Bobbie Nelson Death news, Obituary not available : Pianist Bobbie ‘Bobby’ Nelson, sister and original member of Willie Nelson’s Family Band, has died at the age of 91. Bobbie Nelson passed away on Thursday morning, March 10, 2022, surrounded by family, according to a statement from the Nelson family.
“Her elegance, grace, beauty and talent made this world a better place. She was the first member of Willie’s band, as his pianist and singer. Our hearts are broken and she will be deeply missed. But we are so lucky to have had her in our lives,” it read. “Please keep her family in your thoughts and give them the privacy they need at this time.”
Bobbie Nelson was born on January 1, 1931, in Abbott, Texas, to Ira Doyle Nelson and Myrle Marie (née Greenhaw). Her mother moved to Portland, Oregon, soon after her brother Willie was born in 1933 (Willie later relocated their mother when he reached adulthood). Her father remarried and also moved away, leaving them to be raised by their paternal grandparents. The Nelsons, who taught singing back in Arkansas, started their grandchildren in music.
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Bobbie grandmother taught her to play keyboards at age five with a pump organ, and after successful appearances at gospel conventions held in Hillsboro, Texas, her grandfather bought her a piano.
She started singing in school acts and in church with her brother. At age sixteen she married Bud Fletcher, who formed his own band, The Texans. She joined on the piano, while her brother joined on vocals and guitar. The band was disassembled in 1955 after she divorced Fletcher.
In 1961, after suffering a breakdown caused by Fletcher’s death and the custody of their children being given to his parents, she moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where she worked for the Hammond Organ Company. After recovering her children, she moved to Austin, Texas.
Bobbie spent nearly 50 years in the Family Band, happy to play a supporting role to her brother. But in 2008 — at the age of 76 — she decided to release her solo debut. Titled Audiobiography, the mainly instrumental album (Willie sang two songs) featured ragtime standards like “12 Street Rag” and Willie’s “Crazy,” reimagined as a lounge number.
An official obituary for Bobbie Nelson is not available at the time of this publication
Bobbie was a private figure in the Nelson universe. She rarely gave interviews and chose to let her playing speak for her onstage. But in 2020, she wrote at length about her childhood with Willie in their book Me and Sister Bobbie: True Tales of the Family Band. According to Willie, “Bobbie got the best story in our whole family.”
He also credited her with his success.
“If I was the sky, Sister Bobbie was the Earth. She grounded me,” Willie wrote. “There is no longer or stronger or steadier relationship in my life.”
Bobbie Nelson Obituary, funeral and life celebration details will be released by he family and loved ones at their suitable time.
Picture credit – Austin360