Willie Nelson’s Sense of Style

Being a Willie Nelson fan with a couple of his songs in my performing repertoire and many others I can sing along with, I found this article to be a terrific representation of the Law of Cause & Effect on the positive side of the equation. Namely that being your genuine self can only enhance the quality of what you deliver. It is instructive that when Willie reverted to himself, is when his career took off.

The Texas troubadour, who is having a moment at age 90, found success only after he decided to be fully himself, in his music and his look.


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“It felt good to let my hair grow,” Mr. Nelson reflected in his 2015 autobiography, “It’s a Long Story.” “Felt good to get onstage wearing the same jeans I’d been wearing all damn day. As I look at it, I was turning exactly into the person I was.”

He also managed to bridge a great divide in American cultural life. As Turk Pipkin, a writer and filmmaker who has coauthored twobooks with Mr. Nelson, put it: “He united the hippies and the rednecks.”

In 1973, he hosted the first of what would become an annual event, Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic. The concert, on a ranch in the Texas Hill Country, attracted dyed-in-the-wool country music fans as well as young progressives who were discovering his music through albums like “Shotgun Willie,” released that June on his new label, Atlantic Records.


A longhaired Mr. Nelson, in a cowboy hat and bluejeans, stands at the microphone before a huge outdoor crowd on a sunny day.
Performing at Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic near Austin, Texas, in 1974. Mr. Nelson wrote that it “felt good to get onstage wearing the same jeans I’d been wearing all damn day.”Credit…Bettmann, via Getty Images
Mr. Nelson’s willingness to follow his instincts was a key to his crossover success, said Peter Blackstock, who frequently covered Mr. Nelson for The Austin American-Statesman.

“Cowboys like Willie because he came from a country background and was born and raised in Texas,” Mr. Blackstock said. “What was unusual is that all these people who were listening to Led Zeppelin or Frank Zappa also got interested in Willie. They appreciated the individual streak there.”

Though he was considered part of the so-called outlaw country movement, Mr. Nelson couldn’t have chosen a more patriotic day to assemble his flock for a picnic; and his set list in those years, as today, included “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” “Family Bible” and other songs that reflected his upbringing in the Baptist Church.

By 1978, Mr. Nelson was wearing his hair in long braids — a radical act for a male country singer. Even his fellow male “outlaws” Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Tompall Glaser adhered to gender norms in their appearances.

In 1979, he showed up at the White House wearing jeans and a satin jacket to present a Country Music Association award to President Jimmy Carter. That night, Willie smoked what he called “a fat Austin torpedo” on the White House roof.

Much has been made of Mr. Nelson’s appreciation of marijuana and advocacy on its behalf. A 1978 profile in High Times magazinebegan, “Willie Nelson smokes a lot of dope.” In the 1990s, he joined the advisory board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML.

Despite the waist-length hair and frequent pot-smoking, Mr. Nelson never abandoned his heartland roots. The High Times article quoted a friend who said he drove “a pickup truck with a gun rack”; and Mr. Nelson would go on to be a founder of Farm Aid, the annual benefit concert that has raised millions for American family farmers over the last four decades.

As the nation grew more divided, he still had a knack for bringing together opposing camps. In 2015, he stood on a stage in Washington, D.C., to accept the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Applauding him from a few feet away were Representative Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California, and Representative Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California. In its report on the event, The Texas Tribune called Mr. Nelson “the only person who can bring Democrats and Republicans together in the nation’s capital.”

Contradictions have defined his life and career. Mr. Nelson is someone who owns a home in Maui, Hawaii, with views of the Pacific Ocean, yet for several years also operated Willie’s Place, a truck stop and biodiesel processing plant in Carl’s Corner, Texas. He has taught Sunday school in Fort Worth, Texas, and praised Las Vegas for its “hustler energy.” He has had his assets seized by the I.R.S. and sung with President Obama at a 2014 benefit concert for veterans.

“The common thinking for almost all of us is to see things as contrary positions, and we all fall into it,” Mr. Pipkin said. “Willie doesn’t necessarily see them as contrary. He doesn’t see the billionaire and the bum in different ways.”

Or, as Mr. Nelson put it in his autobiography, “I’m a man of many parts.”

Kirkus Reviews, the gold-standard for independent & accurate reviews, has this to say about

What Goes Around Comes Around:

A successful guide that uses anecdotes to reveal powerful truths about life.  

The stable, positive, non-preachy and objective voice makes the book stand apart from others in the genre.

~ Kirkus Reviews

“The author gives readers not just points or principles to ponder, but real human experiences that demonstrate them!
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“I’ve read a number of books that focus on sharing a similar message, including “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, “The Answer” by John Assaraf & Murray Smith, “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield, “Think and Grow Rich,” by Napoleon Hill, and I must say that I find Rob’s to be my favorite. – Sheryl Woodhouse, founder of Livelihood Matters LLC

Willie Nelson’s Sense of Style

Willie Nelson’s Sense of Style

U.S. Coast Guard Academy, in New London, Connecticut between 1988 and 2006, including the revelation of leaders who discouraged disclosure. Those cases do not include at least 42 more that have been identified as not having been properly investigated. That is not to mention new Pentagon published statistics showing student-reported assaults at West Point, the Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy.

So after all the accusations and denials, the truth is finally revealed about Bill Cosby’s lifetime of raping young women, who were unfortunate enough to cross his path. The answer as to how he got away with it for so long, lies in his skill of slipping a Methaquolone pill, otherwise known as a Quaalude, into a drink he would give them. It would render them helpless to escape his subsequent sexual assault. Of course, he had also built a persona of America’s Grandpa, that was the ultimate deception.I first heard about quaaludes (‘ludes) in college in the 60’s. Apparently, he did as well! The word was that if you could slip one into a girl’s drink, she would be more compliant than otherwise. The records show that Cosby had multiple prescriptions filled at least throughout the 70’s, then apparently, subsequently found other sources. It became his “MO” and many women his victim. But that game is over now, most likely for the duration of his life! As with most abusers, Cosby felt he had a way to evade the light from shining on what he was up to. He thought he was safe and would never get caught, but If accused, he could claim it was consensual. It is what all abusers think, regardless of the form that abuse takes, and sometimes it can work for a long while. But when the light finally does shine and reveals the truth, the rule is that the longer the perpetrator got away with their nasty deceptions, the deeper the hole they will have dug for themselves. Epstein escaped via suicide. I think they’ll be keeping a close eye on Bill!