Willie Nelson to Release Harlan Howard Tribute Album

Willie Nelson is paying tribute to a fellow songwriting legend with his new album, I Don’t Know A Thing About Love.

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The country icon will release his 73rd solo studio album on March 3. On the project Nelson adds his voice to 10 songs originally written by the late Harlan Howard, a hit country songwriter who penned hits for Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells, Lefty Frizzell, Ray Price and other country greats during his 60-year tenure.

Among the tracks Nelson covers are “I’ve Got a Tiger By the Tail,” one of the many songs Howard co-wrote with Buck Owens that Owens then recorded and made a No. 1 hit on the country charts, and Waylon Jennings’ “The Chokin’ Kind,” initially sung by Jennings but later covered by R&B singer Joe Simon, who won Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male for his interpretation at the 1970 Grammy Awards. Nelson also sings Brenda Lee’s 1965 hit “Too Many Rivers” and lead single “Busted,” which has been recorded by Johnny Cash, Ray Charles and other artists. See the full tracklist below.

Cline’s “I Fall to Pieces,” Patty Loveless’ “Blame it on Your Heart” and “Heartbreak U.S.A.” by Kitty Wells are some of the countless hits Howard penned. Nelson met Howard at Tootsies Orchid Lounge in Nashville in 1960. After hearing his originally written songs, Howard helped Nelson get a deal at the now-defunct publishing company, Pamper Music. Howard passed away in 2002 at the age of 74. The album will be released on the 21st anniversary of his death. 

Nelson is nominated in four categories at the 2023 Grammy Awards: Best Country Song for “I’ll Love You Till The Day I Die,” Best Country Solo Performance for “Live Forever” off Live Forever: A Tribute to Billy Joe Shaver, Best Country Album for A Beautiful Time and Best Roots Gospel Album for The Willie Nelson Family. Following the Grammys, the extensive documentary, Wille Nelson & Family, premieres at Sundance Film Festival in Austin, Texas taking place March 10-19. Nelson will also celebrate a milestone birthday when he turns 90 on April 29.

Willie Nelson’s I Don’t Know A Thing About Love Tracklist:

1. “Tiger By The Tail”
2. “The Chokin’ Kind”
3. “Excuse Me (I Think I’ve Got A Heartache)”
4. “Life Turned Her That Way”
5. “I Don’t Know A Thing About Love”
6. “Streets Of Baltimore”
7. “Busted”
8. “She Called Me Baby”
9. “Too Many Rivers”
10. “Beautiful Annabel Lee”

Photo by Pamela Springsteen / Shock Ink

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