RIP - Bobbie Nelson

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Older sister of Willie - a really nice obituary at Texas Monthly:

Sister Bobbie Grounded Willie Nelson in His Music—And His Life
No musician has sung, played, and written more different kinds of American music than Willie Nelson. And no musician was more important to Willie than his older sister Bobbie, who died March 10. She was 91. The two played together for an astonishing eighty-plus years, from the time they were children in tiny Abbott, Texas, to their last show at the Whitewater Amphitheater in New Braunfels on October 9. Through all those performances—in their humble living room growing up; at Austin’s scrappy, surreal Armadillo World Headquarters in the seventies; at the later, near-nightly triumphs in storied halls like London’s Royal Albert—Bobbie grounded Willie. She gave him security and direction. Sometimes she led him; other times he led her. They shared something sacred that everyone else could only admire. “When we get into music,” she once said, “something happens. There’s magic between me and Willie.”

But while fans have long appreciated the wonders the two created onstage and in studios, few outside Willie World know how pivotal Bobbie was to his life and career. At shows, she was the quiet one, sitting demurely at the piano bench, focused on the keys, and interacting little with the crowd, her long, dark hair spilling out from a wide-brimmed black hat across her embroidered shirt. Each night Willie would draw attention her way, moving to the piano and watching intently while she played her showpiece, the instrumental “Down Yonder.” Casual fans likely thought he was being polite; Bobbie never made a big show out of what she was doing. But Willie would tell you she was the most important person onstage. The myth of Willie Nelson—the Austin renaissance after years of frustration in Nashville, the ensuing five decades of continued creative rebirth and international stardom—is a true story and one of the world’s favorites. But none of it would have happened without Sister Bobbie.

Really thoughtful and well written. A life well lived.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on March 11, 2022 6:26 PM.

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