Why We Think Willie Nelson Should Be In The Rock Hall Of Fame
via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube
Dolly Parton wasn’t certain she belonged in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but she proved there was a place for country music there, too – especially for candidates with her deft combination of crossover fame and lively rebelliousness.
Nelson was a late starter who achieved success in the background as a Nashville hired composer before becoming a celebrity in his 40s. By that point, he had abandoned his professional suit and tie ensemble in favor of T-shirts, bandannas, a ponytail, a battered guitar he called Trigger, and a joint. If not for his country twang at the microphone, Nelson might have been mistaken for a member of your typical Southern rock band from the 1970s. Below are few of the reasons why we believe that country icon Willie Nelson should earn a spot at the RRHF too.
He went from rags to riches
The day before a concert, “it was me, Willie, B.B. King, Ray Charles and Eric Clapton,” jazz legend Wynton Marsalis recalled to The New York Times in 2022. “And Willie said, ‘Well, gentlemen, I think I’m the only one here who actually picked cotton.’” After the laughter halted, it was then that Marsalis realized that “Willie has had some profound experiences.” His expertise and music have a very lengthy history.
He’s an excellent singer-songwriter, one of the many few
Several of them, such as “Crazy,” “Funny How Time Slips Away,” “Pretty Paper,” and “Hello Walls,” rose to prominence—often thanks to other people’s interpretations. He kept on penning, even after that. Nelson subsequently began to record solo hits, followed by even greater hits throughout the course of his career.
There’d be no trouble for him to fit in with the other country stars
Apart from his hard-rocking lifestyle, Nelson has a lot of experience working with rock groups both in the studio and live.
He lost a lot of money in bad investments, yet he made it look enjoyable
In 1990, Uncle Sam claimed Nelson owed an enormous $32 million and confiscated many of his assets. Most of his belongings were sold at auction, but after being bought by friends and admirers, Nelson immediately returned them. Then, he did what only a cheeky hill-country rebel like Willie Nelson would do: he released a stripped-down double album titled The IRS Tapes and used the money from it to pay off the remaining balance of his debt.
He lived the life of a rockstar
Nearly 50 years ago, Willie Nelson was taken into custody for his first marijuana possession offense, but there would be countless numbers more. Nelson made fun of everyone. The police just gave up after a while: Nelson stated to Rolling Stone in 2014, “They don’t really hassle me anymore for the weed. Because if you bust me now, I’ll pay my fine, or go to jail, get out, and burn one on the way home,” he said