Willie Nelson

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Willie Nelson
Background information
Birth name Willie Hugh Nelson
Born April 30 1933 (1933-04-30) (age 91)
Origin Abbott, Texas, U.S.
Genre(s) Outlaw country, alternative country
Occupation(s) Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist, Producer, Session Musician, Actor, Activist
Instrument(s) Acoustic Guitar
Years active 1956 – Present
Label(s) Liberty, RCA, Atlantic, Columbia, Island, Justice Records, Lost Highway
Associated acts Waylon Jennings, The Highwaymen, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Ray Price, Merle Haggard, Kurt Nilsen, Faron Young

Willie Nelson (born April 30, 1933) is an American country singer-songwriter, author, poet, and actor. The author of several major country hits in the 1960s, he rebelled against the commercialism of the Nashville music scene and reached his greatest fame as a leader of the "outlaw" movement of the 1970s and remains an iconic figure in American popular culture.

Born in Texas, Nelson moved to Nashville in 1960 where his song, "Night Life," became a hit for country singer Ray Price and would later be covered by many artists in other genres. Nelson also wrote a number of hits for other major stars, such as "Hello Walls" (Faron Young), "Crazy" (Patsy Cline), and "Funny How Time Slips Away" (Billy Walker).

In 1965, Nelson moved to RCA Victor Records and joined the Grand Ole Opry. Tiring of the Nashville music scene, he retired temporarily and moved to Austin, Texas. In the mid-1970s, he built Pedernales Recording Studio, which became a thriving music center. Growing his hair long and adopting the grizzled persona of a rebel, Nelson joined with Waylon Jennings to begin a genre called outlaw country as a more raw, less commercially-oriented alternative to the prevailing, slick Nashville standards. He had several major hits as a solo and duet artist, including "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain," "Pancho and Lefty" (with Merle Haggard) and "On the Road Again." He also launched a successful film career.

In the mid-1980s, Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, and Johnny Cash formed a group called The Highwaymen. Their success included platinum-record sales and worldwide touring. Meanwhile, Nelson became increasingly involved in charity work, such as establishing the Farm Aid concerts in 1985. He has also lobbied for the legalization of marijuana.

In 1993, Nelson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He received Kennedy Center Honors in 1998. In recent years, he has continued to tour, record, and perform.


Early life and career

Nelson was born and raised in Abbott, Texas, the son of Myrle and Ira D. Nelson, a mechanic and pool-hall owner. His grandparents, William Alfred Nelson and Nancy Elizabeth Smothers, gave him mail-order music lessons starting at age six. He wrote his first song when he was seven and was playing in a local band at age nine. While he was in high school, he took part in the National Future Farmers of America (FFA).

Beginning in high school, Nelson worked as a disc jockey for local radio stations, while also singing local in honky-tonk bars. He graduated from Abbott High School in 1951, joining the Air Force the same year, but was discharged after nine months due to back problems. He then studied agriculture at Baylor University for one year in 1954.

In 1956, Nelson moved to Vancouver, Washington to begin a musical career, recording "Lumberjack," which was written by Leon Payne. The single sold fairly well, but did not establish his career. Nelson continued to work as a radio announcer and sing in Vancouver clubs. In 1960, he sold a song called "Family Bible" for $50.00. It was a hit for Claude Gray in the same year, has been covered widely, and is considered a gospel music classic.

Popular songwriter and singer

Nelson moved to Nashville in 1960, but was unable to land a recording contract. He did, however, receive a publishing contract at Pamper Music. After Ray Price recorded Nelson's "Night Life," Nelson joined Price's touring band, the Cherokee Cowboys, as a bass player. Meanwhile, many of Nelson's songs became hits for some of country and pop music's biggest stars of the time. These include "Funny How Time Slips Away" (Billy Walker), "Hello Walls" (Faron Young), "Pretty Paper" (Roy Orbison), and most famously, "Crazy" (Patsy Cline).

Nelson signed with Liberty Records in 1961 and released several singles, including "Willingly" (sung with his wife, Shirley Collie) and "Touch Me." In 1965, Nelson moved to RCA Victor Records and joined the Grand Ole Opry. He followed this with a series of minor hits and then retired and moved to Austin, Texas.

