Willie Nelson: 20 Essential Songs
When Willie Nelson released his 2016 tribute album to the Gershwin brothers, he was showing his reverence for the Great American Songbook. But the fact is that Nelson’s own works deserve a volume or two. The Texas native has written some of music’s most important titles, from “Crazy,” made famous by Patsy Cline, to “Funny How Times Slips Away,” covered by Elvis Presley.
And then there are the songs with which he has become synonymous, thanks to his charmingly eccentric vocal delivery. It’s impossible to hear a Willie Nelson performance and not identify it as such. Whether he was crooning Countrypolitan fare in the Sixties — his 1962 debut album …And Then I Wrote is remarkable for its wealth of enduring songs — or busting down doors with Waylon Jennings in the Seventies, Nelson was always making waves with that unmistakable voice.
“All of a sudden, we were outlaws,” Nelson told Rolling Stone in 2014, reflecting on the country music rebellion he was credited with launching. “I thought it was the funniest thing in the world. And I tried not to disappoint ’em!”
This list was originally published in April 2016.
Willie Nelson songs are some of the most beloved of all time. The iconic singer-songwriter and guitarist has recorded songs from across almost every genre over the course of his legendary career, touching on country, folk, jazz and standards.
Nelson's catalog is so vast that it's difficult to select just 10 songs to represent it. He's not only one of country music's greatest songwriters, he's also one of the genre's most inimitable vocal stylists and guitarists, making this list of the Top 10 Willie Nelson Songs that much more impressive.
"Nothing I Can Do About It Now"From: 'A Horse Called Music' (1989)
Written by Beth Nielsen Chapman, this No. 1 hit from 1989 tells Nelson's own outlaw saga pretty well, which is perhaps why it also happens to be one of the singer's breeziest performances on record. Set to a cool Cajun-tinged groove, the tune finds a wistful Nelson resigned to his fate. With a personal life that has included four marriages, tax troubles and "high times" that have led to occasional brushes with the law, there's obviously nothing he can, or would, do about all of it now.
"Hello Walls"From: 'And Then I Wrote' (1962)
A 1961 crossover smash by Faron Young, this weird and wonderful little drama put Nelson on the map as a songwriter. In a one-sided conversation with the walls, windows and ceiling of a lonely, deserted room, the iconic artist pours his broken heart out, knowing "she'll be gone a long, long time." Nearly 50 years later, the pain still feels brand-new and very real.
"Pancho and Lefty" (With Merle Haggard)From: 'Pancho & Lefty' (1983)
One of the greatest story songs ever written by -- and originally from a 1972 album titled -- The Late, Great Townes Van Zandt, Nelson shares vocals on this track with the legendary Merle Haggard; the two made it the title track of a duets album they released in 1983. A haunting tale of bandits and betrayal, what's really going on in the story is far from clear. But while the details are murky, the song captures two musical giants in their prime.
"The Troublemaker"From: 'The Troublemaker' (1976)
The title track from Nelson's country-gospel album was released in 1976 but recorded three years earlier, when the Vietnam War was perhaps at its most controversial point. The title character of this sparse but electrifying tune is a long-haired, peace-loving rebel who wears sandals, travels with a motley group of friends, rejects the establishment and has "never held a job." The last two lines are guaranteed to raise a few goosebumps.
"Whiskey River"From: 'Willie and Family Live' (1978)
Leave it to Willie and Family to score a hit with this great live recording all about the tortured memories of that "amber current." Another song not written by, but forever linked to, Nelson, the jaunty feel of the version most familiar to fans masks the tune's tragic message. A longtime concert staple, Nelson has left fans intoxicated with several recorded versions of the Johnny Bush classic.
"Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain"From: 'Red Headed Stranger' (1975)
From Nelson's landmark 1975 concept album, Red Headed Stranger, a disc that should be in every music fan's record collection, this tune, written by Fred Rose and originally recorded by Roy Acuff, was already 30 years old when Nelson made it his own. His is the definitive version, becoming his first No. 1 hit as an artist and elevating "Red Headed Stranger" to iconic status.
"Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground"From: 'Honeysuckle Rose' (1980)
Perhaps the saddest song Nelson has ever written and recorded, "Angel" tells a story of the healing power of love, and the bittersweet memory that remains when the healing is done and it's time to move on. Remarkably, the 4:29 single version, a No. 1 country hit, includes a full one-minute solo of Nelson's distinctive acoustic guitar, further enhancing its mournful beauty.
