Willie Nelson to open theater at Carl's Corner Truck Stop

| 8/30/2005

He’s conquered the IRS, helped farmers and is pioneering the alternative energy market. Now, music legend Willie Nelson is ready to settle down – at his very own theater.

On Sept. 26 and 27, the red-headed stranger will open Willie’s Place, an 850-seat theater at the back of Carl’s Corner Truck Stop, just south of Dallas on Interstate 35, with a little help from his long-time friend and Carl’s co-owner Carl Cornelius.

“We wanted the truckers and travelers to have a chance to see live music,” Cornelius told The Associated Press. “They can’t get to the concerts in their big trucks. This is a little place where they can come to see Willie and some of the stars they don’t get to see on the road.”

In March, shortly after Nelson took part ownership in Carl’s Corner after winning it in a poker game, he hinted to Land Line that he might add live music while discussing the future of the travel plaza.

“There’ll be a restaurant there, and a place in the back where we might have some music,” Nelson said.

Carl’s is also the home of “BioWillie” – Nelson’s very own blend of biodiesel fuel –– which he began selling at the stop in October 2004.

Cornelius told The AP he hopes the adding of a big-name entertainment center will help expand the truck stop and the use of biofuels.

“It will make your liver quiver,” Cornelius said. “There’s not a bad seat in the whole house.”

– By Aaron Ladage, staff writer