This list of songs is inspired by a list published by radio station, KEXP, from Seattle in 2010. For the most part, I will faithfully countdown from their list, from Song #500 to Song #1. So, when you see the song title listed as something like: “KEXP: Song #XXX”….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. If I post the song title as being: “KTOM: Song #xxx”….it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In either case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Enough said! Let’s get on to today’s song.
KEXP: 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.
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.