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Willie Hugh Nelson (born April 29, 1933) is an American country music singer-songwriter, as well as an author, poet, actor, and activist. The critical success of the album Shotgun Willie (1973), combined with the critical and commercial success of Red Headed Stranger (1975) and Stardust (1978), made Nelson one of the most recognized artists in country music. He was one of the main figures of outlaw country, a subgenre of country music that developed at the end of the 1960s as a reaction to the conservative restrictions of the Nashville sound. Nelson has acted in over 30 films, co-authored several books, and has been involved in activism for the use of biofuels and the legalization of marijuana.
Born: April 29th, 1933
Quotes: 20 sourced quotes total
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"Family farmers are small farmers who love the land. They're still not getting enough money for their product and are rapidly losing their battle to stay in business. By helping the American family farmer, we will in turn help ourselves out of the economic hole that we find ourselves in today. It doesn't really matter how we got here; the point is, we have to dig our way out."
"I smoke pot every day, and I love it!"
"When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around."
"When you think a negative thought, it releases poison in your system. Next thing you know, you wind up with cancer or other diseases. I try to live in the moment without regrets."
"Marijuana is like sex. If I don't do it every day, I get a headache. I think marijuana should be recognized for what it is, as a medicine, an herb that grows in the ground. If you need it, use it."
"(Songwriting) It's a gift. It all comes from somewhere. I started out really young, when I was four, five, six, writing poems, before I could play an instrument. I was writing about things when I was eight or 10 years old that I hadn't lived long enough to experience."
"A lot of country music is sad. I think most art comes out of poverty and hard times. It applies to music. Three chords and the truth — that’s what a country song is. There is a lot of heartache in the world."
"We are the same. There is no difference anywhere in the world. People are people. They laugh, cry, feel, and love, and music seems to be the commons denomination that brings us all together. Music cuts through all boundaries and goes right to the soul."
"When I was out in the bars drinking and fighting I was a little bit less of a peacemaker than I would be if I'd had a coupla hits of a joint and gone and laid down somewhere."
"I have more dumb luck thank anybody I know. There must be a convey of guardian angels working twenty-four hours a day looking after me[...] Like the night I first got to Nashville that I laid down in the middle of Broadway, waiting to get run over. It didn't happen [...] I could swear they were keeping me alive just to see what I'd get next, I'm glad they feel that way. I'm trying to help them a little more this days."
"In church I was told that if I so much as smoked a cigarette or tasted alcohol, I’d be damned in hell for all eternity[...]it didn’t take long for me to start thinking that sounded all wrong [...]I didn’t cotton to the idea that your religion should be flaunted to other people. Your religion is for you, and is best kept close to your heart."
"Rather than trying to put an end to Eminem or some other rapper, politicians should think about why they're rapping. It's easier to try to censor some kid who's swearing about poverty than it is to stop the poverty."
"Biodiesel seems to be the answer to a lot of our prayers. Not only can it help the U.S. economy, our unwanted dependence on foreign oil, and the gasping environment, it could also help the family farmers out of this tragic dilemma they have found themselves in through no fault of their own."
"I started learning my lessons in Abbot Texas, where I was born in 1933. My sister Bobbie and I were raised by our grandparents [...] We never had enough money, and Bobbie and I started working at an early age to help the family get by. That hard work included picking cotton. [...] Picking cotton is hard and painful work, and the most lasting lesson I learned in the fields was that I didn't want to spend my life picking cotton."
"It didn't take long for me to realize that writing, performing and singing songs was what I was meant to do, but what other people thought was an entirely different issue. If I had to break it down, I’d say about 99 percent of the people in my life were telling me I wasn’t going to make it. All that adversity and lack of faith ended up just strengthening my own convictions. All that negativity really helped me in the end, because there’s no better inspiration for doing something than having somebody say that you can’t do it."
"When I left Nashville I went to Texas because that's where I came from, and because I was playing in Texas a lot in different places. And I saw hippies and rednecks drinking beer together and smoking dope together and having a good time together and I knew it was possible to get all groups of people together – long hair, short hair, no hair – and music would bring them together."
"I had gotten up to two, maybe three, packs (of cigarettes) a day. And my lungs were bothering me and I'd had pneumonia two or three times. And I was also smoking pot, and I decided, well, one of them's got to go. And so I took a pack of Chesterfields and took all the Chesterfields out, rolled up 20 big fat ones and put it in there, and I haven't smoked a cigarette since then"
I'm not going to get married again, I think I'll just find a woman that hates me, then buy her a house.
"Well, there was a guy, a blacksmith, in Abbott, and he and my granddad both had blacksmith's jobs. I hung around there a lot. And he had a family band. He just let me play because he knew I wanted to work and needed the work. So, I played a guitar in a big polka band with a lot of horns and everything. So, fortunately, no one ever heard me, because I wasn't that great. But I was nine or 10 years old and making eight to 10 dollars a night. So, it was easier than picking cotton."
"Bob Wills taught me how to be a bandleader and how to be a star. [...] There was no time wasted between songs. I learned from him to keep the people moving and dancing. [...] The more you keep the music going, the smoother the evening will be. Another thing he taught me was people came and paid their money to hear what they wanted to hear. Even if Bob had a mediocre band that night, the people knew his records and his radio shows and they heard what they thought Bob Wills sounded like. Whether he had a good night or a bad night, every night was a good night."