Outlaw country

While in Austin, with its burgeoning "hippie" music scene, Nelson decided to return to music. His popularity in Austin soared, as he played his own brand of country music, featuring rock and roll, jazz, western swing, and folk influences. A new commitment to his own health and a passion for running also began during this period.

l-r Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings at Willie's 4th of July Picnic 1972.

In the mid 1970s, Nelson purchased property near Lake Travis in Austin and built his Pedernales Studio. Nelson signed with Atlantic Records and released Shotgun Willie (1973), which won excellent reviews but did not sell well. Phases and Stages (1974), a concept album inspired by his divorce, included the hit single "Bloody Mary Morning." Nelson then moved to Columbia Records, where he was given complete creative control over his work. The result was the critically acclaimed popular concept album, Red Headed Stranger (1975). Although Columbia was reluctant to release an album with primarily a guitar and piano for accompaniment, Nelson insisted and the album was a huge hit. It included a successful cover of "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" (written by Fred Rose in 1945), which became Nelson's first biggest hit as a singer.

Along with Nelson, Waylon Jennings was also achieving success in country music in the early 1970s, and the pair were soon combined into a genre called outlaw country. The term "outlaw country" is derived from the song "Ladies Love Outlaws" written by Lee Clayton and sung by Waylon Jennings on the 1972 album of the same name. It became associated with singers who grew their hair long, wore denim and leather and looked like hippies in contrast to the clean cut country singers in rhinestone-studded suits that were pushing the Nashville sound. The success of these singers did much to restore the rawness and life force to country music. The songs were often about drinking, hard working men, and honky tonk heroes. The music rejected Nashville's current penchant for slick arrangements with strings in the background in favor of straightforward country that hearkened back to honky tonk singers like Hank Williams with a hard, rock-and-roll influenced edge.

Nelson's outlaw image was cemented with the release of the album Wanted! The Outlaws (1976, with Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser), country music's first platinum album. Nelson continued to top the charts with hit songs during the late 1970s, including "Good Hearted Woman" (a duet with Jennings), "Remember Me," "If You've Got the Money I've Got the Time," "Uncloudy Day," "I Love You a Thousand Ways," and "Something to Brag About" (a duet with Mary Kay Place).

In 1978, Nelson released two more platinum albums, Waylon and Willie, a collaboration with Jennings that included the hit single "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys," and Stardust, an unusual album of popular standard numbers produced by Booker T. Jones. Though most observers predicted that Stardust would ruin his career, it ended up being one of his most successful recordings.

More hits and IRS trouble

The 1980s saw a series of hit singles: "On the Road Again" from the movie Honeysuckle Rose and "To All the Girls I've Loved Before," a rather incongruous duet with Julio Iglesias). There were also more popular albums, including Pancho & Lefty (1982, with Merle Haggard), WWII (1982, with Waylon Jennings), and Take it to the Limit (1983, with Waylon Jennings).

In the mid-1980s, Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, and Johnny Cash formed a group called The Highwaymen. They achieved unexpectedly large success, including platinum-record sales and worldwide touring. Meanwhile, Nelson became more and more involved in charity work, such as establishing the Farm Aid concerts in 1985.

In 1990, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) handed Nelson a bill for $16.7 million in back taxes and seized most of his assets. He then released The IRS Tapes: Who'll Buy My Memories? as a double album, with all profits going straight to the IRS. Many of his personal possessions were auctioned and purchased by friends, who then returned them or rented them at a nominal fee. He sued the accounting firm Price Waterhouse, contending that they put him into tax shelters that were later disallowed. The lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount. His debts were paid by 1993.

American troubadour

Willie Nelson performing at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, California.

During the 1990s and 2000s, Nelson has toured continuously and released albums that generally received mixed reviews. In 1993, he released Across the Borderline, with guests Bob Dylan, Sinéad O'Connor, David Crosby, Bonnie Raitt, Kris Kristofferson, and Paul Simon. Critically acclaimed, the 1998 Teatro featured supporting vocals by Emmylou Harris). Later that year, he joined rock band Phish onstage for several songs as part of the annual Farm Aid festival. He also performed a duet concert with fellow Highwayman Johnny Cash, recorded for the VH1 Storytellers series. Nelson received Kennedy Center Honors in 1998.