"On the Road Again"From: 'Honeysuckle Rose' (1980)
The perfect theme song for a performer and his "band of gypsies" who have spent decades traveling across the country and around the world entertaining millions of fans. Taken from the Honeysuckle Rose soundtrack, in 1980 the song became Nelson's ninth No. 1 country hit, and was a Top 20 pop hit as well. It has continued to travel well -- in 2004, Rolling Stone ranked it among the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
"Crazy"From: 'Showcase' (1961)
One of the greatest country songs ever written or recorded, and (according to Rolling Stone) No. 85 among the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. A career-changing hit for Patsy Cline in 1961, the year Nelson wrote it, the song remains a popular jukebox hit and a favorite of karaoke performers. Nelson wrote "Crazy" when he was still a struggling songwriter, and pitched it to Cline's husband after running into him at Nashville's famed Tootsie's Orchid Lounge.
"Always on My Mind"From: 'Always on My Mind' (1982)
Nelson didn't write it, and Elvis Presley, Brenda Lee and the Pet Shop Boys are among the hundreds of artists who have recorded it, but Nelson's version remains the quintessential rendering of this tender, pleading ballad. A Top 5 pop hit, Nelson's cover was Billboard's No. 1 country song of 1982, and a CMA Award winner in 1982 and 1983, as well as a Grammy recipient. Awards aside, it remains one of the most evocative, beautiful performances of his career.
NEXT: 25 Things You May Not Know About Willie Nelson
10 Best Willie Nelson Songs That You Should Never Miss Out
Willie Nelson songs had always been a big part of the country music scene. He has established himself as the most ‘unique and versatile country artist of all time’ as Rolling Stones described him in their article for the legend’s 85th. He is that country swooner with jazz phrasing showing off his guitar licks on his signature beat-up classical guitar that his fans know all too well.
In his decades-long career, Willie Nelson successfully showcased his talent in writing hits not only for himself but for other country music artists as well. He was also no slave to any style and pretty much did anything he wanted. He explored the hard-core country, western swing, gospel, folk, jazz, and many more. He also collaborated with many great music artists and covered many different songs that definitely made an impact.
To say it’s difficult to pick the best 10 Willie Nelson songs would be an understatement. In this list, we featured a bit of everything that represents the American music icon. These songs definitely deserve a listen, even at this age.
1. Crazy, 1961
Crazy was a ballad penned by Willie Nelson himself when he was still a struggling songwriter back then. According to sources, Nelson pitched the song to Patsy Cline’s husband in Nashville’s Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge which turned out to be Patsy Cline’s career-changing hit in 1962.
Patsy Cline released the song as a follow-up to another previous hit, I Fall to Pieces, in late 1961. It immediately became a huge hit peaking at number 2 in the country hits. Aside from being a jukebox and karaoke favorite, the song also easily became one of her signature tunes. Her version amongst many became the most notable one earning the 85th spot on Rolling Stone’s The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, the third highest-ranking song by a solo female artist.
This also propelled Nelson’s songwriting prowess. His own version appeared on his 1962 debut album …And Then I Wrote.
2. Half a Man, 1963
Up to this point, Willie Nelson was still struggling to make his own name in the industry despite being one of the go-to composers in Nashville thanks to many of his chart-topping hits like the above mentioned Patsy Cline’s Crazy, Faron Young’s Hello Walls, and Ray Price’s Night Life.
Half a Man was inspired by a moment wherein Nelson woke up in the middle of the night to smoke, but his arm was around a sleeping woman. He couldn’t release his arm without waking her. And that was how he told a story of a man who said that if he lost a part of his body, he would be half a man which a lost love turned him into.
Half a Man made considerable chart success reaching number 25 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles and also number 20 on Cashbox’s country singles. In 1982, another legend Merle Haggard covered the song for his album Going Where the Lonely Go. And then in 1985, Nelson recorded a duet of the song with George Jones for his album Half Nelson.
3. Whiskey River, 1973
This song was originally co-written by Texas country singer Johnny Bush alongside composer Paul Stroud for his 1972 album of the same name. The song peaked at number 14 on the country charts.
A year later, Willie Nelson, who is also Bush’s good friend, covered the song for his 1973 album Shotgun Willie. But it was only in 1978 that the cover was released as a single in the live album Willie and Family Live, which also earned attention and praises. The song peaked at number 12 on the country chart and also earned Nelson a Grammy nomination for Best Country Vocal Performance (Male). Despite not being an original Nelson song, it became one of his signature songs and also a staple opener for his concerts.
4. Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, 1975
Before this song, Willie Nelson was more popularly known as a songwriter rather than a performer. But with the release of the song as part of his 1975 album Red Headed Stranger, Nelson earned his first number 1 hit as a singer. Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain became so big that it also reached number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was named the 3rd biggest song of 1975 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.
The song was originally released in the ‘40s, written by songwriter Fred Rose and originally performed by Roy Acuff. It was also covered by various artists, but Nelson’s cover was undeniably the most iconic.
5. Georgia On My Mind, 1978
When people mention this 1930 song, it’s commonly more associated with American musician Ray Charles who recorded the song for his 1960 album Genius Hits the Road. And in 1979, the State of Georgia even designated Ray Charles’ version as the official state song.
