He released his self titled album in 1980 and Pete Townsend from the Who heard the album and had him open for The Who on their second leg of their North America tour in 1980.

Meet Willie Nile. I got the chance to meet him when he was my guest on my TV show The Big Joe Henry Variety Show. His energy, personality and rock and roll prowess is a force of nature. Meet Willie Nile and you’ve felt that you’ve known him for years. I’ve seen him play many times and he has that great affect on his fans, other musicians and anybody that has the privilege to cross his talented path.

Not only is Pete Townsend a fan but so are Bruce Springsteen, Bono, Lucinda Williams, Lou Reed and Graham Parker just to name a few. Stevie Van Zandt had the best quote about Willie, he said; “Willie Nile is so good I can’t believe he’s not from New Jersey.”

His ties here to New Jersey are strong as a matter of fact in January of this year Bruce Springsteen hopped on stage to join Willie in singing his powerful hit One Guitar. I was right on the side of the stage and they both brought the house down. The camaraderie and respect that the both of these musicians have for each other is very cool. It’s a night I won’t forget.

Willie Nile has been writing songs since he was a teenager. Growing up in Buffalo, New York he fought a bad battle of pneumonia which sidelined him for over a year and he was bedridden. He wrote and got better and ended up in the Village in New York City.

As a singer songwriter Willie has cranked out hit after hit album year after year. It is my very humble opinion that he hasn’t received the marketing push he deserves to move his music.

Listen to his music and you’ll see he’ll take you to the top of the mountain and then experience another turn that took you to paradise. His music is solid, rock and roll and should be required listening for those of us who love rock and roll. Enjoy the interview.

That time Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown married in New Jersey - This Week in Music History

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM