On this date in 1984, the red headed stranger was topping the country albums chart with his 39th studio album (which includes covers and collaborative albums), City of New Orleans.
The title track was written and originally recorded by Steve Goodman and released in 1971, and in 1972, Arlo Guthrie actually became the first to have a hit with the song.
But of course, Willie made the single extremely popular upon the albums release in 80’s, where it peaked at #1 on the U.S. Hot Country Songs chart.
And contrary to many of Willie’s most popular records, this albums tracklist includes just one Willie Nelson original called “Why Are You Pickin’ On Me,” in addition to covers of songs like “Wind Beneath My Wings” and “Please Come to Boston.”
The title track was nominated for a Grammy Award, and while this record in particular doesn’t always stand out on most “The Best Willie Nelson Albums” lists per se, it’s full of great songs and a solid addition to his very extensive and iconic catalog.
City of New Orleans was also certified Platinum by the RIAA in 1994, which means it has moved over one million copies since its release in 1984.
And if you think about it, that’s a helluva lot of albums considering the fact that people actually had to go out and physically buy records when it was first released. Another Willie Nelson “W,” if you will.