where I came from." Amen, Willie! He added, "I'd never marry a man I didn't like." HA! There is that Texas sense of humor. So here is a big salute to one of MY heroes, Willie Nelson. Happy birthday, Outlaw! Here are some of his best, including the video for the LGBT anthem Cowboys are Frequently, Secretly Fond of Each Other and my fave Willie song EVER Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain.