The Full Nelson

April 30, 1933

Born in Abbott. His mother leaves six months later; his father leaves a few years after that. Willie and his older sister, Bobbie, are raised by their grandparents, Daddy and Mama.

1939

Gets his first guitar, a Sears Stella.

1942

Lands his first paying job, playing with the John Rejcek Bohemian Polka Band in West. Gets drunk for the first time.

1944

Collects his songs in a notebook he titles “Songs by Willie Nelson.”

1947

Begins playing with Bud Fletcher and the Texans in area honky-tonks.

1950

Graduates from high school and joins the Air Force, where he is stationed at Lackland, in San Antonio.

1952

Marries Martha Matthews. Moves to Eugene, Oregon, where he works as a plumber.

1954

Enters Baylor University, sells encyclopedias door-to-door, and drops out of school. Moves to San Antonio. Becomes a deejay at KBOP, in Pleasanton.

1955

Makes his first demos at the radio station, recording over an old farm report. Tries marijuana for the first time. Doesn’t like it.

1956

Moves to Fort Worth, deejays and plays in honky-tonks. Meets Paul English, a

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