Archive for the ‘Albums’ Category

New Willie Nelson Album Tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021

“New Willie record. Available everywhere tomorrow 2/24/2021. Matt Rollings and I produced this second volume of Willie singing songs of Frank Sinatra. So much fun. Recorded by Ed Cherney and mixed by the amazing Al Schmitt and Niko Bolas. Tony Castle and Steve Chadie also did some of the vocal recording. Too many wonderful musicians to mention here but you can buy the record and see all their names. And thanks to Shannon Finnegan for helping to keep the train on the tracks.”

— Buddy Cannon

Willie Nelson and Faron Young, “Funny How Time Slips Away”

Tuesday, February 16th, 2021

“I Won’t Dance,” – Willie Nelson and Diana Krall

Friday, February 12th, 2021

Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, announces the premiere of “I Won’t Dance,” a video animation of the Willie Nelson-Diana Krall duet on Willie’s upcoming studio album, That’s Life, a musical homage to Frank Sinatra.

The “I Won’t Dance” animated short film debuts Friday, February 12.   Inspired by classic cartoons, fashion illustrations and Hollywood glamor, screwball and slapstick comedies, the “I Won’t Dance”animated short film incorporates stylized avatars of Willie Nelson and Diana Krall performing their wry duet in a vibrant impressionistic cosmopolitan setting.

A Dreambear Production, “I Won’t Dance” was animated by Manuel Casares and Antonio Corral (aka Crocantes), “a duo of crazy people who live in Granada (Spain) and have grown up with comics, science fiction and cartoons.” Their special affection for 20th century American culture shines in their illustrated animated narrative for “I Won’t Dance.” 

A 20th century jazz standard with music by Jerome Kern, “I Won’t Dance” has two sets of lyrics (the first written by Oscar Hammerstein II and Otto Harbach in 1934, the second penned by Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh for the film, “Roberta,” in 1935). Fred Astaire made the song (with Fields’ lyrics) a hit with his performance, with Ginger Rogers, in the 1935 film version of the Broadway musical, “Roberta.” 

Frank Sinatra recorded “I Won’t Dance” in 1957 for A Swingin’ Affair!, his 12th studio album, and in 1962 for Sinatra-Basie: An Historic Musical First.  

Honoring the enduring influence and inspiration of Frank Sinatra, That’s Life continues Willie’s longtime musical appreciation of Sinatra’s artistry and repertoire, an exploration exemplified by 2018’s My Way, which earned Willie the Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Solo Album. 

Willie’s That’s Life–his 15th studio outing for Legacy and second album tribute to Sinatra–will be available on CD, 12″ vinyl and digital formats on Friday, February 26. Barnes & Noble will be offering an exclusive marbled blue vinyl edition of That’s Life while exclusive merchandise bundles–including art prints, a jigsaw puzzle and more–will be available at the Willie Nelson webstore. Pre-order here.

This day in Willie Nelson History: Always on My Mind Released (2/11/82)

Thursday, February 11th, 2021
On February 11, 1982 Willie Nelson’s album, ‘Always on My Mind’ released on Columbia Records.

Willie Nelson and Ray Price, “San Antonio Rose”

Monday, February 8th, 2021

Willie Nelson, “That’s Life”

Friday, February 5th, 2021

Willie Nelson’s, “Moment of Forever” (released January 29, 2008)

Friday, January 29th, 2021
On January 29, 2008, Willie Nelson’s album, “Moment of Forever” was released by Lost Highway Records, produced by Kenny Chesney.

Wednesday, January 27th, 2021

Willie Nelson, “It’s Hard to Be Humble”

Monday, January 25th, 2021

Another cut from Willie Nelson’s new album, “Ride Me Back Home” out this June 26th.

Ride Me Back Home Track List

Ride Me Back Home
Come on Time
My Favorite Picture of You
Seven Year Itch
Immigrant Eyes
Stay Away From Lonely Places
Just the Way You Are
One More Song to Write
Nobody’s Listening
It’s Hard to Be Humble (with Lukas Nelson and Micah Nelson)
Maybe I Should’ve Been Listening

Willie Nelson, “That’s Life”

Saturday, January 23rd, 2021
by: Patrick Doyle

Willie Nelson was a young country music and western-swing fan when he heard Frank Sinatra on the radio for the first time. “Though he was a million miles from western swing, he had a sweet swing of his own,” Nelson wrote in his book It’s a Long Story: My Life. “There was a tenderness to his voice, a purity and ease of phrasing. When he sang the popular songs of the day, I marveled at the natural way he told the story.”

