As chronicled in their new book Me and Sister Bobbie: True Tales of the Family Band (Random House), Willie Nelson's been inseparable from his older sister Bobbie Nelson for pretty much his entire life. This bond began when the siblings were raised from a young age by their paternal grandparents and continues on the road, where Bobbie tours with aptly-titled band Willie Nelson and Family.
To appreciate the piano and keyboard playing talents of Bobbie Lee Nelson, check out more recent versions of her and younger brother Willie's "Family Bible" (they grew up playing at the local Methodist church) or her debut solo album from 2008, Audiobiography. Her contributions to the signature sound of her Country Music Hall of Fame member brother (and the genre as a whole) began in the '70s with such seminal albums as The Troublemaker, Shotgun Willie and Phases and Stages and continue into a sixth decade.
Of course, Willie's climb from his Abbott, Texas roots to singer-songwriter greatness in both Nashville and Austin needs no introduction. But as the title of Nelson's 1988 autobiography telegraphs, It's a Long Story (with several chapters still unwritten), so there's plenty of fresh angles to explore when it comes to Willie's professional and personal life.
A picture book telling Willie and Bobbie's life story, tentatively titled Sister, Brother, Family: Our Childhood in Music, is expected to arrive in 2021 and will target younger readers.
As for other ways to look at Willie's story, he and Bobbie are not the only children of their father, Ira Doyle Nelson.
Ira Doyle Nelson Jr.
Sister Bobbie & Willie's brother, Ira Doyle Nelson Jr. passed away yesterday(April 15th 2015) at the age of 77 of...
The namesake of Willie's father passed away in 2015 at the age of 77.
He was the son of Ira and his second wife, Lorraine Edna Moon Nelson.
Per a statement posted on Willie's Facebook page, Ira Jr. (he went by Doyle) took part in the family business, but not as a member of the band.
"Doyle spent his life in many transportation related jobs including driving tour busses for folks such as Jon Bon Jovi, Van Halen, John Fogerty and his brother Willie," the statement read. "He spent several years serving transportation needs for the television and film industry. He was a gentle man who will be dearly missed."
Charles Alfred Nelson
Even less is known about Doyle's younger brother and Willie and Bobbie's half-brother, Charles Alfred Nelson, except that he lived from 1943 to 1988.
Any combination of Google search terms including "Charles" and "Nelson" will result in articles about "Seven Spanish Angels," so it's very difficult to figure out what impact he might have had on his famous half-siblings' careers.
Our limited information on Charles Alfred Nelson comes from Find a Grave.