In Her Heart is a Song — Red Headed Stranger, Pt. 3

Carla Bozulich We noted in the previous installments (1 and 2) how Willie Nelson’s 1975 album Red Headed Stranger (Spotify) represents the realization of a distinctive artistic vision. It challenged the conventional wisdom of the recording industry when it was released. One of the things that made it so distinctive was that … → read more

The Time of the Preacher — Red Headed Stranger, Pt. 2

This is our second post on Nelson’s classic murder ballad concept album Red Headed Stranger. Read the first one here. Now the preaching is over and the lesson’s begun As I hope was clear from the previous post, Willie Nelson’s creative enhancements to “The Tale of the Red Headed Stranger” by Carl … → read more

Red Headed Stranger

Album cover for Red Headed Stranger (1975) Introduction Taking up Willie Nelson’s iconic 1975 album Red Headed Stranger is a prospect both daunting and straightforward. It is the landmark murder ballad concept album, and launched Nelson into superstardom. Despite thematic and stylistic differences, it is like Marvin Gaye‘s What’s Going On? or Van … → read more