There's a remarkable emotional and thematic unity that runs through [Willie Nelson's] entire body of work. As one of the most talented songwriters and song stylists this country has ever known, Nelson has carved out his own special place in American music: the Church of the Honky-Tonk. But no matter how many people have called him a country singer, Willie Nelson is no such thing—he sings spiritual and scary stone-beer-joint blues. Indeed, he's the closest thing to a Ray Charles the white race has yet produced. (p. 87)
That some of his songs were too weird for the country market—songs about a man strangling his lover, for instance—was of no great import. Nashville protects its innocents and...
(The entire section is 605 words.)