Never slowing down, Nelson covers Howard
Nelson, who turns 90 on April 29, and band recorded fresh interpretations of 10 classic compositions penned by American songwriter Harlan Howard, an early musical contemporary of Willie's who famously defined a great country song as "three chords and the truth."
Over six decades, Howard wrote many popular songs and enduring standards for a variety of artists. In 1961 alone, he had 15 compositions on the country charts, which earned him 10 BMI awards. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1973 and, in 1997, was inducted into both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He died in Nashville in 2002 at age 74.
The first single, "Busted," is out digitally today. Written in 1962, "Busted" is the saga of a dirt-poor farmer bemoaning his overdue bills, crop failures and other financial woes while maintaining a sense of hope for the future. The song was a 1963 first for Johnny Cash with the Carter Family on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart (number 13) and then a Top 10 smash for Ray Charles on the Billboard Hot 100 (number four). Charles and Nelson recorded a live version of "Busted" on Ray's 2005 duets album, "Genius & Friends. " John Conlee hit number six on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart with his cover of "Busted" in 1982.
Featuring cover art by Micah Nelson (Willie's son), "I Don't Know A Thing About Love" was produced by longtime musical collaborator Buddy Cannon. Musicians include Willie Nelson (his guitar Trigger, lead vocals), Larry Paxton (bass, tic tac bass), Lonnie Wilson (drums), Bobby Terry (acoustic guitar, electric guitar), James Mitchell (electric guitar), Mike Johnson (steel guitar), Mickey Raphael (harmonica), Jim "Moose" Brown (piano, synthesizer, B3 organ, Wurlitzer), Wyatt Beard (background vocals), and Melonie Cannon (background vocals).
The track list is:
1. Tiger By The Tail
2. The Chokin' Kind
3. Excuse Me (I Think I've Got A Heartache)
4. Life Turned Her That Way
5. I Don't Know A Thing About Love
6. Streets Of Baltimore
8. She Called Me Baby
9. Too Many Rivers
10. Beautiful Annabel Lee
Nelson also will be in the movies. "Wille Nelson & Family," a new five-part film documentary series directed by Thom Zimny and Oren Moverman, is premiering later this week at Sundance Film Festival 2023.
Nelson also is nominated for four Grammy Awards from three separate projects: Best Country Solo Performance ("Live Forever") (from "Live Forever: A Tribute to Billy Joe Shaver"); Best Country Song ("I'll Love You Till The Day I Die") (songwriting award, from "A Beautiful Time"); Best Country Album ("A Beautiful Time") and Best Roots Gospel Album ("The Willie Nelson Family)".
2012, Nelson entered into a new record deal with Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, marking a label homecoming for Nelson, who, from 1975-1993, had cut many top-selling singles and albums for Columbia Records, beginning with 1975's seminal smash "Red Headed Stranger."
New titles by the artist under the Legacy imprint include newly recorded songs and performances as well as archival releases, personally curated by the artist, drawn from all phases of Nelson's career including his recordings for RCA Records and others.
More news for Willie Nelson
- 03/14/23: Willie's Outlaw Music Fest returns
- 02/01/23: Nelson nominated for Rock & RolL Hall of Fame
- 01/24/23: Willie celebrates 90th with a lot of help from his friends
- 11/18/22: Strings, Smith, McCreery, Nelson deliver new releases
- 10/13/22: Nelson releases live version of "Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground
- 09/15/22: "Willie Nelson Live at Budokan" sees light of day 38 years later
- 07/01/22: Nelson announces book on friendship with drummer
- 05/06/22: Nelson postpones shows due to COVID
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