Texas History

The IRS Tapes: How Willie Nelson Taught us To Care About Stuff That Matters, Not Money

In honor of the Texas hero's 80th Birthday celebration and legendary 4th of July Picnic, we're celebrating Willie Nelson Week here on DC9 at Night. Check back for interviews, retrospectives and more.

Saying Willie Nelson is a Texas icon is like claiming the sun is hot. It's simply understood. Willie's appeal is as diverse as the student population at DISD. Artists like Snoop Dogg, Kid Rock, Keith Richards, and Santana have all jammed with the small-town country boy. Willie's been playing his signature guitar, Trigger, in front of crowds that span generations of Texas families for more than 50 years. But what is it about Willie Nelson that turns people not simply into fans but Willie's extended family?

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Christian McPhate is an award-winning journalist who specializes in investigative reporting. He covers crime, the environment, business, government and social justice. His work has appeared in several publications, including the Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star Telegram, the Miami Herald, San Antonio Express News and The Washington Times.