In 2002 Nelson released the album, The Great Divide. A few songs on the album were written by Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20 and Bernie Taupin. Willie Nelson performed a duet on "Beer for my Horses" with Toby Keith on Keith's Unleashed album released in 2002. The single topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts for six consecutive weeks. A star-studded television special celebrating his seventieth birthday aired in 2003.

In 2004, he released Outlaws & Angels, featuring guests Toby Keith, Joe Walsh, Merle Haggard, Kid Rock, Al Green, Shelby Lynne, Carole King, Toots Hibbert, Ben Harper, Lee Ann Womack, The Holmes Brothers, Los Lonely Boys, Lucinda Williams, Keith Richards, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Rickie Lee Jones. On January 29, 2008 he released the album Moment of Forever. The book Willie Nelson: An Epic Life by Joe Nick Patoski was released in April 2008, containing over 100 interviews with Nelson, his family, his band, the people he grew up with in Abbott, and many others.

Nelson continued touring widely throughout the 2000s, including several notable tours with Bob Dylan. In May 2008, Nelson appeared on a duet with Norwegian pop star and former World Idol winner Kurt Nilsen on the Hank Williams classic "Lost Highway." The single topped the Norwegian charts. Nelson also appeared in Amsterdam with rap-icon Snoop Dogg where they did a live version of "SuperMan." Subsequently the two have become friends and recently released a video "My Medicine," which has received much play on YouTube.

Acting Career

Nelson began acting, appearing in The Electric Horseman (1979), Honeysuckle Rose (1980), Thief (1981), and Barbarosa (1982). Also in 1982, he played "Red Loon," in Coming Out of the Ice with John Savage. In 1984, he starred in the movie Songwriter, with Kris Kristofferson guest starring. He then had the lead role in Red Headed Stranger (1986, with Morgan Fairchild), as country singer-songwriter Johnny Dean in Wag the Dog (1997), Gone Fishin (1997) as Billy 'Catch' Pooler, the 1986 TV movie Stagecoach (with Johnny Cash), and Dukes of Hazzard (2006).

He has continued acting since his early successes, but usually in smaller roles and cameos, some of which involve his status as a cannabis activist and icon. One of his more popular recent cameos was a performance in Half Baked as an elderly "Historian Smoker" who, while smoking marijuana would reminisce about how things used to be in his younger years. Nelson also appeared as himself in the 2006 movie Beerfest, looking for teammates to join him in a mythical world-championship cannabis-smoking contest held in Amsterdam. That same week Willie Nelson recorded, "I'll Never Smoke Weed with Willie Again" with Toby Keith.


Willie, and his guitar "Trigger," performing at Cardiff on January 25, 2007

Nelson was instrumental in organizing, Farm Aid, which started as a benefit concert on September 22, 1985, in Champaign, Illinois to raise money for family farmers in the United States. The concert was organized by Nelson, John Mellencamp, and Neil Young. Nelson and Mellencamp also brought family farmers before Congress to testify about the state of family farming in America. Congress subsequently passed the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 to help save family farms from foreclosure.

In 2004, Nelson and his wife Annie became partners with Bob and Kelly King in the building of two Pacific Bio-diesel plants, one in Salem, Oregon, and the other at Carl's Corner, Texas. On January 9, 2005, Nelson headlined an all-star concert at Austin Music Hall to benefit the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. Tsunami Relief Austin to Asia raised an estimated $120,000 for UNICEF and two other organizations. In 2005, Nelson and several other business partners formed Willie Nelson Bio-diesel ("Bio-Willie"), a company that is marketing bio-diesel bio-fuel to truck stops. The fuel is made from vegetable oil (mainly soybean oil), and can be burned without modification in diesel engines.

Nelson is a co-chair of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) advisory board. He has worked with NORML for years for marijuana legalization and has produced commercials for NORML that have appeared on Pot TV programs. He has also recorded a number of radio commercials for the organization. In 2005, Nelson and his family hosted the first annual "Willie Nelson & NORML Benefit Golf Tournament," which appeared on the cover of High Times magazine.

