I don’t normally do back to back music related posts, but I couldn’t let the 80th birthday of one of my favorite singer/songwriters go without mention…especially following the loss of another favorite last week in “The Possum”, George Jones.
Willie Nelson, aka “The Redheaded Stranger”, has been a notorious and fun part of music tapestry for a while. In fact, Toby Keith and Scotty Emerick even wrote the above song to warn about partying with Willie. LOL! He’s one of the few who can claim to have smoked weed in the White House, and we just nod and smile tolerantly. We all know he began the stand for farming communities through Farm Aid. With all that and his amazing talent with voice and lyric, can we really call him a stranger? It seems he’s made an impact on so many!
There was nothing like the legendary ballads he told, especially when he’d do it with his equally legendary friends. The Highwaymen is probably one of the most popular songs shared in multiple repertoires as this song was done with Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash…. Truth is, these kinds of collaborations don’t happen very often anymore. Sadly, only 2 of the Highwaymen are alive. Kris Kristofferson & Willie.
It’s funny, because they did Good Hearted Woman (In Love With A Good Timing Man)…and I think they got it right. It wasn’t an easy life, but boy, if you could hang on…you were in for the ride of your life.
There will always be a soft spot in my heart for To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before. Change the gender and adjust the word from “loved before” to “lusted for” and it could’ve been the song of my youth. The fact that he blows away another strong vocalist and Latin playboy in Julio Iglesias should tell you just how powerful Willie’s vocals are.
He has a way of making you feel his music. Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground is a prime example of how he can tear your heart out even as you sway to every word he says. In fact, this makes me think of my brothers who both died way too young. It would’ve been a great dedication for them.
As lovely as songs like this and You Were Always On My Mind are, though, my all time favorite is a duet called Seven Spanish Angels that he does with Ray Charles. I think it’s the poetry to the words and the way these two vocalists dance around the words that wowed me.
So in honor of Willie’s 80th birthday…what’s your favorite Willie song? I’d love for you to share! You can never have too much Willie. (Yes, that innuendo was deliberate….LOL!)