Like a fine wine, Bernie Nelson’s music is timeless. Bernie’s country drawl engages fans at his sold-out shows. Over the years Nelson has enjoyed a successful career as a singer and songwriter in Nashville, not only performing his timeless classics, but with songs such as “Daddy Never Was the Cadillac Kind” which was recorded by Confederate Railroad and achieved Million-Airplay status.
As a songwriter Nelson has had 25 million records sold with multiplatinum cuts. Conway Twitty cut the Nelson penned song “House on Old Lonesome Road” which was Conway’s final 75th and final single. Kris Kristofferson also recorded songs written by Nelson on an album titled “Heroes and Friends” featuring artists B.B. King, Merle Haggard and Crystal Gayle amongst others.
“Daddy Never Was the Cadillac Kind” is the biggest song written by Bernie to date. Nelson along with Dave Gibson who co-wrote the track were pitching the song around when Nelson received a call saying that Confederate Railroad needed a follow up to their then current single “Jesus and Mama always Loved Me” so that was how Confederate Railroad ended up cutting the single.
Other Songs written by Nelson include Mark Wills’ “Looking for America”, Montgomery Gentry’s “Damn Baby” and Tracy Lawrence’s “Heaven for A while”. Nelson moved to Nashville in 1984. He had a couple of record deals that never took off. Then he decided to go to Muscle Shoals, Alabama where he met Mac McAnally and Robert Burn whose songwriting credits include “Two Dozen Roses” which was recorded by Shenandoah and “Once in A Blue Moon” which was cut by Earl Thomas Conley.
He then returned to Nashville where he began writing songs that were getting cut. But over the last few years Nashville started becoming watered down and started becoming less appealing to him. So, he began to tour and eventually started to record his own material. He would find his way to Texas where he began to fall in love with the sound that comes with this scene.
Growing up Nelson had a friend who owned a record store turning him on to artists like the Geezinslaws, Rodney Crowell and Guy Clark. One thing that Bernie mentions is that when he moved to Nashville he became friends with several of these guys. He was fortunate enough to have done a few shows with Guy Clark, Steve Earle, Kevin Welch and sang demos for the legendary Robert Earl Keen.
Bernie says there are not a ton of differences in between Texas and Nashville when playing different venues. You go where all artist play, such as the Bluebird, where there are a bunch of half-drunk people but by the end of the second verse you will have their attention. When he plays to new faces it’s satisfying but when he plays in Texas he sets the bar a lot higher.
However, when he plays in Texas and they love his music then Nelson feels a sense of accomplishment. He doesn’t feel like he ran from Nashville but came home to Texas.
Currently Nelson has a fantastic new record titled “Whiskey and Water” which features his current single “You Asked Me To” the old Waylon Jennings tune and has a very good book titled Honky Tonk Angels. You can find out what is going on with Bernie Nelson by visiting www.Bernienelson.com.