44 Years Ago: Willie Nelson Releases ‘Red Headed Stranger’

Next year marks the 45th anniversary of Willie Nelson’s 18th studio album, Red Headed Stranger. The classic concept record is not just a landmark of outlaw country, but a signature release in the oeuvre of American music. To honor the legendary LP, we’ll be exploring its legacy on the latest season of The Opus podcast.

View credits, reviews, tracks and shop for the CD release of Red Headed Stranger on Discogs.

Loosely based on Nelson’s chart-topping 1975 concept album, "Red Headed Stranger" was written and directed by Bill Wittliff, who died last week of a heart attack at age 79. This will be the first-ever screening of a digital version made from the original film print that event co-producers Luck Productions and Rolling Roadshow recently located.

The record that gave Willie his stardom has continued to shape and change the world long after [.] Let’s Be Real, Everybody Loves Willie Nelson – Welcome Wild horses, weed at the White House, the war in Iraq, and the weird web that ties the world of Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger together.

And now here is "Red-Headed Stranger," inspired by Nelson’s album of 11 years ago which tells the story of a preacher who tries t o tame an evil town, is abandoned by his wife, kills his wife and her lover, and then spends years in exile in the wilderness before riding back in to meet his fate in that same town.

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Wittliff wrote "Red Headed Stranger" with Nelson’s 1975 concept album of the same name as a guide. The album was a turning point in Willie’s career, and it’s probably also the most important record in the history of Austin music.

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Album chronicled a bitter breakup and set the stage for Nelson’s masterpiece Red Headed Stranger By the early 1970s, Willie Nelson was both an acclaimed songwriter and a frustrated artist. Having.

Willie Nelson – Red Headed Stranger The red-headed stranger from Blue Rock, Montana Rode into town one day; And under his knees was a raging black stallion

I think Willie Nelson has to be seen live to be truly understood. I know I was converted from a Rock purist to a Willie Nelson fan after seeing him live in 1980. A great songwriter, expressive singer, and world-class guitar player, he was finally able to communicate it all to a mainstream audience with his 1975 release, RED HEADED STRANGER.

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