Not that it should come as a surprise, because the man clearly has a way with words, but his late sister and longtime piano player Bobbie Nelson shared some of the stories of how her brother drove the ladies crazy in their 2020 co-memoir, Me and Sister Bobbie.
She dished all about his younger years and how women would throw themselves at him all the time, though she was certain he didn’t mind and would often play along:
“I think he likes flirting. I know he does. Willie and his women is a subject that requires a book of its own.
The girls loved my brother.”
She added that he really “didn’t even need to flirt,” and attributed his easy ability to charm the ladies to his:
“God-given easygoing charm, or the sparkle in his eye.
When you talk to him, he makes you feel like the most important person in the world.”
Yep, that’ll do it… take notes, guys.
And while, in their younger years out on the road constantly, Bobbie noted that women were expected to be less aggressive and more ladylike by societal standards when it came to interacting with men during that time, those rules pretty much went out the window when Shotgun Willie walked into a room (or onto a stage).
She said girls were so eager to flirt with the red headed stranger, they’d end up physically fighting over his attention:
“Girls were so fast to flirt with Willie, they’d wind up fighting over him.”
But, again, it didn’t seem to bother him one but. In fact, he quite enjoyed it:
“He liked that. What man wouldn’t?”
And though Willie’s wild days of flirting with young women in cities all over the world are long over, as he’s been married to his fourth and current wife, Annie D’Angelo, since 1991, it’s pretty funny to hear his sister spill all the details about him back in the day.
And actually, Bobbie recalled that plenty of different women approached her for advice on how to impress her superstar brother, but she never intervened.
It was nothing against the women who asked for advice, she just felt like it wasn’t her place to step in… and honestly, he really didn’t need the help:
“I never gave out any advice. When it came to women, Willie had his own way.
He had lots of choices, and the last thing in the world he needed was me meddling in his business. So I never did.”
Bobbie passed away back in March at 91 years old, and at his annual Luck Reunion, Willie and his sons Lukas and Micah payed tribute to her with renditions of two Gospel classics, “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” and “I’ll Fly Away”: