Here's Willie Nelson's official, authorized video biography! "Willie Nelson: My Life" is the close-up portrait of America's favorite singer/songwriter, from the days he sold one of his early hits, Family Bible, for $50 to ... more »buy milk for his children through his long struggle to superstardom. Included are frank and sometimes humorous interviews with Willie and his friends Ray Charles (who duets with Wilie on the song "Seven Spanish Angels"), Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, Sydney Pollack, Gary Busey, Mel Tillis, Ray Price, Jerry Jeff Walker and others. "Everything in this video, both the good and the bad in my life, is the absolute truth." - Willie Nelson« less
Anne Kathleen | In front of my Mac, United States | 04/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From the back:
Here's Willie Nelson's official, authorized video biography! "Willie Nelson: My Life" is the close-up portrait of America's favorite singer/songwriter, from the days he sold one of his early hits, Family Bible, for $50 to buy milk for his children through his long struggle to superstardom. Included are frank and sometimes humorous interviews with Willie and his friends Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Ray Charles, Emmylou Harris, Sydney Pollack, Gary Busey, Mel Tillis, Ray Price, Jerry Jeff Walker and others.
The soundtrack features vintage live performances of over 20 of Willie's biggest hits, including On the Road Again, Stardust, Whiskey River, Crazy, Nitelife, Funny How Time Slips Away, Red Headed Stranger, Shotgun Willie and Seven Spanish Angels (with Ray Charles).
"Everything in this video, both the good and the bad in my life, is the absolute truth." - Willie Nelson"
Reviewing My Willie Nelson CDs & DVDs
J. Pettyjohn | 12/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are reading this you probably already know that Willie is one of the most creative, powerful, and diverse performers of all time. In this review, I'm not going to rate the albums, just offer some insights into the CD's and DVD's that I have purchased - and I'm glad I've purchased them all.
"The Essential Willie Nelson" is essential. Be that as it may, Willie's individual CD's are so strong and the songs are so interrelated, often in a story or a tight thematic format, that they almost make the "essential" Willie Nelson unessential - but it is such a great collection of songs, that you can't get as easily any other way. Definitely worth the buy.
"The Red Headed Stranger" is one of the greatest albums of all time. It is pure genius. If you get the 70th birthday edition, you get a remastered track and extra songs. There are no less than six "A" level songs on this CD, nothing short of amazing. Plus, you get fourteen minutes of great story telling. As a story teller, Willie is only rivaled by Native American artist Robert Mirabal ("Indians Indians", "Taos Tales", "Music From A Painted Cave", "Mirabal", etc.).
"Willie and Family Live", done around 1975, is a great live album. It has lots of energy. A highlight for me was Willie Nelson, Emmy Lou Harris, and Johnny Paycheck singing "Amazing Grace" together. It also contains the fourteen minute story of the Red Headed Stranger, including "Blue Eyes Crying In the Rain". This live performance of Willie's first #1 hit is the best I have heard on any album. There is a little extra "oomph" on every song in the CD. Again, make sure you get the 70th birthday edition, it has extra goodies.
If you like the early super hits that Willie wrote for everyone else, like "Crazy", "Night Life", and "Funny How Time Slips Away", then you need to also get the "Milk Cow Blues" CD. Willie performs these and more Blues standards, usually in a duet format, with outstanding artists such as B.B. King - Rolling Stone Magazine's choice as the 3rd greatest guitarist of all time. Hearing BB and Willie strum and sing together on "Night Life" and "The Thrill is Gone" is indeed a thrill. Willie performs this album with a first class Blues band and it is a first class Blues album.
Willie's latest album, "It Will Always Be" is once again a solid piece of work. Duets with Norah Jones and Lucinda Williams help make it special, but the best part of this album is the haunting duet of Willie and Paula Nelson on the song "It Will Always Be". This is a song that hits you in the gut, and it rivals Bruce Springstein's "Streets of Philadelphia" in terms of its raw emotion. A number of people, including me, cried the first time they heard it: "I'm tied of this and I'm running out of time; feels like dyin', feels like cryin'; and I'm running out of time." Say it ain't so, Willie!! A second good song was written by another member of the Nelson clan. The title song is very beautiful. The tribute to the land Willie loves, "Texas", is too short but very meaningful. If this was Willie's last CD, he went out as "The Midnight Rider", a great song for the leader of the outlaw movement: "They ain't gonna catch me, I ain't go let `em catch the Midnight Rider."
"Spirit" and "Teatro" are brother/sister CDs. Both have a strong thematic core, although they are not stories. "Spirit" is one of those rare CD's when every note seems important. For most, you'll listen to it less than the other CD's, but love it equally as much. For a few, you'll play it by the hours. It is essentially a story of coping with lost love, redefining your relationship with yourself and with God, and finding love again. The music and the whole CD are moderately paced, with a strong, steady spiritual tone to it. It has a light Latin sound, essential to Willie's roots. Pictures of Willie on this album look like he came from an ancient Holy Land.
"Teatro" is the mirror of "Spirit". Again, it is a story of coping with lost love, but the story goes south, ending in murder and psychological ruin. Teatro means "theater" in Spanish and this is good to keep in mind in listening to the CD. It is just a play folks! The CD is very hard-hitting, because Willie's music is very hard-hitting and very close to the heart. The music tends to have a lively beat, with strong Latin overtones. Its haunting nature is reinforced by Emmy Lou Harris, who accompanies Willie on most of the songs. The back picture on the back of the CD case is one of the best pictures of Willie ever taken.
The "My Life" DVD is well worth the buy. The story ends before the 90's, but there is a brief update. I knew about Willie and Farm Aid, but I didn't know about the scope of his philanthropy and the diversity of populations targeted in his giving until this DVD. I was also amazed to learn that he paid his $16 million IRS debt off in one year, selling $17 million worth of songs as info-mercials to radio stations. That's a lot of love, translated into a lot of power.
A number of people criticize the "Live In Amsterdam" DVD and some of the criticisms are merited. But hey, the DVD has a large collection of great songs. Some criticisms are not fair. You perform differently and 70 than you do at 40, it is a biological rule. Willie's shows have always moved quickly from one song to the other, so the pace of the concert is nothing new. The love from the audience is shown at the end when Willie is signing autograph after autograph. The bottom line is this, if you like Willie, if you would like to watch him live occasionally instead of just hearing him through the box, and if you want those images of him at 70, then you should buy this DVD. You'll find it worthwhile.
In the final analysis, the raw power of Willie's work, formed by singing in the cotton fields with Black and Mexican laborers, and his keen insight into what people really want in music, formed not through record company analysis but through live performances on the ground, make Willie Nelson one of the most creative, powerful, and loved performers of all time.
Willie Nelson - My Life
J. M. Cross | El Dorado Hills, Ca. USA | 02/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The is a wonderful story about an amazing man. I enjoyed every minute of the film and have watched it over and over. I can't get enough of his friends and the insights they all have about Willie. This is a "must have" if you are a fan of any country, rock music, or Southern poetry."
Livin & loving Country music
Timothy P. Rogers | albuquerque,nm | 12/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This ia a video that will enhance to love and knowlege of all country music fans !To learn that Willie has put his heart and soul in this music makes it all the more enjoyable-excellent gift!"
Ms. Connie L. Mullins | Hillsboro, Ohio, USA | 01/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am probably Willie's #1 fan (of course there are others who feel this way). I absolutely loved this and definitely recommend it for anyone. All Willie fans will want a copy of this!"