John Swenson

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 195

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Ever since he made his first impression in Nashville, Nelson has been a staple in country music, playing around the country in different bands and writing a string of classic songs; many people refer to him reverently as the "Cole Porter of country music." (pp. 24-5)

What Willie Nelson would like to pick up most of all from rock 'n roll is some of the audience, always appreciative of a country musician who can play songs with conviction that reflect the ideals of the musical lifestyle. Nelson's guru-like demeanor crowned with a cowboy hat is a good start in itself, but the honesty in the feeling of his singing and playing make him a country songwriter with instant appeal to a sensitive, curious audience….

Despite his success in the straight country market, many of Nelson's songs have a little too much thought in them for the largely reactionary audience—one of his best tunes deals with the problem of hostility met on the road ["Me and Paul"]. (p. 25)

John Swenson, "A Slice of Night Life from Willie Nelson," in Crawdaddy (copyright © 1973 by Crawdaddy Publishing Co., Inc.; all rights reserved; reprinted by permission), September, 1973, pp. 24-5.


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