The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History: Song #496…Crazy by Willie Nelson (RS)

This list of songs is inspired by lists published by radio station KEXP-FM from Seattle in 2010, as well as the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part I will faithfully countdown from their lists, starting at Song #500 and going until I reach Song #1. When you see the song title listed as something like: Song #XXX (KEXP)….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. Song XXX (RS) means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: Song #xxx (KTOM), it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In any case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, just so everyone is aware, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Here is the story behind today’s song. Enjoy.

RS: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.

Song #496: Crazy by Willie Nelson.

If the final question for the World Trivia Championship was, “Who wrote the following lyric: “Crazy………..crazy for feeling so blue”, I would have bet every dollar in my wallet, every dollar in my wife’s purse, all of the coins in the girl’s piggy banks, along with every sticky nickel and dime in my car coin holder, that the person who wrote the song, “Crazy” was Patsy Cline. And, I would have lost everything! “Crazy” was written and first recorded by a, then, unknown musician named Willie Nelson. Who knew? Certainly not me.

That Patsy Cline covered the song and made it her own is not in dispute. “Crazy” is, above all else, a Patsy Cline song. But, before it was a Patsy Cline song, it was a Willie Nelson song. Knowing how his legendary career turned out, it is instructive to note that there was a time when Willie Nelson was just a regular guy trying to make his way through Life, like the rest of us. But, unlike the rest of us, Nelson had a boatload of musical talent and was fortunate enough to have that noticed by the right people at the right times in his life. Patsy Cline was just one such person who helped Nelson’s career.

After signing his first recording contract, he became the bassist for singer Ray Price. Soon, he was keeping company with the likes of Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson in bands like The Highwaymen. In the mid-80s, alongside singer John Mellencamp, he helped establish a series of benefit concerts for farmers called Farm-Aid. Willie Nelson has collaborated with a Whos-Who of Country Music stars over the years; everyone from Dolly Parton, to Merle Haggard, to Mavis Staples and, more recently, Carrie Underwood. Willie Nelson has won 13 Grammy Awards, dozens of Country Music Association Awards, The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize and was ranked as the 4th Most Influential Country Music Performer of all time by C.M.T. He is one of the original Country Music Outlaws and one of the most beloved entertainers ever.

Nothing crazy about that at all.

The link for the music video for Crazy by Willie Nelson can be found here. ***The lyrics video can be found here.

Thanks, as always, to KEXP for helping to inspire the writing of this post. The link to their website can be found here.

Finally, thanks to Willie Nelson for having such a rich career and making such wonderful music for over a half-century now. The link to his official website can be found here.

***As always, all original content contained within this post remains the sole property of the author. No portion of this post shall be reblogged, copied or shared without the express written consent of the author. ©2021

*Header photo was taken by Michael Ochs. The Michael Ochs Archives can be accessed here.

Author: Tom MacInnes

Among the many characters I play: husband, father, son, retired elementary school teacher, writer, Cape Bretoner, lover of hot tea and, above all else, a gentleman. I strive to make a positive difference in the lives of others. In Life, I have chosen to be kind.

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