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by Linda Ryan

May 15, 2012

Playlist | Outlaw Country

Say, Hey Willie: Decades of Hits (and Favorites) From Willie Nelson

by Linda Ryan  |  May 15, 2012

Willie Nelson, he of the long braids and facial scruff, is a true legend. His creative reach has extended well beyond country music: he has topped the pop charts worldwide and has even starred in movies.

Like many country artists, Nelson started his career writing hits for others. Songs such as "Crazy" (Patsy Cline), "Funny How Time Slips Away" (Billy Walker), "Hello Walls" (Faron Young) and "Pretty Paper" (Roy Orbison's Christmas hit) were all penned by Nelson and have since become part of country music's lexicon. Still, success as a performer eluded Nelson. Disillusioned with the "Nashville machine," he left the city in 1972 to move back to Texas. There, he was energized by the live music scene in Austin and slowly came out of retirement. His friendship with Waylon Jennings helped forge his "outlaw" path, and in 1975, when Nelson released the groundbreaking album Red Headed Stranger, his fortune turned.

Now, decades into his career, Willie Nelson has become one of the most respected men in music. This playlist includes the braided one's biggest hits and fan favorites.

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