Willie Hugh Nelson was born on April 29, 1933, in Abbott, Texas. The son of Myrle and Ira D. Nelson, Willie and his older sister, Bobbie, were raised by their paternal grandparents during the Great Depression.
With their grandparents, Willie and Bobbie attended their town’s small Methodist church, where they received their earliest exposure to music. Their loving grandparents had a musical background and Nelson has described them as "dedicated musical teachers." They encouraged Willie and his sister to play and learn, going so far as to order musical books from Chicago.