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.


Gets his first guitar, a Sears Stella.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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