Sinatra helped Nelson find his own indelible style, and the two even went on to play shows together. In 2018, Nelson released My Way, which managed to make Sinatra’s best-known songs sound new again.

On February 26th, Nelson will release That’s Life, another set of Sinatra classics. That’s Life goes a little deeper than his previous Sinatra covers albumin addition to hits like the title track and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” he includes lesser-known songs like “Just in Time” and “The Lonesome Road” from 1959. The album, produced by Buddy Cannon and Matt Rollings, was largely recorded at Capitol Studios in Hollywood, where Sinatra recorded a string of classics from 1956 to 1961.

Nelson has released a highly entertaining lyric video for the title track. The video incorporates footage of the artist Paul Mann, known for his legendary movie posters, painting an image of Nelson under a streetlamp.

Written by Dean Kay and Kelly Gordon, “That’s Life” was first recorded in 1963 by Marion Montgomery. Mikal Gilmore, who has written Rolling Stone stories about Bob Dylanthe Clash and more, has authored a deep essay about Nelson and his connection to Sinatra, available to read here. “What Nelson does here on That’s Life — as he did on My Way — is find common ground with Sinatra,” Gilmore writes. “As a result, what binds these singers is an understanding that, regardless of genre, the art of both men is one and the same: giving voice to songs of experience.”

“I’m just glad to be able to do another tribute to him,” Nelson recently said. “I’m anxious to get it out there”

It’s a busy week for Nelson. He also just received his Covid-19 vaccine shot. 

“Wanted the Outlaws” goes double platinum (January 21, 1985)

Thursday, January 21st, 2021

in Willie Nelson history: “Wanted the Outlaws” goes douple platinum (January 21, 1985)

on January 21, 1985: “Wanted: The Outlaws,” featuring Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter and Tompall Glaser, certifies double-platinum, along with the “Waylon & Willie” album.

In 1976, the album was the first country album to receive the new platinum certification, signifying one million units shipped.

  1. My Heroes Have Always
  1. My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys (Waylon)
  2. Honky Tonk Heroes (Waylon)
  3. I’m Looking for Blue Eyes (Jessi)
  4. Suspicious Minds (Waylon and Jessi)
  5. Good Hearted Woman (Waylon and Willie)
  6. Heaven or Hell (Waylon and Willie
  7. Me and Paul (Willie)
  8. Yesterday’s Wine (Willie
  9. T for Texas (Tompall)
  10. Put Another Log on the Fire (Tompall)

It’s unfortunate that there still has to be a sampler, or primer, or golden book of some of the best singers working anywhere, but apparently not everyone has gotten the message yet. Maybe this album can introduce you to some people you would have liked to have known sooner but just didn’t have the opportunity to meet.

These are some special people, very special. They’ve been waiting in the wings for years, too many years, to assume their proper places in the structure of American Music. When it became apparent to them that their proper places were perhaps being unduly delayed becasue of certain resentments harbored against them because of their real and imagined unconventionality, they — by God — decided to take matters into their own hands. There resulted a rather difficult period of figurative doors being smashed and general confusion and namecalling in Nashville. When the smoke cleared and the fallout returned to earth, there was effected a major shift in country music. “Progressive Country” (for want of a better term) was on the map, and was here for good. And these are the people responsibile for that. Call them outlaws, call them innovators, call them revolutionaries, call them what you will. They’re just some damned find people who are also some of the most gifted songwriters and singers anywhere.

They are musical rebels, in one sense, in that they challenged the accepted way of doing things. Like all pioneers, they were criticized for that but time has vindicated them.

Tompall Glaser was one of the first in Nashville to chart his own musical course and it was lonely for him for years but now he is beginning to receive the recognition due him.

Waylon Jennings, as the most visible of the progressive country pack, has been quietly fighting for years in his own way for acceptance. Both he and Jessi Colter (who, coincidentally is also known as Mrs. Waylon Jennings) were authentically ahead of thier time. Now, the times have caught up with them.

