My Dad and Willie Nelson

IMG_0859My dad is a huge country music fan and I think he has passed that down to me. Whenever my dad and I talk about country music he always talk about his favorite artist, Willie Nelson. I learned so much about Willie Nelson from my dad. Even though my dad was born and raised in Bosnia, Willie Nelson was no stranger to him. My dad grew up in many foster homes so music was really the only thing he had. He told me a story of how someone one day dropped off a box at his foster home, filled with different cassettes and records. My dad never really had anything so when people brought in freebies, he was always the first one to go and look in the box. That day he came across a Willie Nelson record. Still to this day he has this Willie Nelson record.

FullSizeRenderI made the mistake one day and asked my dad where he got this record from because what I thought was going to be a simple answer turned into a two hour story. My dad told me that from the day he laid hands on this record, he knew that country music would be an important thing in his life. When I was little my dad would always play Willie Nelson songs and we would talk about what these songs meant to him. I would always ask my dad what his favorite Willie Nelson songs was and he would always tell me, “I don’t have one.” It was hard for him to pick a favorite because he said Willie Nelson had so many great hits. I learned so much from my dad while growing up but learning to share his love for country music was one of the greatest. Even though I may not be a little girl anymore, my dad and I still sit around some days and listen to country music together. Country music is one of the many things that we have in common. I love my dad and I am so glad we can experience our love for country music together.


Filed under Classic Country, Outlaw, Reflection

10 Responses to My Dad and Willie Nelson

  1. William Glass

    I find it really cool how your father was able to grow up listening to Willie Nelson even in Bosnia. That really shows how influential these artists have been not only in the United States, but throughout the whole world. I guess i’m similar to your dad in the fact that I could not ever say my favorite Willie song. He has so many good hits and so many albums it would be extremely hard to narrow it down to one song. I could probably think of several that would be on my top list. Really enjoyed reading your blog!

  2. Brent Borman

    I really enjoyed your father’s story about how he became familiar with Willie Nelson. I am a Willie Nelson fan as well, but I always assumed that he was just a staple Austin musician. It is amazing to me that Willie Nelson’s music would be found in Bosnia, let alone be accepted. I suppose that I underestimated country music because clearly you don’t have to be from the Southern United States to enjoy it’s universal messages and sounds. I can definitely relate to him when he says that he can’t decide on his favorite Willie Nelson song! Nelson has made many great records over many years.

  3. Makayla Markey

    I didn’t know much of anything at all about Willie Nelson until I came to Texas my Freshman year of college. He is truly a unique artist that really symbolizes Austin musicians well. I also really enjoyed your story about your Dad and Willie Nelson as well. I feel like a lot of us in the class learn to love and appreciate country music through our parents love for country music. It is a very interesting trend. Also I don’t know if you already knew this but in the North End Zone of the football stadium they built a tribute to Willie Nelson across from subway. Everyone should check it out it is a very informational yet beautiful exhibit.

  4. Hannah Parmer

    I loved your article! The story on how your dad grew to love Willie Nelson is awesome. I have never really listened to many songs by him but I think it is really cool that he is so special not only to your dad, but to you as well. My dad and I share the love for George Strait together. Any road trip, pool day, or just around the house, we love to jam George Strait. I think it is really neat that your dad was able to keep the record still to this day. That is something that hopefully can be passed down to you!

  5. Thanks, Lejla, for sharing this story — it’s the sort of story that I think even Willie would be interested in hearing. How common is country music in Bosnia? Does your dad also share your admiration for Carrie Underwood?

  6. Zane Gurwitz

    Firstly, I think it is awesome how your dad is a huge fan of Willie Nelson, while even being from a foreign country. I love how great country music stars have their music heard around the world. Anyways, I love the fact that you and your dad get to really bound over country music. Both of my parents listen more to soft or classical rock instead of country, so we do not connect when it comes to music unfortunately. I also think its very neat how your dad still has the Willie Nelson record from such a long time ago.

  7. Mark Anderson

    Willie Nelson is awesome. I am really a fan of his music and even better, he is from Austin! You should check out the exhibit they just revealed in the North End Zone of the Football Stadium on Willie Nelson, it is incredible and a great way to commemorate him. It is also great to hear about your Dad’s story, and how he was first introduced to Willie. That’s crazy how he still has that first record today! I feel the same way as your Dad, I really cannot pick a favorite song by him because he has so many good ones.

  8. Carilu Martinez

    Lejla, I really enjoyed reading your post because I think it is really nice how your dad and you are able to bond over something as cool as music! I wish I was able to have this type of relationship with my parents but they seem to be really old schooled and really do not like listening to music. The story about your dad really encouraged me to ask my parents why they don’t like listening to music as much but I’m sure once I ask it would turn into a really long interesting conversation. I am actually looking forward to it!

  9. Elizabeth Stack

    That is such a cool story, and how amazing that he was able to hold onto the record after all these years! I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who said they didn’t like Willie. Probably a dangerous thing to say in Austin. Whether you like country or not, there’s no denying he has a way with words. He is a true storyteller who manages to make complex songwriting seem effortless. Beyond that Willie just has such a unique persona. Even though compared to many country artists he’s a bit radical, he is full embraced by the community. Everyone wants to hang out with Willie Nelson. It’s on my bucket list anyway.

  10. Michael Casarez

    Great story, Lejla! I hope that you and your dad continue to share this music together! My father is also a huge Willie Nelson fan and although he doesnt have a compelling story like your dads it is one of the best ways that my father and i connect. My dad has passed on his love for Willie and country music to me and since i wasnt raised by my dad it is hard for us communicate and bond but through country music we have been able to better understand each other and come closer as father and son. As family. Thank you for you and your fathers story. It always makes me feel good when people can relate through country music, and in this case the great Willie Nelson, just as i have done with my family.

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