On June 9, in New York City, the Songwriters Hall of Fame inducted Chip Taylor, 76, the outlaw country singer who, like Willie Nelson, rejected Nashville's strict 1970s conformity. Unlike Willie, though, who packed up and moved to Austin, Taylor packed up and quit the music business entirely in 1980 to become a professional gambler. The brother of actor Jon Voight and volcanologist Barry Voight certainly wasn't going to listen to anybody tell him how to make his music.
Leave it to Willie Nelson, 82, to thank the Library of Congress in song for being the first country music artist to win the prestigious Gershwin Prize last year-joining Paul Simon (the first such honoree), Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Hal David, Burt Bacharach, Carole King and Billy Joel-by releasing 'Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin' (Legacy Recordings).
Willie Nelson's next album comes in the form of a tribute, to none other than the creator of the Great American Songbook, Mr. George Gershwin. The album, entitled Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin, is poised to drop on February 26 but is currently up for listen on NPR.
Willie Nelson's name might not come to mind when you think about the Gershwin Brothers but that will soon change upon the release of his new album. Country music's original outlaw was awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song last November, and to honor the occasion Nelson is releasing, Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin -- proving that he too has long admired Ira and George Gershwin's contribution to modern music. PBS will be broadcasting the Library of Congress ceremony from last year which included performances by everyone to Edie Brickell to Neil Young, this Friday night at 9 p.m.
Acclaimed violinist Lindsey Stirling has been added to the lineup of the 17th annual Grammy Foundation Legacy Concert "Lean on Me: A Celebration of Music and Philanthropy.” Other performers include Melissa Etheridge, Cyndi Lauper, Willie Nelson, Robin Thicke, Aloe Blacc, John Mellencamp and Rozzi Crane. “Lean on Me” will be a part of Grammy Week, which highlights the Grammy Foundation’s ongoing work to safeguard music’s history. The Grammy Foundation hopes that by preserving our musical past, future generations will be able to benefit and grow in their own appreciation of history-making musical giants. Grammy Week will include a number of different events, culminating with the premiere of the 57th annual Grammy Awards. “Lean on Me” will bring together an extraordinary range of artists for a unique evening featuring live musical performances and archival footage from the Grammy Foundation’s preservation grant archives. The night will explore the history of and evolution of songwriting. By presenting an array of versatile artist, “Lean on Me” will celebrate the invaluable contributions of historic musicians and their impact on the American cultural landscape.
A more touching spectacle took place during the in memoriam segment--initiated by the first few bars of Lang Lang's Tchaik--despite misspelling Corey Monteith's name and excluding other revered names.