At age 84 “Sister Bobbie” Nelson is still the heart and soul in Willie Nelson’s band, The Family.
When Nelson was only five when she learned to play piano in 1936 and just four years later she began performing with Willie. Even at a young age, she found that during any kind of emotional state, she could go to the piano to express herself in joy and sorrow. Bobbie played the piano for Willie’s band during his childhood through the Texas Honky-Tonk circuit, and eventually joined the backing band that would become The Family during the recording of Shotgun Willie in 1973.
Having spent 50 years in Austin, Sister Bobbie is as entrenched in the Live Music Capital as her younger brother. The Family performed together for the first time at the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin, Texas, where they were acclaimed by the audience and burgeoning hippie scene. Lately Sister Bobbie has found comfort in the fact that she and Willie are still physically well enough to perform as regularly as they do.
In 2008, Sister Bobbie released her solo debut album, Audiobiography, and in December 2014, Willie Nelson and the Family released Willie’s Stash, Vol. 1: December Day, prominently featuring the Nelson siblings on the album cover. You can stream Sister Bobbie Nelson right here at KUTX!
– Jack Anderson