Willie Nelson has managed to carve out a niche for himself, not only as one of our foremost interpreters (and writers) of almost every form of American music, but he also has established himself as one of the most iconoclastic “patriots” in the nation, commanding center stage on national holidays from the far left wing – fascinating.
He’s back for the 4th of July:
- WILLIE NELSON’S “RADIO FREE” MARKS INDEPENDENCE DAY FOR MUSIC FANS ON THE WORLDWIDE WEB
Willie Nelson and the 4th of July go together like mustard on hot dogs and fireworks against the nighttime sky. At Willie’s annual Independence Day Picnic at The Stockyards in Ft. Worth, TX, this year, the singer will celebrate America’s birthday with the announcement of his new web service, Radio Free and Global Service Digital Radio on the SenseMedia Network. Radio Free netcasts music, entertainment, and information 24 hours a day absolutely free, and can be found at SMN.com.
Marking his most ambitious foray into webcasting, Willie spearheaded Radio Free and Global Service Digital Radio in partnership with the SenseMedia Network. The sponsor-supported commercial-free service offers links to Willie Nelson’s own survey of the best of contemporary Country, Americana and World Music. Websurfers will also find links to some of Willie’s favorite up-and-coming artists, such as Kia, Scotty Wright, Tom Cherry, Crazy Fingers, Britta and many more. Reflecting Willie’s social convictions, SMN.com also boasts links to live streaming news services like Air America, BBC, and NPR.
Later this summer, Willie will release “Willie Nelson and Friends: Outlaws and Angels,” a CD recorded live in concert (the same kick-ass show featured in his recent TV special of the same name). Willie’s third release for Lost Highway Records, “It Will Always Be,” ships in September and includes guest appearances from such musical luminaries as Paula Nelson, Lucinda Williams and Norah Jones.
Just two weeks ago, Willie Nelson was awarded two ACM Awards. The first award was given in the Video Of The Year category for “Beer For My Horses,” the hit collaboration with Toby Keith and he was also awarded the Gene Weed Special Achievement Award for his unprecedented, unique and outstanding achievements in 2003.
Willie has also previously won numerous ACM awards and eight Grammys, including a President’s Merit Award, a Grammy Legend Award, and in 2000 a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Outside the recording studio, Nelson established himself as a champion of family farmers with his annual Farm Aid concerts. His Fourth of July Picnics have for the past quarter-century served as a musical rite of passage in Texas. In 1993, with more than 100 albums to his credit, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Willie is certainly staying up with the times, embracing new technology, new artists, connecting the past, present and future. He’s pretty cool, I’d say.