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Friday, March 23, 2012

Have a great weekend

Comments (8)

My dad went to school at Columbia and got to see a lot of jazz greats in person. When he died he had something like 19 Ella Fitzgerald albums. Anyway, he wasn't deep into the country western - if anything he was more drawn to the campy kind of country song with something funny in the lyrics. I specifically remember him loving the line, "Billy broke my heart at Walgreen's and I cried all the way to Sears." That sort of thing.

I told him one time that he should check out the more soulful, real genuine country western that was out there. Even Ray Charles was produced so much with all the background singers. I was talking about the kind of country that you'd hear around a campfire, or in a Texas roadhouse. This outlaw country.

I bought him an album and I said, "This is the best country record I ever heard." It was "Red Headed Stranger" by Willie Nelson. From the first words you're in the story and it just doesn't let up:

"It was the time of the preacher
When the story began
With the choice of a lady
and the love of a man

How he loved her so dearly
he went out of his mind
When she left him for someone
she'd left behind

He cried like a baby
He screamed like a panther in the middle of the night
And he saddled his pony
and went for a ride

It was the time of the preacher
in the year of 01
Now the preachin' is over
and the lesson's begun"

Willie Nelson is right there with Mark Twain or any of these uniquely American characters. He's a national treasure but I'm sure you already knew that.

Thanks Bill, I do know that but it's good to be reminded from time to time. I bought "Red Headed Stranger" after reading a review in (I believe) Newsweek. It just blew me away. It's a shame that Willie is now better known for things besides his music.

"Now the lesson is over
and the killin's begun"

And the story is, he wrote "Crazy," "Funny," and "Night Life" in the same month.

OK, there may have been amphetamines involved, but still--have a month, Willy!

I first heard "Night Life" on the B.B. King "Blues is King" album, and only learned later that Nelson wrote it. Still my favorite version.

What I've always admired about him is how natural and honest his singing and writing seem to be. No pretensions, but geez, what great lyrics and music.

Oh, "not that Steve," Willie is still best known for his music. That other stuff is irrelevant.

Good grief, He was a handsome guy. I've never seen him like that. He sure has changed his appearance. Thanks for sharing that video.

Can hardly believe that is Willie.

Now, I have to say before I go further that I believe Marijuana should be legal.

But how in the world does Willie, who resides in Hawaii, get an Oregon Medical Marijuana card.

Just gives fuel to the opposition.

Admired his mettle in that olympian conflict with the IRS, too.

Who'll Buy My Memories

Interesting to note how Willie's singing improved over the years. Most of these songs sound like he is talking rather than singing. Get a load of his early 60's get up. Thanks for posting this historic video...

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