Willie Hugh Nelson, 30 April 1933, Abbott, Texas, USA. Following their mothers desertion and the death of their father, Nelson and his sister Bobbie were raised by their grandparents. Bobbie was encouraged to play the piano and Willie the guitar. By the age of seven he was writing cheating-heart-style songs. Maybe I got em from soap operas on the radio, he said, but Ive always seemed to see the sad side of things. Bobbie married the fiddle player Bud Fletcher, and they both played in his band. When Fletcher booked western swing star Bob Wills, the 13-year-old Willie Nelson joined him for a duet. After graduation he enlisted in the US Air Force, but was invalided out with a bad back, which has continued to plague his career to the present day. In 1953 Nelson began a traumatic marriage in Waco, Texas. Martha was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian, says Nelson, and every night was like Custers last...
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