Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ask Mr. Music by Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: From the time Willie Nelson teamed with Waylon Jennings in the 1970s, it seems he was onto something. After Waylon, he went on to have hit after hit by doing duets with numerous other performers.

Can you name the artists Willie sang with over the years?
—Morgan Desmond, Cudahy, Wisc.

DEAR MORGAN: Yikes! It might be easier to list those folks who have not yet sung with Willie.

In early 1962, over 13 years before hooking up with Waylon, Willie Nelson & Shirley Collie dueted their way into the Top 10 with “Willingly” (Liberty 55403). About a year later, Willie and Shirley exchanged wedding vows, willingly of course.

In order of release, here are most of those on Willie's infinite duet roster, with one of their titles:

1962: Shirley Collie (“Willingly”)
1974: Tracy Nelson (no relation) (“After the Fire Is Gone”)
1975: Waylon Jennings (“Good Hearted Woman”)
1977: Darrell McCall (“Lily Dale”)
1977: Mary Kay Place (“Something to Brag About”)
1978: Hank Cochran (“Ain't Life Hell”)
1979: Leon Russell (“Heartbreak Hotel”)
1979: George Jones (“I Gotta Get Drunk”)
1980: Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass (“Night Life”)
1980: Ray Price (“Faded Love”)
1980: Dyan Cannon (“Loving You Was Easier”)
1981: Jody Payne (“There's a Crazy Man”)
1982: Roger Miller (“Old Friends”)
1982: Webb Pierce (“In the Jailhouse Now”)
1982: Dolly Parton (“Everything's Beautiful [In Its Own Way]”)
1983: Merle Haggard (“Reason to Quit”)
1983: Brenda Lee (“You're Gonna Love Yourself [In the Morning]”)
1984: Julio Inglesias (“To All the Girls I've Loved Before”)
1984: Hank Wilson (Leon Russell) (“Wabash Cannonball”)
1984: Kris Kristofferson (“How Do You Feel About Foolin' Around”)
1984: Ray Charles (“Seven Spanish Angels”)
1985: Lacy J. Dalton (“Slow Movin' Outlaw”)
1986: David Allen Coe (“I've Already Cheated on You”)
1992: Chieftains (“Goodnight Irene”)
1997: Mel Tillis (“Texas on a Saturday Night”)
1998: Johnny Cash (“[Ghost] Riders in the Sky”)
2000: Francine Reed (“Milk Cow Blues”)
2000: Keb' Mo (“Outskirts of Town”)
2000: Dr. John (“Black Night”)
2000: Johnny Lang (“Rainy Day Blues”)
2000: Susan Tedeschi (“Crazy”)
2000: B.B. King (“The Thrill Is Gone”)
2000: Kenny Wayne Shepherd (“Texas Flood”)
2002: Vince Gill (“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”)
2002: Rob Thomas (“Maria [Shut Up and Kiss Me]”)
2002: Ryan Adams (“The Harder They Come”)
2002: Matchbox 20 (“Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”)
2002: Patty Griffin (“Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground”)
2002: Aaron Neville (“Stardust”)
2002: Brian McKnight (“Don't Fade Away”)
2002: Lee Ann Womack (“Mendocino County Line”)
2002: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (“Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms”)
2002: Trick Pony (“Whiskey River”)
2003: Kimmie Rhodes (“Picture in a Frame”)
2003: Lil' Black (“Back on the Road”)
2003: Shania Twain (“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”)
2003: Toby Keith (“Beer for My Horses”)
2004: Paul English (“Forgiving You Was Easy”)
2004: Toots and the Maytals (“Still Is Still Moving to Me”)
2005: Bellamy Brothers (“Guardian Angel”)
2006: Larry Butler (“Heavy Hank”)
2007: Don Cherry (“It's Magic”)
2007: Emmylou Harris (“One Paper Kid”)
2007: Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks (“One More Cowboy”)
2007: Marty Dread (“Laws of Nature”)
2007: Sheryl Crow (“If I Were a Carpenter”)
2008: Wynton Marsalis (“Bright Lights, Big City”)
2008: Kenny Chesney (“That Lucky Old Sun”)
2008: Sandy Kelly (“Against the Wind”)
2009: Shawn King (“I Give”)
2009: Asleep at the Wheel (“Corrine Corrina”)
2009: Norah Jones (“Baby, It's Cold Outside”)
2009: Charlie Louvin (“This Darn Pen”)
2009: Ziggy Marley (“This Train”)
2010: Bill Anderson (“The Lord Knows I'm Drinkin'”)

IZ ZAT SO? Two years before his first hit record as a singer, Willie wrote a gospel song titled “Family Bible,” which he sold to Claude Gray for fifty bucks.

Willie's tune not only became Gray's first chart record (D 1118), but wound up in the Top 10. “Family Bible” kick-started a nice career for Claude, whose next two singles made the Top 5: “I'll Just Have a Cup of Coffee (Then I'll Go)” and “My Ears Should Burn (When Fools Are Talked About).” Yes, Claude Gray liked subtitles.

Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column.
Write Jerry at: Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368
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Copyright 2010 Osborne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission