Category: Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson – Country Favorites – Willie Nelson Style

ARTIST: Willie Nelson

TITLE:  Country Favorites – Willie Nelson Style wilie-nelson-country-favorites-willie-nelson-style

YEAR RELEASED: 1966

CHART ACTION: #9 Country

SINGLES: San Antonio Rose (#50 Country), Columbus Stockade Blues

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW:  Heartaches by the Number

LINEUP:  Willie Nelson, Buddy Charleton, Jack Drake, Jack Greene, Wade Ray, Leon Rhodes, Hargus Robbins, Cal Smith, James Wilkerson

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Known more as a songwriter, Willie records a lot of contemporary country standards to make his name as a performer.  

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Willie Nelson was well known as a songwriter. He landed a lot of cuts on records, and wrote some big hits. But as a performer, he was still relatively unknown. His voice, to the ears of country fans in the 60’s, was ‘unusual’.

Gathering Bob Willis’ backing band, Nelson cut 12 country songs that were well known at the time and garnered a hit album on the country charts. The songs range from up-tempo Texas swing, to sentimental ballads.

Nelson’s tenor works better on the ballads, and those were the most effective cuts on the album. It’s a short record, and more interesting than vital, but it’s one that Nelson fans should have.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: At the time, Nelson was a regular on Bob Willis’ television program, which no doubt goosed album sales.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

GRADE: B:  Good performances of classic country in a classic country motif.

Willie Nelson – Country Willie-His Own Songs

ARTIST: Willie Nelson              Willie-Nelson-Country-Willie-His-Own-Songs

TITLE:  Country Willie – His Own Songs

YEAR RELEASED: 1965

CHART ACTION: #14 Country

SINGLES: None!

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Night Life, Funny How Time Slips Away, Hello Walls

LINEUP: Willie Nelson + RCA Nashville session players

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A new record company signs Willie and gives him a chance to showcase some of the songs he wrote that were recorded by others.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: After stints at Liberty Records and then Monument (where he got one single out), RCA signs Willie Nelson and records him performing songs that he wrote (or co-wrote) that were cut by other country artists.

There are some famous songs here, with “Hello Walls” being the best known, probably. What’s neat is the ‘talking’ pedal steel that answers Willie on some verses.

The songs are impeccable, but put back to back reveals that there wasn’t a lot of differences in tempo, key, or mood. A lot started the same way, and were in a nice, lazy tempo. Willie’s voice is recognizable, but with the songs all very similar it all runs together.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: He did contribute some songs to Roy Orbison at Monument, with the big one being “Pretty Paper”. Also, I skipped a Liberty album that was put together from sessions he cut for the label and had no original material.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: B: Great songs, and a good overview of Nelson’s writing at the time.

 

Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson – Waylon & Willie

ARTIST: Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson  220px-JenningsNelsonWaylon&Willie

TITLE:  Waylon & Willie

YEAR RELEASED: 1978

CHART ACTION: #12, #1 Country

SINGLES: Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys (#42, #1 Country), I Can Get Off On You (#1 Country), If You Can Touch Her at All (#104, #5 Country)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Gold Dust Woman

LINEUP: Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and players from Nashville and the artist’s bands.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Two of the best ‘outlaw country’ performers collaborate on a full album.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Having already collaborated before, it was natural that Waylon & Willie would record an album together, even though they were on competing record companies. Waylon’s company, RCA, released this and it sold and sold and sold.

It contains the quintessential outlaw country song, “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”, a song not unknown to country fans as Ed Bruce took it to the country charts in 1974, and that song propelled this album to the stratosphere. The rest of the tracks are good interpretations of the outlaw genre, including a Waylon drawled version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman”

There are three solo songs by each artists and five duets, which seems a little slight on the duets for two stalwarts. I guess I’d want a full album of real duets between the two, but you got what you got.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: At first, Waylon tried to overdub his voice on old Nelson RCA masters, but it didn’t really work.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION:  No.

GRADE: B: I wanted more duets, but what’s here is pretty good. OUTLAW COUNTRY!

Willie Nelson – …And Then I Wrote

ARTIST: Willie Nelson Willie-Nelson-And-Then-I-Wrote

TITLE:  …And Then I Wrote

YEAR RELEASED: 1962

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: Touch Me (#7 Country)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Hello Walls, Funny How Time Slips Away, Crazy

LINEUP: Willie Nelson and session Nashvillians.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Nelson’s first album showcases the songs he wrote for others, and one hit for himself.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: While most all of the versions on this album are not the ones that were the most popular, they are straight from the horses’ mouth, as it were, and Nelson does a good job in reclaiming his songs for himself.

While his voice is still a bit shaky and unsteady at times, he shows that there wasn’t much of a reason why he couldn’t be a country star in his own right, even though he didn’t fit the vocal mold of the crooners that were soon to take over the radio.

Not an essential Nelson album (most of his 60’s output isn’t, but they’re all worth examining), but quite intriguing to hear how he was when he started, and a reminder of the songs he wrote for others.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Faron Young was the first to really taste success with a Nelson song, with “Hello Walls”

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

GRADE: B: Most all of the songs are well worth it, even though the arrangements are a bit staid and old-fashioned.