Music News: The famous country singer and songwriter Willie Nelson is 88 years old, so he won’t be with us for as long as we would like. Fortunately, we get to hear Willie Nelson’s voice live for several more decades. Why is that? Because Willie Nelson’s son Lukas Nelson sounds just like his talented dad.
Willie Nelson is famous for more than just being a legendary musician who has starred in movies, co-authored various books, and lived a devoted life to activism and the causes he believes in. He also has a close family and the Willie Nelson family tree is complicated. Willie reportedly has a great relationship with all of his seven children.
Willie Nelson has a new album that will be released in April 2022. The title of Willie Nelson’s new album is “A Beautiful Time.” This album coincides with the death in March of Bobbie Nelson, Willie’s older sister.
Willie Nelson Songs
The history of Willie Nelson songs started when Willie was a very young child. In fact, Willie Nelson joined a band when he was just 10 years old. A few years later, Willie Nelson and his band spend his high school years touring around the area and making beautiful music.
Bringing in a new breed of country music, Willie Nelson pioneered the “outlaw country” music sub-genre in the 1960s. The new sound really captured the country’s attention and was considered to be a reaction to the popular Nashville conservative sound of the times.
Willie Nelson Family Tree
Like many entertainers, Willie Nelson has had several wives and a slew of children (7 Willie Nelson kids in total) so the Willie Nelson family tree is a bit complex. Let’s break it down.
Willie Nelson’s first wife: Martha Matthews (married 1952)
With his first wife, Willie Nelson had three children:
- Lana Nelson
- Susie Nelson
- Willie “Billy” Hugh Nelson, Jr. Billy Nelson committed suicide in 1991.
Willie Nelson’s second wife: Shirley Collie (married 1963)
Willie Nelson and Shirley Collie did not have children together.
Willie Nelson’s third wife: Connie Koepke (married 1971)
With Connie Koepke, Willie Nelson’s 3rd wife, Willis had two children:
- Paula Carlene Nelson (also a musician)
- Amy Lee Nelson
Willie Nelson’s fourth wife: Annie D’Angelo (married 1991 and still married)
Who is Lukas Nelson’s mom? With his fourth (and we hope final) wife, Willie Nelson has two children:
- Lukas Autry Nelson
- Jacob Micah Nelson
As we said, the Willie Nelson family tree is complex, but by all accounts, they are a loving and happy family. Willie Nelson has a reputation for being a great dad.
“Always On My Mind” Original Version
Believe it or not, Willie Nelson didn’t write one of the most popular Willie Nelson songs. The original version of “Always On My Mind” was written by Johnny Christopher, Wayne Carson, and Mark James.
The original version of this beautiful love ballad was first recorded by Brenda Lee, and the song was later recorded by Elvis Presley and Gwen McCrae.
“Always On My Mind” has been a huge crossover hit that does well in both pop categories and country music categories.
Willie Nelson Version of “Always On My Mind” and Grammy Awards
Although “Always On My Mind” was recorded by several different artists, it was the Willie Nelson version that won the most success. On the Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart in May of 1982, “Always On My Mind” went to the top of the charts, and the song spend two weeks at the top. The total amount of time on the charts was 21 weeks.
The song also made it to number five on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and remained there for three weeks.
The Willie Nelson version of “Always On My Mind” was a huge hit, winning three awards at the 1983 Grammy Awards. The song won Best Country Song, Song of the Year, and won Willie Nelson a Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance.
Willie Nelson Version of “Always On My Mind” and the Country Music Association Awards
For two years in a row, the Willie Nelson version of “Always On My Mind” was named Song of the Year, and in 1982, the song was named Single of the Year. Moreover, Willie Nelson won a Grammy Award in 1982 for Album of the Year for the “Always On My Mind” album.
Willie Nelson’s version of “Always On My Mind” was certified by the RIAA as platinum on October 7, 1991. In 2008, this beautiful song was inducted into the coveted Grammy Hall of Fame. Rolling Stone calls this song one of the best songs of all time. The song and album also made it to the Americana Album Chart.
Here is a video of Willie Nelson singing “Always On My Mind” live.
Elvis Presley “Always On My Mind”
Rock and roll ensembles superstar Elvis Presley recorded “Always On My Mind” just a few weeks after he and his wife, Priscilla Presley, separated.
Here is the Elvis Presley version (singular sound) of “Always On My Mind” with the voice of Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. I have a confession: Willie Nelson’s version of “Always On My Mind” is my all-time favorite, but the Elvis Presley version of “Always On My Mind” is also powerful and beautiful.
Lukas Nelson Songs
Willie Nelson’s son Lukas Nelson is perhaps the most well-known of the Willie Nelson children.
Lukas Autry Nelson was born on Christmas Day in 1988. Lukas Nelson tours with the country-rock band called Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real. In the band, Lukas plays guitars and sings lead vocals.
Beginning in 2015, Lukas Nelson and his band have served as the backup band for Neil Young, the Canadian musician. As Neil Youngs road band, the band has recorded two studio albums (“The Visitor” and “The Monsanto Years“), a live album titled “Earth,” and a soundtrack album for “Paradox” in 2018. No doubt having Lukas Nelson in his work helps Neil Young sell even more tickets to fans to a Neil Young concert or music festivals.
Members of the band include percussionist Tato Melgar, multi instrumentalist Logan Metz, drummer Anthony Logerfo, and real bassist Corey McCormick.
After Lukas Nelson moved from Hawaii to Los Angeles to attend Loyola Marymount University in 2007, he became friends with his future band-members. After the band took off and started making music regularly, Lukas dropped out of college. The band has performed country songs at the Outlaw Music Festival.
Here is a partial list of Lukas Nelson songs and albums with Promise of the Real.
- Live Beginnings
- Brando’s Paradise Sessions
- Willie Nelson’s Heroes
- Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real (after the band signed with Fantasy Records)
- Willie Nelson & The Boys (with Legacy Recordings)
- Turn Off the News (Build a Garden)
- Naked Garden
- A Few Stars Apart
Lukas Nelson, Lady Gaga, and Bradley Cooper
Lukas Nelson also collaborated with Lady Gaga for the soundtrack for the movie “A Star Is Born,” with Lukas providing backing vocals on two of the soundtrack’s songs. This soundtrack album earned the band a nomination at the American Music Awards.
Lukas Nelson Singing “Always On My Mind”
In the video below, you can watch Lukas singing Willie Nelson’s biggest hit. He sounds so much like his dad!
As one person said in the comments, we’ll apparently get to listen to Willie Nelson’s voice live for another 50 years or so. Amazing!