He might be 90, but it’s clear that Willie Nelson has no interest in slowing down as long as he’s able to keep making music, and for those who might need a reminder of just how much music he’s made in those nine decades, you’re in luck: Paramount+ has announced that the four-part documentary series Willie Nelson & Family will be making its debut on the streaming network on December 21.
Directed by Thom Zimny and Oren Moverman, Emmy winners for Springsteen on Broadway and Bad Education, respectively, the docuseries was the brainchild of Mark Rothbaum, Willie’s longtime manager, and Keith Wortman of Blackburn Presents, and it’s produced by Taylor Sheridan, best known nowadays as the creator of Yellowstone.
"Willie's music formed the soundtrack of my youth. His songwriting helped shape me as a storyteller," Sheridan said in the press release announcing the imminent premiere. "Willie is a national treasure and his story will serve as inspiration for all those seeking their own path that leads away from the clouds of compromise. Willie has opened his life to us - warts and all - to serve as a beacon to overcoming failure, realizing dreams, and keeping your compass once the dream is achieved."
Similarly, Zimny and Moverman offered a joint statement for the release:
"It's been an honor of a lifetime to live in Willie World and travel this long road with the great man and his family. Willie is the last of the consensus artists in America, bringing together people from across every divide: age, class, race, orientation, political affiliation, and more. And so this series, like Willie's music, is about healing. Let there be more of it. Let it be as deeply felt as Willie Nelson. We couldn't be more grateful.”
Willie Nelson & Family was filmed throughout the U.S. and intersperses concert performances and archival footage with interviews from a plethora of people who’ve known and worked with Willie throughout his life and career, including – per the press release – “his children, sister Bobbie Nelson, fellow musicians, lifelong friends, producers, lawyers, booking agent, tour manager, driver, several Willie-ologists, concert goers and anyone who shaped or was shaped by the quintessential visionary.”
Well, surely not everyone. But it does includes contributions from Brenda Lee, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Kenny Chesney, Sheryl Crow, Rosanne Cash, and many, many others.
Check out the trailer below and see what - and who else - you can expect to see.