Shirley Collie Nelson

Shirley Collie Nelson, second wife of Willie Nelson.

Shirley Collie Nelson, country singer and Willie Nelson’s second passed away on Wednesday (1/27/10) at the age of 78.

Shirley made a name for herself on television before she hit country radio, as she appeared on ABC's 'Ozark Jubilee'a country music variety show in the late '50s. The song 'Willingly' recorded together by Shirley Collie and Willie Nelson.

She released three singles on Liberty Records in the early '60s, including a duet with Willie called 'Willingly,' which marked her future husband's debut on the Billboard country charts and her only appearance on the Top Ten. Shirey Collie singing with Willie Nelson.

Shirley's first single was 'Dime a Dozen,' penned by legendary songwriter Harlen Howard. She then followed it with a cover of “Why, Baby, Why,” written and first released by George Jones. Both of those songs cracked the Top 25 on the charts.

Shirley and Willie married in 1963, one year after 'Willingly' was released. It was a second marriage for both, as Shirley was first married to famed country radio DeeJay Biff Collie. Shirley and Willie divorced in 1971 and did not have any children together.

When you visit the Willie Nelson Museum you can see the actual guitar we purchased from Shirley that Willie used the night he made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry in 1963.

Shirley was a very nice and talented lady and will be missed by all who knew her.

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The Martin D-18 guitar played by Willie at his Grand Ole Opry debut on display at the Willie Nelson Museum located in Nashville, Tennessee.

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