Saturday, September 16, 2006

Willie Nelson in Montgomery, Alabama

Tomorrow I can cross off one of “my things to do before I die.”

Willie Nelson, that old pot smoking, IRS evading cowboy I love so much, is coming to Montgomery. Earlier this summer I searched to see where he might be performing nearby and found nothing. Then, last month I read in the Montgomery Advertiser that he was set to perform at a Hank Williams birthday concert right here. I’m a big procrastinator and only got around to buying tickets for myself and “you know who” yesterday. “You know who” isn’t quite the Willie fan that I am, but he will tolerate a lot on my behalf.

Willie, who is now 73 years old, will be performing with 81-year-old Ray Price. In general, I’m not a country music fan. My daddy listened to the Porter Wagoner Show back when a young Dolly Parton was the girl singer. I’ll say it politely; I failed to appreciate the music, rhinestones, twangy fiddles and such.

Willie’s a different case. Not only does he write great and enduring songs like Crazy, but he sings them in his own unique style. I love his classics like Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to be Cowboys as well as jazzy standards like Stardust. Plus, He’s an outspoken man of action. Unlike some aging singers (Kenny Rodgers for one), he isn’t afraid of the wrinkles age brings with it. Neither I am.

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