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Willie Nelson – Red Headed Stranger (1975)

February 1, 2018


Splendid 2017 Artist of the Week logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming


“Oh, Friar Tuck, it appears that I now have an outlaw for an in-law. Yes, not bad.”
– King Richard (from the Disney animated film Robin Hood)

[Album 594/1001]

The above scene (overdubbed in Finnish no less!) is from my favourite Disney movie.

A couple of years after Disney released (the one-time-outlaw-eventual-in-law) Robin Hood, outlaw country singer Willie Nelson released his outlaw country concept album, Red Headed Stranger.

Now I’m not sure if Willie has married into my extended family (perhaps there’s a microscopic chance he married a cousin’s cousin’s cousin’s brother-in-law’s aunt…?); so I can’t be certain that I now officially have an outlaw for an in-law.

But the second part of the above quote is an understatement: Yes, not bad.

Not only is it not bad, The Red Headed Stranger is quite good.220px-WillieNelsonRedHeadedStrangeralbumcover

And what makes me especially pleased about this discovery is that until recently, Willie wouldn’t have been my cuppa.

In fact, I wouldn’t have wanted to be seen associating with such country riff-raff, a genre that I perceived to be nowhere near the nobility of nineties rock!

Fortunately, I’ve changed my tune, and can now effortlessly appreciate & enjoy records like The Red Headed Stranger.

So while he may not be an official in-law, this outlaw’s welcome to pop by anytime.


Verbalize the Positive

While I’m catching up on the last few artists from last year’s Artist of the Week series, I’m delighted that I get to use Sarca’s splendid 2017 logo a few more times!

From → 1970s

  1. Like you, Geoff, I’m not much of a country music guy.

    And like you, I make an exception for Willie’s Red Headed Stranger album.

    Also like you, I’ve posted on it too!

    The connection for me was not the dreaded book, but a British 80s TV thriller. I’ll cheekily drop a link in below.

  2. jprobichaud permalink

    I was quite a fan of that Robin Hood flick myself. My stepfather likes to quote it, calling me “the head man himself”. Anywho, I have a lot of respect for Willie Nelson but have admittedly, not sat down to listen to him in a long while. Great post.

    • My thanks JP – and that’s brilliant that you’re sometimes addressed as that, Little John (in disguise as Sir Reginald) is quoted ’round here too!

      • jprobichaud permalink

        I love the rooster’s song at the beginning too. ‘Robin Hood and Little John running through the forest…”

      • A classic – would be on my Top 5 ‘whistling tunes’ list!

  3. I dig this album. For me Willie Nelson is beyond the country genre and is an artist with a country sound. I feel the same way about Johnny Cash.

    • I think that’s a good comparison. Even those who say, I hate country, might have to exclude Mr Cash and Mr Nelson!

  4. Willie is one of those few country artists that have universal appeal, huh?

    In fact, I think each of the Highwaymen had that same thing about them – appealingly to a whole host of folks. Of course, each of them had periods when they weren’t fully embraced by the country radio and the ‘establishment’.

    Anyhoo, great to learn you like this one!

    • J is totally right about Willie’s universal appeal as Willie and posse (Literally) rolled into Tbay back in 1990 and all us bangers had to go! Its Willie man! It was a great show actually and he packed the joint 4000 or so…I only knew 3 songs but its one of those must go’s….
      Same with Dwight Yokam when he played here around that time as well only knew the 1 tune of his but same deal just had to go…
      BB King came here and I dropped the ball on that one which is now a regret but my brother went and he loved it…

      • Man, you’ve seen Willie Nelson and Yoakam! That’s pretty ace… no doubt about it. I’d love to see ol’ man Nelson live… though don’t imagine I ever will.

      • One of those must see’s

      • Nice call on Dwight Yoakam’s crossover appeal – I’d happily see either of them!

    • Surely even the staunchest anti-country listener wouldn’t be able to find too much to complain about with Willie – I had to look up the highwaymen, but I’d agree that those 4 all fit the bill for crossover appeal!

  5. I see Willie Nelson, I hit Like! Man, Willie is universal. Glad you got to him finally! His music is perfect.

  6. I like the man, way more than I can take his music; great songwriter though he is. I’m just missing the country receptor gene.

    • I think I’m lacking the ‘new’ country receptor gene – but I seem to have the genetics that enthusiastically receives Mr. Nelson with limited effort!

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