There Were First Several Painful Chapters
American singer and songwriter, Willie Nelson, is one of the world’s most accomplished musicians. He has been known for his Outlaw Country songs with hit singles like “Crazy” and “On the Road Again.”
In 1952, Nelson married his first wife, Martha Mathews, a marriage that would only last for ten years. His marriage with Mathews became a contentious and violent one. The last night of their marriage was the most garish one. In Nelson’s 1980 interview with People, the country legend recalled the one night he came home drunk. While Nelson was passed out, Mathews sewed him up in a sheet and started beating him with a broomstick.
“I woke up in this straitjacket, getting pounded like a short-order steak,” Nelson told People. By the time he got loose, Mathews had lit out in the car with their kids, her clothes, and even the ones owned by Nelson. Of course, there’s no way Nelson could follow her naked, so “that was kind of the end of it.” Nelson and Mathews had three kids together: Lana, Susie, and Willie “Billy” Hugh, Jr.
A year after Nelson and Mathews went separate ways, the country legend married fellow country singer Shirley Collie. They were husband and wife singing, recording, and traveling together. They settled down on 200 acres near Nashville in 1964.
However, this marriage ended almost as bizarrely as Nelson’s first. Things had quickly gotten sour when Collie discovered a bill from a maternity ward in one of the hospitals in Houston. It was charged to Nelson and Connie Koepke for the birth of their child Paula Carlene. Nelson and Collie drifted into smashing up cars, drinking, drugs, and infidelity until the marriage simply died of neglect.
Even before the divorce from Collie was final, he had gone ahead and married Koepke. By 1970, Collie had moved out, and Koepke had moved in. They eventually had another child, Amy Lee. But this one wasn’t meant to last either. Nelson and Koepke divorced in 1988.
The “On the Road Again” singer finally decided to take a few years off from being married to someone. He didn’t marry again until 1991 when he tied the knot with his current and fourth wife, Annie D’Angelo.