The Liner/Sleeve Notes:
“Willie Nelson was raised by his grandparents who taught him to play a few chords on the guitar. After discharge from the U.S. Air Force in the early fifties he settled in Waco, Texas working as a salesman before becoming a radio announcer and hosting country shows. His classic songs NIGHT LIFE and Family Bible were written at this time. He moved to Nashville and got a job as a bass player in Ray Price’s Band. Price made NIGHT LIFE his theme tune and Willie Nelson”s writing success continued when Faron Young recorded Hello Walls and Patsy Cline charted with Crazy.
In the early years of his career Willie also helped Charley Pride up the ladder of success by featuring him on his shows in the deep South. During the sixties his abrasive hard living style did not really fit in with the increasingly smooth Nashville sound. Moving with his third wife to Austin, Texas, Nelson became the leader of the so-called ‘Outlaw’ movement there. A switch of record companies brought him many crossover hits of which Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain’ made him a major star. Along with Waylon Jennings and other country artistes Willie has done much to bridge the gap between rock and country.
This record brings you a taste of what made Willie Nelson a famous name in the world of country music.”
So, this has been in my review queue for months now, finally getting around to doing it. First Willie record on VAoT!
So, the album opens with the title track, “Georgia on My Mind” – and well, it’s a very, very slow country track. Now, Willie is like everyones favorite country singer. Everyone knows who he is. (I personally prefer George Jones and Conway Twitty) Willie does record some better tracks, just not this one song. The next track is “Tenderly” – which is another slow track, and well, so far, not much on this album is impressing me. Then comes the song “All of Me” – which is still pretty slow, it is a little better than the other tracks, but still nothing worth being impressed for. Up next comes “Penny for Your Thoughts” which is a slightly better track than other ones, but still slow, I will give it to Willie, as the vocals on this track stand out compared to the other tracks. Then comes the ‘medley’ track “Funny How Time Slips Away” – which opens with that track, I feel the guitar playing is too fast for Willie’s singing. Then it goes into the track “Crazy” but it isn’t the “Crazy” we all know and love by Willie, it doesn’t have the same guitar playing style, nor the same speed. It’s all weird. Why Willie, why? This isn’t the Willie way. Oh, then it goes into the final part of the medley, “Night Life” – which is still slow. So far, this album has only let down. The A-Side closes with the track “On the Sunny Side of the Street” – and well, I’m not understanding why Willie decided to do this country jazz sound he has chosen to do for this album? I’m going to say, it’s pretty darn awful.
The B-Side opens with “Sunday Mornin’ Coming Down” – and well, so far, it’s picking up. Willie singing about drinking beer for breakfast, and wearing dirty clean clothes. Still so slow. Then comes the track “Till I Gain Control Again” – which by the sounds of it, sounds recorded live, not quite sure. (So, not going to throw the tag in.) Then comes the track “Why Me” and it’s still a slow track, Willie does have good vocals, do not get me wrong on that. This track is good, but still slow. I do hope it picks up soon, I am a Willie fan and feel I just chose the wrong album to start reviewing Willie with. Then comes Willie covering “Unchained Melody” – and although it’s good, and Willie does sing it well, nobody can sing it like the Righteous Brothers. Then comes “You Are My Sunshine” – and hey! the speed finally picks up, which is great and all, but Willie just isn’t made for this song. It’s kind of sad that this album has been so awful. Though, the album does end with my favorite Willie song, “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys” – and well, Willie always does that song beautifully, so the album does end on a good note, but the overall album was just bad.
A1 – Georgia on My Mind
A2 – Tenderly
A3 – All of Me
A4 – A Penny for Your Thoughts
A5 – Funny How Time Slips Away
i – Crazy
ii – Night Life
A6 – On the Sunny Side of the Street
B1 – Sunday Mornin’ Coming Down
B2 – Till I Gain Control Again
B3 – Why
B4 – Unchained Melody
B5 – You Are My Sunshine
B6 – My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys
Studio Musicians & Other Album Credits:
Other Albums I Own by Willie Nelson:
“Me & Paul”
“On the Road Again with 60 of his Greatest Hits”
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow”
Other Albums I Own that Willie Nelson Appears On:
Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson – “WWII”