August 21: Patsy Cline recorded Willie Nelson’s Crazy in 1961
Patsy Cline, who was already a country music superstar and working to extend a string of hits, picked it as a follow up to her previous big hit “I Fall to Pieces”. “Crazy”, its complex melody suiting Cline’s vocal talent perfectly, was released in late 1961 and immediately became another huge hit for Cline and widened the crossover audience she had established with her prior hits. It spent 21 weeks on the chart and eventually became one of her signature tunes. Cline’s version is #85 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
My doctor tells me I should start slowing it down – but there are more old drunks than there are old doctors so let’s all have another round.
We create our own unhappiness. The purpose of suffering is to help us understand we are the ones who cause it.
He [Willie Nelson] takes whatever thing he’s singing and makes it his. There’s not many people who can do that. Even something like an Elvis tune. You know, once Elvis done a tune, it’s pretty much done. But Willie is the only one in my recollection that has even taken something associated with Elvis and made it his. He just puts his sorta trip on it…
~Bob Dylan (28 April 1993)
Willie Nelson Induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame (1993):
“Seven Spanish Angels’ is the title of a song written by Troy Seals and Eddie Setser, and recorded by American country music artist Willie Nelson as a duet with Ray Charles. It was released in November 1984 as the first single from the album Half Nelson. Half Nelson is a compilation album of duets performed by Willie Nelson along with various other artists, released in 1985. It also includes a few never-before released hits as well. “Seven Spanish Angels” was the most successful of Ray Charles’ eight hits on the country chart. The single spent one week at number one and a total of twelve weeks on the country chart.
We have listened a lot to Willie lately and have dug up some duets with him and Bob Dylan. They have shared the stage on many occasions. We have also added a few cover versions of Dylan’s songs done by Willie Nelson.
His latest album is well worth checking out by the way.
“…Kris Kristofferson invited Nelson down to Mexico to the set of Sam Peckinpah’s “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid” where he introduced him to Bob Dylan. Nelson played a song for a group of new friends.
“And Bob Dylan was so knocked out that he made him keep playing,” Kristofferson remembered during a visit to the bus late last year. “I think you played there all day by yourself. … Dylan was just amazed. It made me respect Dylan, too. But (Nelson) has always been a songwriter’s hero. Because he’s a great songwriter. Because he’s absolutely unlike anybody else and because he’s the funniest human being on the planet. And very much like God.””
Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan – Heartland (1993):
“Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground” is a 1981 single from the film Honeysuckle Rose. “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground” was written and performed by Willie Nelson. The single would be Willie Nelson’s seventh number one on the country chart as a solo artist and stayed at number one for one week and spent a total of fourteen weeks on the country chart.
This song is commonly believed to have been written about Charlie Magoo a good friend of Nelson’s who happened to also be a member of The Hells Angels. This has never been confirmed or denied by Nelson who usually says he’s not going to argue with a load of bikers. He did once claim the song was about his wife Connie.
Bob Dylan – Angel flying too close to the ground (Infidels outtake) (written by Willie):