Country legend Willie Nelson’s longtime love affair is something to treasure YouTube Screenshot

Pop music history is littered with legendary duos.

Lennon & McCartney.

Simon & Garfunkel.

Page & Plant.

Of course, country music has ours, too – and their names are Willie Nelson & Trigger.

Willie came to Nashville in 1960 and for nearly a decade, he had a great deal of success writing songs for other artists including the iconic “Crazy” made famous by Miss Patsy Cline. His dream, however, was to be an artist himself. For a while, he did all right but in 1969, things changed. That’s when fate, otherwise known as the drunk who broke Willie’s guitar, brought Willie and Trigger together for the first time.


Named for Roy Rogers’ horse, that $750 Martin N-20 acoustic has been with Willie ever since outlasting any band member and all of his wives. The guitar is so special that Willie even risked his own life to save it.

It’s been 47 years that Willie and Trigger have been together and so far, neither one has shown any signs of slowing down, though even Willie admits they’ve both seen better days.

“I figure we’ll give out about the same time,” he says. “We’re both pretty old, got a few scars here and there, but we still manage to make a sound every now and then.”

Based in Chicago but often in Nashville, Ken Churilla is a contributor for Rare Country. Follow him @KenChurilla and join the conversation @RareCountry.
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