That streak of rugged individualism that is the unifying bond for these musical outlaws is nowhere more evident than in Willie Nelson’s life and times. Unquestionably one of the finest songwriters who ever lived, Willie was known for years only to other writers and to a slowly growing cult of followers. All that has changed now. “Miracles appear in the strangest of places,” Willie sings in Yesterday’s Wine,” one of my favorites from his collection of remarkable songs, and that’s true. When I first started keeping track of Willie and Waylon and Jessi and Tompall, I (along with their other cult followers) felt almost responsible for them since they weren’t that well known to the public and the music industry as a whole didn’t like to acknowledge them. They didn’t wear Nudie suits and thier music didn’t confirm to the country norm of songs of divorce and alcohol and life’s other little miseries. The only thing that worried me was that I knew these people were born scrappers and really loved fighting for acceptance. What would happen to them, I wondered, when they inevitably won (as I knew they would)? Would they like so many who struggle just for the sake of the struggle, grow fat and lazy when they grew successful?

There was no need to worry. This last year each of them has gotten better, writing better, and singing with breathtaking confidence.

They’re the cutting edge of a brand of American music that I find the most satisfying development in popular music in the past decade. It’s not country and it’s not country-rock, but there’s no real need to worry about labeling it. It’s just damned good music that’s true and honest and you can’t ask for more than that.

Chet Flippo
Associate Editor
Rolling Stone

Willie Nelson’s Greatest Hits (and Some That Will Be)

Sunday, January 17th, 2021

Greatest Hits (& Some That Will Be) was released in the fall of 1981, summarizing a remarkable seven-year stretch of extraordinary success that began when the iconoclastic Red Headed Stranger, Willie Nelson’s first album for Columbia, became a smash hit not long after its 1975 release.

From that point on, Nelson became an American popular music icon and a fixture at the top of the country charts, something that was all the more remarkable because he rarely played it safe: he sang pop standards, jammed like the Grateful Dead, recorded tributes to heroes like Lefty Frizzell, and did duet albums with both mentor Ray Price and fellow maverick Leon Russell.

It was a far-ranging, unpredictable body of work, with each individual album retaining its own distinctive character, and Greatest Hits manages to pull off the nifty trick of making sense of these records in two records (now one CD) and 20 songs.

Sequenced like a set list, not according to strict chronological order, the collection manages to hit all the major singles, but does so judiciously, making sure each of the records and musical moods get equal pay. So, there is no overdose of Stardust material, and even album tracks like a moving version of “Look What Thoughts Will Do” get a hearing. Consequently, this Greatest Hits is far more than a mere recitation of familiar items.

It is something much better — a rounded, full-bodied portrait of Willie in all of his idiosyncratic splendor, which is about as much as could be asked from a hits collection. And that’s why it’s worth having, not just as an introduction, but just as a splendid listen on its own terms.

greatest hits

In 2002  the album hit the quadruple-platinum mark in sales.

“That’s Life,” — Willie Nelson sings Sinatra, new album out Feb. 26

Friday, January 15th, 2021

Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, announces the premiere of “That’s Life”–the new single, lyric video and title track from Willie Nelson’s forthcoming studio album homage to Frank Sinatra–on Friday, January 15.  Watch the Willie Nelson “That’s Life” lyric video 

Willie’s “That’s Life” lyric video incorporates footage of  Paul Mann–a painter and illustrator known for alternative movie posters for major films (Frankenstein, The Wizard of Oz, Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, Pulp Fiction, The Big Lebowski and more)–creating the album cover painting of Willie and his iconic guitar, Trigger, standing in the glow of a twilight streetlamp, an evocation of classic Sinatra album images. 

Written by Dean Kay and Kelly Gordon, “That’s Life” was first recorded in 1963 by Marion Montgomery and became an evergreen blockbuster standard after Frank Sinatra performed it on his 1966 album of the same name. One of the best-known and widely covered songs in the Sinatra canon, “That’s Life” proves a perfect fit for Willie Nelson.

American writer and music journalist Mikal Gilmore has penned a new essay exploring Willie Nelson and That’s Life which you may read here. Honoring the enduring influence and inspiration of Frank Sinatra (whose 105th birthday would have been celebrated on December 12),  That’s Life continues Willie’s longtime musical appreciation of Sinatra’s artistry and repertoire, an exploration exemplified by 2018’s My Way, which earned Willie the Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Solo Album. 

