Willie Nelson

RCA Country Legends

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This 16-track collection commences in 1967 with Willie Nelson first really emerging as an artist in his own right as opposed to being a Music City songwriter for hire. It contains many fine songs from the period, including "Down at the Corner Beer Joint," "Who'll Buy My Memories," "Sister's Coming Home," and "Wild Memories," to name a few. As a singer, Nelson wasn't quite the stylist he'd become at Columbia, but the music here speaks for itself: it's full of folksy down-home rhetoric, elegant and spare poetry, and utterly unforgettable melodies. This is a fine place to start for those interested in his early period.

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