Bobbie Nelson Tells Her Life Story Through Songs On Audiobiography

Bobbie Nelson Tells Her Life Story Through Songs On Audiobiography
Debut Solo Album, Out September 25th on Justice Records,
Reflects on a Lifetime of Music and Songs From the Bench of Her Piano
(Austin, TX) Bobbie Nelson may be only now releasing her debut solo album, but she is already well known and loved by millions of music fans after 35 years of playing piano beside her brother, American music icon Willie Nelson. Now, on Audiobigraphy, she tells her life story in the best way she knows how: at the piano, where she has been all her life, through her distinctive and wonderful playing and the songs that she loves.

The album’s title comes a query by Justice Records founder Randall Jamail, a Nelson family friend, as to whether Bobbie ever thought about writing a bookthat told her life story. “I told Randall that really the only way for me totell my life story would be through music,” Bobbie explains. So he offeredher the opportunity to do so < a record deal with Justice < and at the ripeyoung age of 76, Bobbie Nelson is a new artist (and one well worth checkingout) making her solo bow.

Over her years with Willie Nelson & Family, Bobbie has had her musical giftsspotlighted on a regular basis when Willie steps aside from his microphoneand passes the lead of the band her way for rousing piano numbers that areboth a ritual and one of the reliable crowd pleasers within a Willie show.

Audiobiography finds Bobbie in a more intimate setting < an “up close and personal” approach that suits the album’s title < on 10 solo piano tracks that showcase her talent for imbuing truly classic songs with her own musical imprint (something of a Nelson family trait as any Willie follower knows well). Her brother also joins Bobbie on two of his recently written songs (destined to be classics as well) that bookend the album < only fitting, as the two have been playing and performing music side by side since the were kids.
The spine of Audiobiograpy is songs that the Nelsons played together at home and out performing < first in the church and later in the honky-tonks < during their youth in Central Texas. The second track, “Pine Top Boogie,” is one of the earliest boogie woogie hits, written by pianist Clarence “Pinetop” Smith. “Twelfth Street Boogie,” a staple for such musical giants as Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Fats Waller, gets a splendid Bobbie Nelson treatment that stands alongside the other classic versions. She also unearths the more obscure but equally delightful “Death Ray Boogie,” and opens the swinging doors to the honky-tonks she played as a teen on “The House of Blue Lights” (the Freddie Slack favorite of country fans androckers) and “Down Yonder” (whose best known hit version was by Grand Ole Opry pianist Del Wood).

Thanks to the radio the Nelson family got when Bobbie and Willie were kids,they both became avid fans of big band music and classic pop songs < thestandards of the pop repertoire in any and every piano entertainer’s fakebooks. And Bobbie Nelson brings her own touch and new life to such chestnutsthat have been recorded hundreds of times and played millions as “DeepPurple,” “Laura” and Hoagy Carmichael’s “Stardust” (the title song to thelandmark Willie album with his own definitive take). And Bobbie also offersher interpretation of “Crazy,” one of her brother’s contributions to thecanon of hit songs of all time, as she has since he wrote it (and PatsyCline made the song an American standard) over her years as a pianoentertainer in lounges and supper clubs before musically rejoining her brother (as the family in Willie Nelson & Family) in 1972.

Audiobiography also includes what Bobbie calls her “newest love affair in music” < “Sabor a Mi,” a Spanish language classic and worldwide hit written by Mexican songwriter Alvaro Carrillo. “I loved it when I heard it and kept listening to it and I had to learn it and have it on the album,” she says.
The album begins and ends with two new numbers from Willie’s songwriting pen, played by he and Bobbie with Family guitar player Jody Payne (the same core line-up that recorded Spirit, which Nelson aficionados consider one of his finest moments on record, albeit among many). Their take on “Back To Earth” is the original waxing of a destined to be classic number later recorded on both recent Willie releases Songbird and Last Of The Breed, while another recently-written gem, “Until Tomorrow,” makes its debut here.
The sum total of Audiobiography tells of Bobbie Nelson’s profound love for great songs and playing and performing them for countless music lovers over the years. And for all the album¹s riches, it’s likely just the first chapter as Bobbie Nelson shares all the music she loves < as well as her wondrous piano talents and innate feel for the heart of any song she plays < as she has throughout her life.
Bobbie reckons she has learned and played thousands of songs in her life. “I can’t really even say how many,” she observes with a shy chuckle. “I was lucky enough to learn a lot of songs when I was growing up. Whenever we could get a new music book, I’d read everything in it and Willie would sing them. We would play every song in that book. And that’s what I still love to do. Of course now I have so many music books and still haven’t played everything in them.
“I’m really a student of music, and always have been,” she concludes. “And I hope I always remain a student of music. I love so many kinds of music, and I want to keep being better at what I love.”

6 Responses to “Bobbie Nelson Tells Her Life Story Through Songs On Audiobiography”

  1. Mickey Bourke Says:

    Good for you Bobbie. You are finally doing your thing. I can’t wait to get my hands on it and in my cd player. You are a dear heart and of course you know how many people love you. Freddie Joe has been a friend of mine since he had a snotty nose. Warmest regards, Mickey

  2. Bobbie, good for you girl. Finally you get to shine on your own. Of course you know how many people love you. I have known Freddie Joe since he was a wild little child, now a wonderful grown man. Congradulations on motherhood and music. Something that is hard to do. I look forward to your CD and get it in my hands into my CD player. Warmest regards, Mickey

  3. Lady Bobbie….

    It’s about time! One of my favorite memories was the night at the Western Place in Dallas, when Willie asked me to record his first set and he did “Phases and Stages” for the first time.
    Afterward you sat in the floor and listened to the playback. The expression on your face told me that it was even better than I thought.

    I will be waiting for the release party.

    Love & Light,


  4. Dorothy Kissman Says:

    Bobbie, I can’t wait for this one! Congratz and love to you! You know I love your Boogie Woogie music!


  5. Bobbie,

    Huge congrats. Always love when Willie throws it over to “sister Bobbie.” So thrilled to know you guys. Big big hugs and good luck with the well-deserved debut CD,


    Jackie Martling

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: