Willie Nelson's 70th Birthday Honored With 'The Essential Willie Nelson'

Apr 24, 2003, 01:00 ET from Sony Legacy

    NEW YORK, April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Commemorating the 70th birthday
 (April 30th) of an American legend who has been active for four decades as a
 songwriter, actor, and social activist, "The Essential Willie Nelson" is a
 2-CD set featuring 41 songs that span Willie Nelson's distinguished musical
 career.  The set was released earlier this month and signaled the start of
 Columbia/Legacy's year-long campaign to celebrate Willie Nelson's rich catalog
 of recordings.
     "The Essential Willie Nelson" is the most up-to-date compilation ever
 focused on the artist.  Spanning over 40 years of classic songs, the set
 brings together songs from nine labels for which Nelson recorded, ranging from
 1961's "Night Life" to 2003's Grammy-winning "Mendocino County Line" with Lee
 Ann Womack.  Rarities include collaborations with U2 ("Slow Dancing") and
 Steven Tyler and Aerosmith ("One Time Too Many").
     More than half the tracks on "The Essential" are drawn from Nelson's vast
 archive on Columbia, to whom he was signed from 1975 to 1993.  All of his
 signature songs appear on the 2-CD set, including "On The Road Again," "Always
 On My Mind," "To All The Girls I've Loved Before" (with Julio Iglesias),
 "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys" (with Waylon Jennings),
 "Georgia On My Mind," "Blue Skies," "Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain," "Whiskey
 River," and many more.
     An added attraction to "The Essential" are birthday greetings from nearly
 50 contemporary figures in the set's booklet.  Recollections and tributes to
 Nelson appear from former Texas governor Ann Richards, Johnny Cash, B.B. King,
 Ray Charles, John Fogerty, Bonnie Raitt, Kid Rock, Dave Matthews, Billy Bob
 Thornton, Bono of U2, and numerous others.
     "The Essential Willie Nelson" is the first in a series of important Willie
 Nelson catalog reissues from Columbia/Legacy this year.  Arriving in June are
 expanded editions (featuring bonus tracks) of the classic albums "To Lefty
 From Willie," "Honeysuckle Rose," "Willie Nelson & Family Live" and "San
 Antonio Rose."  And the campaign concludes in August with the arrival of
 "Pancho & Lefty," "Always On My Mind," "Tougher Than Leather," and "Willie
 Nelson's Greatest Hits (& Some That Will Be)."

SOURCE Sony Legacy