12 Songs, 29 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

When it comes to country holiday albums, it's tough to top Pretty Paper. The key to its magic is that Willie doesn't put on any musical airs by splashing the tunes with orchestral arrangements. He keeps things stripped down to his regular band plus producer Booker T. Jones' unmistakable organ licks, which bring a dash of soul to the country Christmas vibe. Willie's jazz-informed phrasing makes even "Jingle Bells" sound new, and the self-penned title track stands right up alongside the album's other yuletide standards.

EDITORS’ NOTES

When it comes to country holiday albums, it's tough to top Pretty Paper. The key to its magic is that Willie doesn't put on any musical airs by splashing the tunes with orchestral arrangements. He keeps things stripped down to his regular band plus producer Booker T. Jones' unmistakable organ licks, which bring a dash of soul to the country Christmas vibe. Willie's jazz-informed phrasing makes even "Jingle Bells" sound new, and the self-penned title track stands right up alongside the album's other yuletide standards.

TITLE TIME
2:24
2:44
2:24
2:10
2:09
1:52
2:37
2:11
2:23
3:42
1:27
3:12

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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