Colter Wallpaid tribute to the great Willie Nelson back in 2018, singing his iconic tune “Red Headed Stranger” as part of the Country Music Hall of Fame’s Outlaws & Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ’70s tribute show, and it’s absolutely top tier.
They had a coinciding exhibit at the time which celebrated the outlaw movement in country music, and it’s one of my favorite decades for the fact that artists like Willie, and his friend Waylon Jennings, produced some of my favorite music of all time during that period.
“Red Headed Stranger” was originally written by Edith Lindeman and Carl Stutz for Perry Como, but it ultimately ended up in the hands of Willie after an issue with Perry’s publishing house. Of course, Willie included it as the title track to his 1975 record, which is often regarded as the best country album of all time.
Funny enough, Willie recorded the track not long after he moved back to Austin from Nashville and signed with a new record label, Columbia Records. The executives at the label were actually hesitant to release the album in its entirety, because they thought it was a demo at first.
The whole thing was so simple in its production and sound that they thought it would be a flop, but since Willie had managed to negotiate creative control over his projects at Columbia, no further production was added.
Obviously, he was right about everything, and it became a massive #1 hit on the country albums chart and ultimately, a classic collection of songs that are still beloved today by generations of music fans today.
And I mean, really… just Colter and his acoustic guitar singin’ some Willie?