What Are Willie Nelson's Major Accomplishments

1338 Words6 Pages
Willie Nelson is, without question, one of the most influential musicians of his time. He has left an indelible mark on not only his own genre, but music in general. His unique sound, longevity as an artist, and talent as a songwriter have all combined to make him a popular singer even today.
Willie Nelson was born in 1933, amidst the throes of the Great Depression, to his mother Myrle and his father Ira. Nelson’s birthplace was the miniscule farming town of Abbott, Texas, which today holds a population of roughly three-hundred people. His mother left when he was six months old, ostensibly to find work, but she never returned (Encyclopedia.com, Willie Nelson). Nelson was then raised by his grandparents,
…show more content…
However, it would take him years to reach the height of fame he would later achieve. Encyclopedia.com described his lack of early success in this way: “The long and prolific musical career of Willie Nelson...has been like a roller coaster...slow-moving at the start”(Encyclopedia.com, Willie Nelson). He was married in 1952 to his first wife, Martha Matthews, and together they would have three children (Biography.com, Willie Nelson). Nelson struggled to provide for his family while making such little money from his music. At one point his band was earning less than a dollar per night (Encyclopedia.com, Willie Nelson). It wasn't until 1960 that Nelson would land a job in Nashville, Tennessee, as a songwriter for Pamper Music (Biography.com, Willie Nelson). Needless to say, he proved himself well-suited for the task. Nelson’s talent and skill resulted in a number of hits for other artists, and - further down the line - himself. Through the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, Nelson would remain a constant in music. His career has included the publication of more than one hundred albums, many of which came during this period…show more content…
It was released on the album of the same name - Pancho and Lefty - and rose to a position of considerable popularity. The song is notable for the ambiguity of its message and its descriptive lyrics. The title itself holds little meaning, as it only states the names of the characters in the story, and it is not repeated in the song. “Pancho and Lefty” begins with an unnamed narrator speaking to another person whose identity is not explained, referred to as “you”. With figurative language, the narrator tells “you” how his plans to live freely on the open road have not gone so well. A pair of similes are used in consecutive lines to illustrate this: “And now you wear your skin like iron, and your breath is hard as kerosene.” These words convey the image of a person whose hard life has left them rough and cold. The narrator then tells the story of Pancho, who is described as a dangerous bandit with no regard for the law: “Pancho was a bandit, boy, his horse was fast as polished steel. He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to feel.” In this way, Pancho is set up to be the villain of the story. Interestingly, however, the death of Pancho is related in a sympathetic way: “Pancho met his match, you know, on the deserts down in Mexico. Nobody heard his dying words, but that’s the way it goes”. The story of Lefty is told in the following verse. The narrator explains how Pancho’s death
Open Document