Many books have been written about Willie Nelson over the years, but this week’s one takes on a different refreshing angle. “Me and Sister Bobbie: True Tales of the Family Band,” released Tuesday by Random House, is a memoir that focuses as much on Bobbie Nelson, the longtime pianist of Willie’s group, as on the Red Headed Stranger himself. .
Written with author David Ritz, who worked with Willie on the 2015 autobiography “It’s a Long Story: My Life,” the new book delves into Willie and Bobbie’s lifelong relationship. On stage, Willie often refers to Bobbie as “little sister”, but in fact, she is a few years older. Willie turned 87 last March; Bobbie turns 90 on New Years Day 2021.
The two are scheduled to appear on NBC’s “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” Tuesday night. This follows an interview Tuesday morning on the network’s “Today” program with NBC News correspondent Harry Smith.
Willie and Bobbie indulged in entertaining jokes during the four-minute “Today” segment. “My little sister was always at the piano making great music,” Willie remembers from their childhood. “I would sit there on the piano stool next to her and try to figure out what she was doing.
Bobbie, in turn, claimed that “Willie has the greatest musical talent of the two of us; he was just born with it.”
Willie was an exception. “Sister Bobbie is ten times a better musician than I am,” he said. “I’m a little better con, I think,” he added, laughing everywhere and for Bobbie’s quick assertion: “He’s a big con!”
Asked about the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which has kept the famous “On the Road Again” singer and his band for over six months now, Willie responded thoughtfully.
“It’s tough for me, but I understand it’s also tough for millions of other people who might not be as lucky as us. We have a house and we are safe. We don’t have to go out and try to get sick, unless we’re just stupid enough to go and do it. “
Nelson’s music also surfaced Tuesday morning as part of the first of four live broadcasts of HAAM Day to benefit the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians. Austin artist Walker Lukens performed a splendid version for solo piano of Nelson’s classic “Funny How Time Slips Away” from Scoot Inn, a closed venue in East Austin. He noted that he recently recorded a full album of Nelson songs titled “Red Headed Strangers” which he will sell on his website, with all proceeds going to HAAM.
And Nelson made headlines over the past week for a new documentary, “Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President,” which detailed the 39th President’s relationships with musicians such as Nelson, Bob Dylan and June. Carter & Johnny Cash.
RELATED: USA Today on New Jimmy Carter Documentary
Stories have circulated for decades of Nelson smoking pot in the White House during a visit during Carter’s presidency. Nelson confirmed this in his 2015 memoir, noting that he shared with a White House staff member.
“It’s not quite true,” Carter reveals in the documentary. “He was one of my sons, but he didn’t want to classify him as a pot smoker like him.”
The documentary also evokes another visit by Nelson to Carter at the White House.
“I had just been in Jamaica and got arrested (for possession of marijuana) there,” Nelson says in the film. “I was so excited to get out of jail that I jumped off the porch and threw my ankle, then the next day I had to go see the President of the United States. It was really quite funny. We laughed a lot about it. . “
RELATED: Our 2007 Interview Of An American Statesman With Bobbie Nelson
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