11 Songs, 27 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Produced by Chet Atkins and comprised entirely of songs related to Texas, 1968’s Texas In My Soul is among the most focused and enjoyable packages Willie Nelson released in the '60s. “San Antonio,” “Streets of Laredo” and “The Hill Country Theme” are bolstered by Atkins’ elegant production, which utilizes the widest tonal palette of any records that came out of ‘60s Nashville. There is the corny yet charming swing of “Dallas,” the hushed Western swing of “Who Put All My Ex’s In Texas” and the historical chestnut “Remember the Alamo,” which Willie invests with the requisite conviction and poignancy. “The Hill Country Theme” is a Cindy Walker original written for a television documentary about Lyndon Johnson — having Nelson sing it gives the song so many levels of Lone Star credentials that it becomes a layer cake of state pride. In the years to follow Nelson would make a more corporeal tribute to his home state by relocating to Austin and drawing inspiration from the town’s localized atmosphere. Meantime there's an indispensable magic at work when Willie takes to the wistful, chiming rendition of “There’s a Little Bit of Everything In Texas.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Produced by Chet Atkins and comprised entirely of songs related to Texas, 1968’s Texas In My Soul is among the most focused and enjoyable packages Willie Nelson released in the '60s. “San Antonio,” “Streets of Laredo” and “The Hill Country Theme” are bolstered by Atkins’ elegant production, which utilizes the widest tonal palette of any records that came out of ‘60s Nashville. There is the corny yet charming swing of “Dallas,” the hushed Western swing of “Who Put All My Ex’s In Texas” and the historical chestnut “Remember the Alamo,” which Willie invests with the requisite conviction and poignancy. “The Hill Country Theme” is a Cindy Walker original written for a television documentary about Lyndon Johnson — having Nelson sing it gives the song so many levels of Lone Star credentials that it becomes a layer cake of state pride. In the years to follow Nelson would make a more corporeal tribute to his home state by relocating to Austin and drawing inspiration from the town’s localized atmosphere. Meantime there's an indispensable magic at work when Willie takes to the wistful, chiming rendition of “There’s a Little Bit of Everything In Texas.”

TITLE TIME
2:14
2:30
3:32
2:14
2:17
2:26
2:05
2:55
2:00
2:20
2:41

About Willie Nelson

Even before he became the Red Headed Stranger, Willie Nelson was already a Nashville songwriting legend, providing Patsy Cline with her 1961 signature tune, “Crazy.” But as a fledgling performer in his own right, the clean-cut honky-tonker’s humble approach and conversational croon was increasingly at odds with mainstream country music’s tilt toward variety-show glitz. Upon joining the post-hippie roots-music radicals taking over the Austin scene (and swearing off barbers forevermore), the Texas-born Nelson became an icon of the ’70s outlaw-country movement, favoring a stripped-down style that could both evoke desert-highway vistas (“On the Road Again”) and initiate the most intimate of conversations (“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”). But Nelson’s brand of down-home simplicity shouldn’t be confused with dogmatic purism (he’s also no stranger to adult-contemporary crossovers, like his duet with Julio Iglesias, “To All the Girls I've Loved Before”). Rather, he’s always searching for the most direct route to the soul of a song, whether he’s elevating the country standard “Always on My Mind” to the realm of modern hymn, or bringing a wistful, lived-in wisdom to Great American Songbook perennials like “Georgia on My Mind.” In the 21st century, Nelson’s outlaw ethos has continued to manifest itself in all sorts of surprising ways: He’s become America’s most visible pro-marijuana activist and Snoop Dogg’s unlikeliest duet partner.

  • ORIGIN
    Abbott, TX
  • GENRE
    Country
  • BORN
    April 29, 1933

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