He founded the Willie Nelson Peace Research Institute in April 2007. Nelson and his daughter Amy Nelson wrote a song called "A Peaceful Solution," which they released into the public domain, and encouraged artists to render their own version of the song, which he would feature on the Institute's web site. Nelson also is an honorary trustee of the Dayton International Peace Museum.

Nelson is an advocate for horses and their treatment. He has been campaigning for passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 503/S. 311) with the Animal Welfare Institute. He is on the Board of Directors and has adopted a number of horses from Habitat for Horses.


Willie Nelson during a show in Cardiff, January 2007

Willie Nelson is widely recognized as an American icon, a country music rebel who rose to become an internationally recognized star of legendary proportions.

A prolific songwriter, Nelson has penned a number of classic hits, including: "Crazy," "Blood Mary Morning," "Funny How Time Slips Away," "Hello Walls," "I'm Still Not Over You," "Island in the Sun," "On the Road Again," "Remember the Good Times," and "Night Life." The latter is arguably the most covered song of all time, recorded by major singers in practically ever genre.

Nelson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1993. He has won 10 Grammies, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999. Other recognition includes: TNN/Music City News: Living Legend and TNN/Music City News Minnie Pearl Awards, five Academy of Country Music Awards, nine Country Music Association Awards, and seven American Music Awards.


Studio albums

Year Title Chart Positions Certifications
US Country US 200 US CAN
1962 And Then I Wrote
1963 Here's Willie Nelson
1965 Country Willie - His Own Songs 14
1966 Country Favorites-Willie Nelson Style 9
1967 Make Way for Willie Nelson 7
"The Party's Over" And Other Great Willie Nelson Songs 9
1968 Good Ol' Country Singin'
Texas In My Soul
1969 Good Times 29
My Own Peculiar Way 39
1970 Columbus Stockade Blues
Both Sides Now
Laying My Burdens Down
1971 Willie Nelson and Family 43
Yesterday's Wine
1972 The Words Don't Fit the Picture
The Willie Way 34
1973 Country Winners
Shotgun Willie 41
1974 Spotlight on Willie Nelson
Phases and Stages 34 187
1975 Country Willie
What Can You Do to Me Now 5
Red Headed Stranger 1 28 2× Multi-Platinum Gold
1976 The Sound in Your Mind 1 48 Platinum
The Longhorn Jamboree Presents: Willie Nelson & His Friends 41
Troublemaker 1 60 Gold
1977 Willie - Before His Time 3 78
To Lefty From Willie 2 91
1978 There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight 46
Stardust 1 30 5× Multi-Platinum 2× Platinum
Face of a Fighter 42
1979 Sweet Memories 6 154
Sings Kristofferson 5 42 Platinum Gold
Pretty Paper 11 73 Platinum Gold
1980 Electric Horseman 3 52 Gold
Honeysuckle Rose 1 11 2× Multi-Platinum
Family Bible 26
1981 Minstrel Man 39 148
1982 Always on My Mind 1 2 4× Multi-Platinum 2× Platinum
1983 My Own Way 182
Tougher Than Leather 4 39
1984 Without a Song 3 54 Platinum
City of New Orleans 1 162 Platinum Gold
Don't You Ever Get Tired (of Hurting Me)
1985 Me and Paul 3 152
1986 Partners 13
The Promised Land 1
1987 Island in the Sea 14
What a Wonderful World 6
1989 A Horse Called Music 2
1990 Born for Trouble 31
1992 The IRS Tapes: Who'll Buy My Memories?
Any Old Arms Won't Do
1993 Across the Borderline 15 75
1994 Six Hours at Pedernales
Moonlight Becomes You 37
Healing Hands of Time 17 103
1995 Just One Love
1996 Standard Time
Spirit 20 123
How Great Thou Art
1998 Teatro 17 104
1999 Night and Day
2000 Tales Out of Luck (Me and the Drummer)
Milk Cow Blues 83
2001 Rainbow Connection 52
2002 The Great Divide 5 43
Willie Nelson & Friends - Stars & Guitars 18 133
2003 Crazy: The Demo Sessions 32
2004 Outlaws and Angels 10 69
It Always Will Be 12 75
2005 Songs 13 64
Songs for Tsunami Relief: Austin to South Asia 57
Countryman 6 46
2006 You Don't Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker 24 114
2008 Moment of Forever 8 56

Live albums

Year Title Chart Positions Certifications
US Country US 200 US CAN
1966 Country Music Concert 32
1976 Willie Nelson Live 5
1978 Willie and Family Live 1 32 4× Multi-Platinum Gold
2002 All of Me - Live in Concert
2003 Live and Kickin' 4 42
2004 Live at Billy Bob's Texas 27 168

Compilation albums

Year Title Chart Positions Certifications
US Country US 200 US CAN
1981 Greatest Hits (& Some That Will Be) 1 27 4× Multi-Platinum Platinum
1982 The Best 62
20 of the Best
1985 Collectors Series
Half Nelson 10 Platinum
1993 Super Hits 34 193 2× Multi-Platinum
1995 Super Hits 2
Revolutions of Time...The Journey 1975/1993 (3-CD-Boxset)
1998 16 Biggest Hits 29 Platinum
2003 The Essential Willie Nelson 24 179 Gold
2008 One Hell of a Ride 46
Playlist: The Very Best of Willie Nelson 63


Year Title Chart Positions Certifications
US Country US 200 US CAN
1976 Wanted! The Outlaws (with Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter and Tompall Glaser) 1 10 2× Multi-Platinum Platinum
1978 Waylon & Willie (with Waylon Jennings) 1 12 2× Multi-Platinum Platinum
1979 One for the Road (with Leon Russell) 3 25 Gold Gold
1980 Willie Nelson And Danny Davis & The Nashville Brass (with Danny Davis) 14
San Antonio Rose (with Ray Price) 3 70 Gold
1981 Somewhere Over the Rainbow (with Freddie Powers) 1 31 Platinum
1982 WWII 3 57 Gold
Old Friends (with Roger Miller)
In the Jailhouse Now (with Webb Pierce)
The Winning Hand (with Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton and Brenda Lee) 4 109
1983 Pancho & Lefty (with Merle Haggard) 1 37 Platinum Gold
Take It to the Limit (with Waylon Jennings) 3 60 Gold
1984 Angel Eyes (with Jackie King) 116
Music from Songwriter (with Kris Kristofferson) 21 152
Funny How Time Slips Away (with Faron Young)
1987 Walking the Line (with George Jones and Merle Haggard) 39
Seashores of Old Mexico (with Merle Haggard) 31
1990 Clean Shirt (with Waylon Jennings) 28 193
1997 Hill Country Christmas (with Bobbie Nelson) 60
1998 VH1 Storytellers: Johnny Cash & Willie Nelson (with Johnny Cash) 25 150
2003 Run That By Me One More Time (with Ray Price) 62
2006 Songbird (with Ryan Adams) 19 87
2007 Last of the Breed (with Merle Haggard and Ray Price) 7 64
2008 Two Men with the Blues (with Wynton Marsalis) 20


Year Single Chart Positions Album
US Country US Hot 100 CAN Country
1962 "Willingly" (w/ Shirley Collie) 10 Single only
"Touch Me" 7 And Then I Wrote
1963 "Half a Man" 25 Here's Willie Nelson
1964 "You Took My Happiness Away" 33 Single only
1965 "She's Not for You" 43 Shotgun Willie
"I Just Can't Let You Say Goodbye" 48 Live - Country Music Concert
1966 "One in a Row" 19 Make Way for Willie Nelson
1967 "The Party's Over" 24 Party's Over
"Blackjack County Chain" 21 Single only
"San Antonio Rose" 50 Country Favorites
1968 "Little Things" 22 Good Times
"Good Times" 44
"Johnny One Time" 36 Single only
1969 "Bring Me Sunshine" 13 Spotlight on Willie
1970 "I Hope So" 36 Face of the Fighter
"Once More with Feeling" 42 35 Both Sides Now
"Laying My Burdens Sown" 68 Laying My Burdens Down
1971 "I'm a Memory" 28 Willie Nelson and Family
"Yesterday's Wine" 62 Yesterday's Wine
"Me and Paul" 62
1972 "Words Don't Fit the Picture" 73 Words Don't Fit the Picture
1973 "Shotgun Willie" 60 66 Shotgun Willie
"Stay All Night (Stay a Little Longer)" 22 26
1974 "I Still Can't Believe You're Gone" 51 Phases and Stages
"Bloody Mary Morning" 17 26
"Sister's Coming Home" 93 Phases and Stages
1975 "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" 1 21 2 Red Headed Stranger
1976 "Fire and Rain" 29 What Can You Do to Me Now
"Remember Me (When The Candle Lights Are Gleaming)" 2 67 6 Red Headed Stranger
"Last Letter" 46 Country Willie
"I Gotta Get Drunk" 55 101 What Can You Do to Me Now
"I'd Have to Be Crazy" 11 7 The Sound in Your Mind
"If You've Got the Money, I've Got the Time" 1 5
1977 "Uncloudy Day" 4 4 The Troublemaker
"I'm a Memory" (re-release) 22 What Can You Do to Me Now
"I Love You a Thousand Ways" 9 To Lefty from Willie
"You Ought to Hear Me Cry" 16 Willie Before His Time
1978 "Georgia on My Mind" 1 84 Stardust
"Blue Skies" 1
"All of Me" 3
"Will You Remember Mine" 67 Sweet Memories
"There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight" 86 There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight
1979 "Whiskey River" 12 Willie and Family Live
"Sweet Memories" 4 Sweet Memories
"September Song" 15 Stardust
1980 "Help Me Make It Through the Night" 4 Sings Kristofferson
"My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys" 1 44 Electric Horseman
"Midnight Rider" 6
"On the Road Again" 1 20 Honeysuckle Rose
"Family Bible" 92 20 of the Best
1981 "Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground" 1 Honeysuckle Rose
"Mona Lisa" 11 Somewhere Over the Rainbow
"Good Times" (re-release) 25 Minstrel Man
"I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter" 26 Somewhere Over the Rainbow
"Mountain Dew" 23 Minstrel Man
"Heartaches of a Fool" 39 Greatest Hits (And Some That Will Be)
1982 "Always on My Mind"A 1 5 Always on My Mind
"Let It Be Me" 2 40
1983 "Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning" 2
"Little Old Fashioned Karma" 10 Tougher Than Leather
"Why Do I Have to Choose" 3 Take It to the Limit
"Take It to the Limit" (w/ Waylon Jennings) 8 102
"Without a Song" 11 Without a Song
1984 "To All the Girls I've Loved Before" (w/ Julio Iglesias)A 1 5 Half Nelson
"City of New Orleans" 1 City of New Orleans
1985 "Seven Spanish Angels" (w/ Ray Charles) 1 1 Half Nelson
"Forgiving You Was Easy" 1 1 Me and Paul
"Me and Paul" (re-release) 14 6
1986 "Living In the Promiseland" 1 1 The Promised Land
"I'm Not Trying to Forget You" 21 23
1987 "Partners After All" 24 33 Partners
"Heart of Gold" 44 52
"Island in the Sea" 27 32 Island in the Sea
1988 "Nobody There But Me" 82
"Spanish Eyes" (w/ Julio Iglesias) 8 What a Wonderful World
"Twilight Time" 41
1989 "Nothing I Can Do About It Now" 1 1 A Horse Called Music
"There You Are" 8 4
1990 "Highway" 52 71
"Ain't Necessarily So" 17 29 Born for Trouble
1991 "The Piper Came Today" 70
"Ten With a Two" 45 35
1993 "Graceland" 70 41 Across the Border Line
"Still Is Still Moving to Me"
1995 "Turn Me Loose and Let Me Swing" 86 Six Hours at Pedernales
1998 "I Never Cared for You" Teatro
2002 "Mendocino County Line" (w/ Lee Ann Womack) 22 113 The Great Divide
"Maria (Shut Up and Kiss Me)" 41
2003 "Wurlitzer Prize" (w/ Norah Jones) Live and Kickin'
2005 "I'm a Worried Man" Countryman
"The Harder They Come"
2006 "You Don't Know Me" You Don't Know Me
"Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly Fond of Each Other" 52 Single only
2008 "Gravedigger" Moment of Forever
"You Don't Think I'm Funny Anymore"
  • ACertified Platinum by the RIAA.

