It's not every state that can claim a musical history as rich in innovators and legends as Texas, from Buddy Holly to UGK to Pantera. But Willie Nelson stands without equal as a folk hero: A man of humble, high-school-football-playing beginnings and a long resume of odd jobs and blue-collar struggle. He proved a hit-making songwriter and a singer capable of crossover appeal, but he left Nashville to forge his own path back here in Texas, where he and the most famous guitar in music have grown old together
Willie turned 80 earlier this year and he'll celebrate this week at his 4th of July Picnic, to be held this year in the Fort Worth Stockyards. We're going to celebrate, too, with a week of stories, songs and ephemera in tribute to America's most affable outlaw.