Music: Willie Nelson

April 30th - Happy 75th Birthday, Willie!



Personal favorites range from four historic local Texas singles (1954/55 to 1960) to dozens of studio & live career touchstones, including collaborations with Waylon Jennings, Leon Russell, Roger Miller, Ray Price, Ray Charles, Merle Haggard, Webb Pierce, Julio Iglesias, Faron Young, Hank Snow, Highwaymen (Waylon, Johnny Cash, Kristofferson), Lee Ann Womack, and more!

For the truly multi-dimensional Willie Nelson (b. 1933) - singer, songwriter, Gypsy jazz guitarist, producer, bandleader, family man, perennially touring musician, Hollywood actor, entrepreneur, rancher, golfer, proud Texan, and godfather of music's Outlaw Country movement - it has really been ONE HELL OF A RIDE. Shotgun Willie, whose 75th birthday is celebrated on April 30, 2008, has been making music over the course of eight distinct decades - from the 1930s to the '00s - and has been a recording artist for more than five of those decades.

For the first time, in honor of his big seven-five, the appropriately titled box set ONE HELL OF A RIDE draws together the entire span of Willie's recording career, with tracks representing a dozen different record labels. To underscore the scope of this unprecedented project, the box set opens with Willie's first single recording under his own name, "When I've Sang My Last Hillbilly Song" (cut in 1954 or '55 for a small Texas label, but not released by the owner for another two decades) - and closes with a brand new version of the song recorded by Willie in 2007.

The largest U.S. box set compendium of his work to date weighs in with 100 of Willie's personal favorite tracks -- and a magnificent 100-page full-color book with dozens of never-before seen photographs, and full discographical information. Liner notes include an introduction by long-time harmonica player Mickey Raphael and an 8,000-word liner notes essay by Texas musician and music journalist Joe Nick Patoski (author of the upcoming biography Willie Nelson: An Epic Life, Little, Brown & Co., April 2008). ONE HELL OF A RIDE arrived in stores April 1st on Columbia/ Legacy, a division of SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.

"It has been an amazing education," Mickey Raphael writes in the introduction to ONE HELL OF A RIDE. "Willie's drummer, Paul English taught me the subtleties of music, and Willie taught me the mysteries. When the band is cookin' it becomes a living, breathing organism that unites with itself and the audience."

Source: Legacy Recordings
NEW YORK, April 25, 2008 /PRNewswire/ --

Willie Nelson's 75th Birthday Celebration Kicks Off With Deluxe Box Set, ONE HELL OF A RIDE

Legacy Recordings is launching a year- long celebration of Willie Nelson's 75th birthday (April 30, 2008) with the release of ONE HELL OF A RIDE, a monumental 4-CD, 100-song retrospective covering all phases of Nelson's 50-plus years of barrier-breaking pop and country music. The set arrives in stores April 1st, 2008, on Columbia/Legacy, a division of SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.

ONE HELL OF A RIDE makes available, for the first time in any collection, recordings and performances drawn from the entire range, and all record labels, of Willie Nelson's mythic career.

With a whopping 100 selections in all, the box set includes rare early recordings -- including "When I've Sang My Last Hillbilly Song," recorded late 1954/early 1955 at KBOP Studio in Pleasanton, Texas, and "No Place For Me," recorded in 1957 in Portland, Oregon, for Willie Nelson Records.

Also featured are Willie's own early 1960s performances of "Night Life," "Funny How Time Slips Away" and "Crazy," the much-covered songs that broke down the walls between Tin Pan Alley and country music; his mid-1960s recordings for RCA Victor when he forged his own signature blend of country-rock with currents of jazz, swing and deep folk influences; his 1970s invention of "outlaw country" with the multi-platinum country/pop crossover blockbuster "Red Headed Stranger; his historic collaborations with Waylon Jennings, Chet Atkins, Roger Miller, Ray Price, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Julio Iglesias, and many more; and a generous selection of Willie's classic covers including his signature interpretations of Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'," Fred Rose's "Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain," Townes Van Zandt's "Pancho & Lefty," Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust" and "Georgia On My Mind," and others.

The deluxe 4-CD box set includes liner notes by Joe Nick Patoski, who has written about Willie Nelson over the past thirty five years for Texas Monthly, Rolling Stone, Country Music, No Depression, and other publications. Patoski's biography, Willie Nelson: An Epic Life, is published this spring by Little, Brown.

In addition to ONE HELL OF RIDE, Legacy Recordings will celebrate Willie's
75th with the release of #1s, a single disk collection of Willie's #1 country and pop hits, arriving in stores April 29th. Additional Willie Nelson projects will be announced in the coming months.

NEW YORK, Jan. 23, 2008 /PRNewswire/ --
Source: Legacy Recordings

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