Singles from collaboration albums

Year Single Chart Positions Album
US Country US Hot 100 CAN Country
1976 "Good Hearted Woman" (w/ Waylon Jennings) 1 25 Wanted! The Outlaws
1978 "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys"
(w/ Waylon Jennings)
1 42 Waylon and Willie
"I Can Get Off On You" (w/ Waylon Jennings) 1
"If You Can Touch Her at All" 5 104
1979 "Heartbreak Hotel" 1 One for the Road (w/ Leon Russell)
"Crazy Arms" 16 San Antonio Rose (w/ Ray Price)
1979 "Night Life" 20 Willie Nelson and Danny Davis
(w/ Danny Davis & The Nashville Brass)
"Funny How Time Slips Away" 41
1980 "Faded Love" 3 San Antonio Rose (w/ Ray Price)
1981 "Don't You Ever Get Tired (Of Hurting Me)" 11
1982 "Old Friends" (w/ Ray Price) 19 Old Friends (w/ Roger Miller)
"In the Jailhouse Now" 72 In the Jailhouse Now (w/ Webb Pierce)
"(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" 13 WWII (w/ Waylon Jennings)
1983 "Everything's Beatuful (In Its Own Way)" (w/ Dolly Parton) 7 5 The Winning Hand
"Reasons to Quit" 6 Pancho and Lefty (w/ Merle Haggard)
"You're Gonna Love Yourself (In the Morning)" (w/ Brenda Lee) 43 The Winning Hand
"Pancho and Lefty" 1 Pancho and Lefty (w/ Merle Haggard)
1984 "How Do You Feel About Foolin' Around" 46 Music from Songwriter (w/ Kris Kristofferson)
1991 "If I Can Find a Clean Shirt" 51 25 Clean Shirt (w/ Waylon Jennings)

Guest singles

Year Single Artist Chart Positions Album
US Country US Hot 100 CAN Country
1974 "After the Fire Is Gone" Tracy Nelson 17 Tracy Nelson
1977 "Lily Dale" Darrell McCall 32 Single only
"You Are My Sunshine" Duane Eddy (w/ Waylon Jennings,
Kin Vassy and Deed Eddy)
1978 "Something to Brag About" Mary Kay Place 9 14 Aimin' to Please
"Ain't Life Hell" Hank Cochran 77 With a Little Help From My Friends
1980 "A Little Bitty Tear" 57 Make the World Go Away
1981 "There's a Crazy Man" Jody Payne 65 Single only
1982 "Just to Satisfy You" Waylon Jennings 1 52 2 Black on Black
1984 "Wabash Cannonball" Hank Wilson 91 Single only
1986 "I've Already Cheated On You" David Allan Coe 56 Son of the South
"Mind Your Own Business" Hank Williams Jr. (w/ Reba McEntire,
Tom Petty and Reverend Ike)
1 1 Montana Café
1987 "If I Could Only Fly" Merle Haggard 58 Seashores of Old Mexico
2003 "Beer for My Horses" Toby Keith 1 22 Unleashed
2007 "I Give" Shawn King Single only
"On the Road Again" Deana Carter The Chain

Other charted songs

These songs charted from unsolicited airplay.

Year Single US Country Album
2004 "Please Come Home for Christmas" 50 A Very Special Acoustic Christmas
"Pretty Paper" (w/ Kenny Chesney) 45 All I Want for Christmas Is a Real Good Tan
(Kenny Chesney album)
2008 "That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day)"
(w/ Kenny Chesney)A
56 Lucky Old Sun (Kenny Chesney album)

ISBN links support NWE through referral fees

  • Allen, Bob, and Paul Kingsbury, ed. "Willie Nelson." In The Encyclopedia of Country Music. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. ISBN 9780195116717
  • Nelson, Willie and Turk Pipkin. The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart. New York: Gotham, 2006. ISBN 159240197X
  • Nelson, Willie and Bud Shrake. Willie: Autobiography. New York: Random House, 1988. ISBN 0815410808
  • Patoski, Joe Nick. Willie Nelson: An Epic Life. Little, Brown and Company, 2008. ISBN 0316017787

External links

All links retrieved May 14, 2023.


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