Willie’s time has come


Courtesy Photo

Musical Icon Willie Nelson performs live at the UNI-Dome 1978.

NI Archives

Editors Note: this article is from Oct. 6, 1978 featured in the Northern Iowan.

It has often been said that Willie Nelson was before his time. In the last three years, however, you would have had to have lived without benefit of radio, television, newspapers, telephone or visitors to have not realized that Willie Nelson’s time has indeed come. 

The UNI 1987 Homecoming committee will present a concert featuring Willie Nelson, with special guests Pure Prairie League and Ray Rieley Hubbard, on Sunday, Oct. 15. 

Willie Nelson, recently in Time, Newsweek and the new CBS TV series People, will be performing a week from Sunday night at 8 p.m. in the UNI-Dome. Reserved seat tickets are still available for $7.50, $8.50 and $5.50 at the UNI-Dome box office. 

In 1976, after being nominated five separate times, Willie Nelson received a Grammy Award for ‘Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain’ as the Country Single of the Year. Also at ABC’s televised Fourth Annual American Music Awards, the song was chosen as the Favorite Country Single of the Year.

When Willie Nelson climbed on stage at the 1976 Annual Country Music Association Awards show and accepted his three awards, he did so in his customary tennis shoes, sweatband and on-and-off again beard. The three C.M.A. awards won jointly with Waylon Jenning were for: Country Duo of the Year; Album of the Year – Wanted: The Outlaws, and Song of the Year – Good Hearted Woman, which ironically was written during a brief pause in a poker game. 

In personal terms, Willie still manages to keep a low profile. He still plays the same guitar he’s used for 15 years, and his casual dress often causes him to be indistinguishable from his fans.

Before one recent show, he was busy signing autographs backstage when a security guard, in a well-intentioned effort to clear the area, tried to throw him out. Luckily, concert officials intervened and the show opened on schedule. 

“I do try to be touchable,” says Nelson. “I like all kinds of people, all kinds of crowds. A lot of guys hire bodyguards… nobody needs them.”

With his latest Columbia album release, entitled Stardust, Willie Nelson gives tribute to music that is timeless. “It is the best album I’ve ever done,” says Nelson. Stardust is a collection of “the best songs in the world,” including the immortal “Georgia On My Mind,” Willie’s current single release.