Kermit the Frog Joins Willie Nelson for “Rainbow Connection” in Luck

It was quite the memorable year at the 2024 Luck Reunion in Willie Nelson’s tiny little town outside of Austin. When Tyler Childers joined Willie Nelson’s son Lukas Nelson in the tiny chapel on the property to sing “Old Country Church,” it immediately sent both men into Luck, TX lore.

You also had other great collaborations throughout the day, including surprise guest Steve Earle showing up to sing “Hillbilly Highway” with Old Crow Medicine Show. But when Kermit The Frog took the stage to sing “Rainbow Connection” with Willie Nelson to start off Willie’s set, it checked off a bucket list moment for the folks in Luck they never knew they had.

“Rainbow Connection” was first featured in the intro of The Muppet Movie from 1979, with Kermit sitting among the Cypress trees of a Florida. The song was written by Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher. However, Willie Nelson’s connection to the song goes deep. It was the title track off his 2001 album, and then in 2019, Willie sang it with Kacey Musgraves on the CMA Awards.

Kermit also re-appeared at other times during Willie Nelson’s set, including the Gospel medley at the end with “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” and “I’ll Fly Away.”

Some people have been reminding folks recently with Beyoncé getting into country that the banjo is a Black instrument. Well on Thursday, Kermit proved it’s also green.

Of course, Kermit isn’t real, and from the stool down, they didn’t really do a lot to keep the puppet illusion going. But if you suspended disbelief, the moment was still magical, with the interaction between Willie and Kermit feeling genuine. And since this was at the very beginning of Willie Nelson’s set, he was a bit breathy singing his parts. But remember, Willie Nelson is 90-years-old, and notoriously doesn’t ever warm up or practice.

Nobody was griping as the moment unfolded, and went on to make national news. The only gripes that would go up is when the exit from Luck once again was snake bitten as a shuttle bus to the remote parking area broke down, stranding hundreds of folks in Luck for 2 hours-plus in some instances before the snafu was unwrinkled.

Willie Nelson also announced a brand new album on Thursday called The Border, and released the title track. A big display of the album’s cover art was set up in Luck coinciding with the announcement. Luck is the town Willie originally built to be the set for the 1986 film adaptation of Red Headed Stranger.

More on the 2024 Luck Reunion and Willie’s new album forthcoming.

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