Willie Nelson in 1965

My aunt came across this old footage of Willie Nelson performing at the Grand Ole Opry in 1965 (see above). It just so happens that the medley of songs that he sings here are some of my all-time favorite Willie Nelson tunes. The medley includes “Hello Walls,” “Night Life,” and “Funny How Time Slips Away.” It also includes what I still consider to be the best version of “Crazy.” In the introduction to “Crazy,” he mentions his thankfulness for the late Patsy Cline. He then gets choked-up while trying to sing the song. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that with him before.

All four songs are available on “The Essential Willie Nelson.” I’ve had it for several years now, and these four songs in particular never get old to me.

4 Responses to Willie Nelson in 1965

  1. Skip Rainbolt March 31, 2012 at 7:07 am #

    Didn’t realize you had such good taste in music Denny. I think I saw Willie live three times in my younger days. He is certainly a gifted songwriter/singer/musician; very successful behind the scenes as a writer (with sings like these in the video) before he became known as an singer. BTW – You may recall that Faron Young, who recorded “Hello Walls” was a native of Shreveport. Willie was also a Louisiana Hayride performer in its heyday. “Night Life” is supposedly one of the most recorded songs in history. I read somewhere once that, when struggling in the early days, he sold the rights to it for $150.00.

    A lot of people don’t realize what an amazing guitar player he is. He has a unique style and sound; plus he knows how to play simple and knows how to get complicated. and which belongs where. Hard to believe that Chet Atkins at one time would not allow him to play on his own recordings (didn’t have “the Nashville Sound”).

    Thanks for sharing.

    Grace and peace
    Skip

  2. Steve Lemke March 31, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    I believe that in those days he taught Sunday School at Wedgwood Methodist Church in Fort Worth. That was a long time ago . . .

    • Denny Burk March 31, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

      Wow, Dr. Lemke! I didn’t know that!

  3. Kenneth Ross April 2, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    Thanks for posting this, Denny

    Took me totally by surprise. I got into country as a teenager in the mid 70’s, and immediately took to his voice. But I could not imagine him in anything other than pony tail and beard! Only ever saw him live once – when he visited Aberdeen, Scotland with the Highwaymen.

    Echo Skip’s comments re. his guitar playing. Enjoyed him on the 2007 Guitar Crossroads DVD – playing an acoustic that was worn right through the soundboard!

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