Produced by Buddy Cannon and Matt Rollings, That’s Life was recorded at Capitol Studios in Hollywood–where Frank Sinatra, the first artist to record at the facility, created an unbroken string of album masterpieces from March 1956 to November 1961–with additional recording at Pedernales Studios in Austin, Texas.   Willie and Frank were close friends, musical colleagues and mutual admirers of each other’s work throughout Sinatra’s lifetime. In the 1980s, Sinatra opened for Willie at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas and the two of them appeared together in a public service announcement for NASA’s Space Foundation.  “I learned a lot about phrasing listening to Frank,” Willie said in an interview for AARP magazine (June/July 2018). “He didn’t worry about behind the beat or in front of the beat, or whatever-he could sing it either way, and that’s the feel you have to have.”  Willie’s 

That’s Life–his 15th studio outing for Legacy and second album tribute to Sinatra–will be available on CD, 12″ vinyl and digital formats on Friday, February 26.  Barnes & Noble will be offering an exclusive marbled blue vinyl edition of That’s Life while exclusive merchandise bundles–including art prints, a jigsaw puzzle and more–will be available at the Willie Nelson webstore. Pre-order here. * * * * *

Last of the Breed

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

1.Miles and Miles of Texas (w/Asleep at the Wheel
2.Make the World Go Away (Ray Price)
3.For the Good Times (Ray Price)
4.Take Me Back to Tulsa (Merle Haggard)
5.Silver Wings (Merle Haggard)
6.That’s the Way Love Goes (Merle Haggard)
7.Okie From Miskogee (Merle Haggard)
8.Pancho and Lefty (Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard)
9.Always on My Mind (Willie Nelson)
10.Mama Tried (Merle Haggard)
11.Ramblin’ Fever (Merle Haggard)
12.I Gotta Have My Baby Back (Willie Nelson, Ray Price, Merle Haggard)
13.Night Life (Ray Price)
14.Sing Me Back Home (Merle Haggard)
15.Crazy (Willie Nelson, Ray Price
16.On the Road Again (Willie Nelson)

This day in Willie Nelson History: “Wanted: The Outlaws” (January 12, 1976)

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

On March 30, 1976, the collaborative album “Wanted: The Outlaws”–featuring Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Tompall Glaser and Jessie Colter– is certified gold.

As Willie Nelson’s career gathered momentum and he began getting a national audience, Waylon Jennings and his producer/cohort Tompall Glaser noticed. Waylon was well on the way to success but so far he had experienced nothing approaching the magnitude of Willie’s accomplishments.

Nashville recording executives were quick to realize that Willie had indeed tapped into something big with this new, younger audience he had discovered. RCA vice-president Jerry Bradley was the first to hit upon a concept for an LP that might allow Waylon to penetrate this new market. Why not put together an album that would combine the talents of these “outlaws” — as they had come to be known for thier casual lifestyles and their insistence on working outside the traditional political system of the country music industry.

“Waylon was booking out as the Outlaws, he and Tompall and Jessi and Willie occasionally,” Bradley recalled to Martha Hume, “and Willie had just had a hit [“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”], and Jessi had just had a hit [“I’m not Lisa”], and Waylon had been having all kinds of hits, and none really as big as Willie or Jessi. So I told Waylon I thought we ought to do this Outlaws package and make his picture a little bigger and boost his image a little bit. He said, “Well, I wish you’d use Tompall’, I said, ‘Fine, if we can work things out with MGM [Tompall Glaser’s record label at the time], I’ll be glad to use Tompall.’”

Eight of the eleven tracks on the 1976 Wanted: The Outlaws LP were previously released material. Included on the album were two songs by Waylon, two by Willie, two by Jessi, one duet with Waylon and Jessi (a moving version of “Suspicous Minds”), and two duets with Willie and Waylon.

Most outstanding with the Outlaws LP is the ingenious packaging. The front cover is designed like an old wild west, “Wanted Dead or Alive” poster, and painted in sepia. When “Good Hearted Woman” was released as the LP’s first single, it shot to the number one spot, and stayed there for weeks. It sold phenomenally well; within a few months it had passed the million sales mark, became the first platinum country album and the biggest selling album in Nashville’s history.

On the strenth of the Outlaws LP, Waylon and Willie swept the 1976 Country Music Association Awards, winning Best Single (“Good Hearted Woman”), Best Album, and best Vocal Duo (“Good Hearted Woman”). Waylon did not appear to pick up the awards but Willie showed up at the normally stodgy, tuxedoed affair, all smiles, and bounded on to the stage to accept their trophies in his customary sneakers, head band, and flannel shirt.

“I think people in Nashville know less about what country is than anybody,” Jennings told John Rockwell of the New York Times. “They limit themselves… If we fought for anything, it was the right to be ourselves and not to be typecast.”

 The full story in words and pictures of Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson by Bob Allen