About AM
CelebrityMusicians

June 28, 2020

'Red Headed Stranger' — The Story behind Willie Nelson's Powerful 18th Album

Share this pen
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmail
Loading...

Advertisement

Willie Nelson's "Red Headed Stranger" grew to be an all-time favorite in country music with its unique ability to tell a story. 

"Red Headed Stranger's" unconventional art cemented Willie Nelson's legacy, making him one of country music's recognized legends today. Here's a look at his life.

EARLY YEARS

Nelson grew up with his grandparents in Texas following his parents' divorce. His childhood was made up of playing the guitar, and everything was all about the music since then. 

Loading...
Loading...

Advertisement

Following a musically inclined childhood, Nelson signed a $25,000 contract with Atlantic in Nashville, bringing him success with the albums "Shotgun Willie" and "Phases and Stages."

With Atlantic records' eventual decision to ditch country music, Nelson signed with Columbia records. Then-president Bruce Lundvall granted Nelson the rights to his musical creations. 

Through the years, Nelson became a family man and is loyal to his fourth wife, whom he lives with in Austin, Texas.

Loading...

Advertisement

Apart from these events, Nelson was not always the rock and roll legend we know him today as he spent quite some time as a disc jockey in a kids' radio show. 

"RED HEADED STRANGER"

In 1975, Nelson released an all-time great masterpiece in "Red Headed Stranger." With the album taking both country lovers and mainstream audiences by storm, it went platinum, ranking in the 100s of Rolling Stone's all-time list of greatest albums.

Loading...

Advertisement

This album was unique in that it told a story through every track, with one of the apparent giveaways being the track's constant transition between the "stranger," and a narrator. 

The tracks tackle the stranger's love for his wife, and their eventual separation due to the latter's affair and betrayal.

Loading...

Advertisement

Eventually, the stranger finds himself in total despair from the fallout of their relationship. This continues onto the following songs, where he crosses paths once again with his ex-wife.

NELSON'S PERSONAL LIFE

Nelson was married four times and had eight children. In an interview, he revealed why he called his three ex-wives additional wives.

Loading...

Advertisement

"Along the way, you pick up wives and kids, and you are responsible for them," he said. "You don't discard them. There is no such thing as ex-wives, only additional wives."

Through the years, Nelson became a family man and is loyal to his fourth wife, whom he lives with in Austin, Texas.

Loading...
Loading...

Advertisement