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Willie Nelson to Share the Stories Behind His Songs in New Book ‘Energy Follows Thought’

Book will arrive in October, right before the 90-year-old’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Willie Nelson will dive into his extraordinary catalog of music in a new book, Energy Follows Thought: The Stories Behind My Songs, set to arrive Oct. 31 via HaperCollins.

The book — which Nelson co-wrote with David Ritz and Mickey Raphael — will find the singer offering insights into the lyrics of 160 of his favorite songs. The book will span the entirety of his career, covering some of his earliest hits (some of which he only got paid $50 for) to deeply-cherished deep cuts and some of his clever concept albums. 

The songs will also serve as a jumping-off point for other stories as Nelson waxes on everything from his famous guitar Trigger to his family, both personal and musical. There’ll also be stories about the myriad artists he’s worked with throughout his career, like Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, and Ray Charles. Accompanying Nelson’s words will be a selection of never-before-seen photographs and ephemera.


Energy Follows Thought will be published just a few days before Nelson is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Nov. 3. Nelson also just celebrated his 90th birthday, hosting a massive concert in Los Angeles on April 29, which featured appearances from Neil Young, Snoop Dogg, Margo Price, Keith Richards, and more. 

On top of everything, Nelson will be on the road for much of this year with his traveling Outlaw Music Festival. The shows will stretch all the way through October, with concerts featuring a rotating cast of artists, like Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, the Avett Brothers, John Fogerty, Margo Price, Kurt Vile, Kathleen Edwards, and more.

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