Willie Nelson to be Honored in Star-Packed Washington Concert
Willie Nelson is set to be honored by The Library of Congress and the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song on Wednesday, November 18th at Constitution Hall in Washington. The concert will be recorded and broadcast nationwide through PBS on Friday, January 16th, 2016.
“With a career that spans six decades, Nelson’s music pushes genre boundaries and his lyrics give voice to America’s heartland,” reads the official announcement. “He put his imprint forever on country music and introduced it to new audiences by expanding music’s avenues in the ‘70s to create ‘outlaw country.’ He has continually broadened his musical language, crossing into jazz, blues, folk, rock and Latin styles. A guitar virtuoso with a unique voice, Nelson is an artist whose work continues to inspire new musicians of diverse genres.”
Set to honor Willie Nelson at the concert and ceremony are Jamey Johnson, Alison Krauss, Paul Simon, Neil Young, Raul Malo of The Mavericks, Rosanne Cash, Buckwheat Zydeco, Edie Brickell, and newer performers Leon Bridges, and The Promise of the Real—the band of Willie’s son Lukas. Willie Nelson will also perform at the event.
“Willie Nelson is a musical explorer, redrawing the boundaries of country music throughout his career,” Librarian of Congress James Billington says. “A master communicator, the sincerity and universally appealing message of his lyrics place him in a category of his own while still remaining grounded in his country-music roots. His achievements as a songwriter and performer are legendary. Like America itself, he has absorbed and assimilated diverse stylistic influences into his stories and songs. He has helped make country music one of the most universally beloved forms of American artistic expression.”
Previous recipients of the Gershwin Prize include Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Carole King, and Billy Joel.
“It is an honor to be the next recipient of the Gershwin Prize. I appreciate it greatly,” Nelson says.
Willie recently had to cancel a few show with Merle Haggard after a minor health concern, but is expected to resume touring soon.
Red Headed Danger
October 22, 2015 @ 6:53 pm
Congrats to Willie. Well-deserved. Sounds like a great concert as well.
October 22, 2015 @ 7:58 pm
I can’t help but rain on this parade. But TIME ALONE will judge quality. Keep in mind that assmunches like Jason Aldean win awards, and people will very little talent like Miranda Lambert can win awards. Giving this award to Willie Nelson rings hollow, even though the Gershwin award is far and way more prestigious, and we all know Jason Aldean doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in a cat-scanner of being respected alongside Paul Simon.
It is time that judges quality. Time has judged Hank Williams, and Patsy Cline. Time has judged “When You and I Were Young, Maggie” and “Amazing Grace.” When Time passes, some songs will remain, and others will pass. Trophies and awards will rust away, and no number of awards will decide which songs stay and which songs go, only Time has that authority, and he will look favorably upon Willie Nelson.
October 23, 2015 @ 7:48 am
Patsy Cline would have been the same age as Willie if she were still alive today, and he wrote her biggest song, so I think enough time has passed for him to be judged.
October 24, 2015 @ 7:26 pm
What do you think–Only dead people should be honored?
Or who are the living people who pass your “Time” test and you’d like to see honored?
October 25, 2015 @ 6:01 pm
Of course people should be honored in life, that’s not what I’m saying. I just think that industry awards ring hollow compared to time. Nobody gave “When You and I were Young Maggie” or “Bury me Beneath the Willow” any awards, and they’re among the most iconic songs of their era. People give Blake Shelton all sorts of awards and he sucks.
Living artists who I feel deserve more recognition include Colm Wilkinson, Peter Ostroushko, Roy Clark, Alfie Boe, Raymond Fairchild, Ramona Jones, and Lulu Roman.
October 23, 2015 @ 4:24 pm
Good for Willie!