The song, which was originally penned by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell and first officially recorded by Hoagy Carmichael in 1930, was also covered by Willie Nelson. Nelson recorded it for his 1978 album Stardust and the song hit number one on the country charts making it his third solo number one.
6. My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys, 1980
This song was written by Sharon Vaughn and was first recorded by Waylon Jennings for his 1976 album Wanted! The Outlaws. And like many other cover songs immortalized by Willie Nelson, this song was no exception. The song was his debut single from his The Electric Horseman album, which also served as a soundtrack to the film of the same name starred by Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, where he also appeared.
The song became his fifth number one on the country chart and was also chosen as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time by the Western Writers of America. In 1992, it was also named as one of the Top 100 Country Songs of All Time.
7. Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground, 1980
Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground was a song written and performed by Willie Nelson as part of his film Honeysuckle Rose soundtrack. The film was his first leading role in a major motion picture, and he was already 47 at the time. The song was released in January 1981 as the second single of the soundtrack and earned Nelson his seventh number one on the country charts.
Aside from commercial success, the song also hit close to home as he would often dedicate it to his son Billy Nelson who died from suicide in 1991 during his live performances. Bob Dylan also covered the song for his 1983 album Infidels, while Alison Krauss recorded a cover for her 2017 release Windy City.
8. On The Road Again, 1980
On the Road Again song was also part of his film Honeysuckle Rose’s soundtrack. While the film was not a great success, the songs received a better reception. This song which was originally written by Willie Nelson on an airsickness bag on the plane, earned him another country hit and also one of his biggest crossovers at that time. Not to mention that it also bagged him a Grammy for Best Country Song.
In 2004, it also ranked on the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time by the Rolling Stone. And in 2011, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
9. Always on My Mind, 1982
This song was considered Willie Nelson’s biggest hit as an artist that he did not write. Always on My Mind was a ballad song originally penned by Wayne Carson, Johnny Christopher, and Mark James. It had been a crossover hit in country, western, and pop categories with over 300 recorded releases. His was definitely one of the most iconic versions ranking at number 5 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and also earning Nelson another number one hit.
According to his 1988 autobiography, Willie really bowled over the moment he heard the song. It was one of the beautiful, sad songs with haunting melodies that you couldn’t get out of your mind, and the lyrics really stuck with him. In 1982, the Country Music Association named it Single of the Year and it also earned Nelson 3 Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year, Best Male Country Vocal Performance, and Best Country Song.
10. Pancho & Lefty, 1983
Of course, we couldn’t leave out the collaboration between Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard in the list. The Pancho & Lefty song was originally written by country music artist Townes Van Zandt, and he also recorded it for his 1972 album The Late Great Townes Van Zandt. The 1983 duet of the legends, Nelson and Haggard, definitely popularized the song making it one of the most recognizable Texas songs ever.
In the music video depicting Nelson as Pancho and Haggard as Lefty, the original songwriter also appeared in a supporting role. Lana, Willie Nelson’s daughter, who also suggested the duet, directed the music video. The song reached number 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs that year.
If you ever want to really get into country music, then these 10 best Willie Nelson songs will definitely help you out!
Willie Nelson is as timeless as his songs. He is an American music icon that is known the world over for his unique voice, poignant songwriting, daring multi-genre musical collaborations, unforgettable movie and television roles and his dedicated support of the American farmer.
As a songwriter, Nelson goes down in history as one of the greatest composers of all time, with credits that include "Funny How Time Slips Away," "Night Life," "Crazy’" and "Hello Walls." Nelson always sings the truth, with a guitar as worn and wise as he is. One can hardly imagine all the things those blue eyes have seen. A room full of collaborators who've performed with him would fill a football stadium.
In our list of the Top 10 Willie Nelson songs, we feature some of his classic duets with singers including Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard, as well as signature songs like "Always on My Mind" and "On the Road Again." This short list of classics is the reason Willie Nelson won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000 and that he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1993. Grammy love has kept coming late in his life, including a nod at the 2017 Grammys. The songs will never die, nor should they. There's no doubt Nelson is one of the most important singers and songwriters of any genre, all-time.
"Good Hearted Woman"From ‘Wanted: The Outlaws’ (1975)
Longtime friends Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson wrote "Good Hearted Woman" while playing a poker game in 1969. Jennings spotted a newspaper ad promoting a Tina Turner concert that stated, “Tina Turner singing songs about good-hearted women loving good-timing men.” Waylon and Willie jokingly admit that they wrote the song with their own wives, Connie and Jessi, in mind. Waylon released the song as a solo recording in 1972, then re-released the song as a duet on the album Wanted: The Outlaws with Willie Nelson in 1975.
"Beer for My Horses"From Toby Keith’s ‘Unleashed’ (2002)
When "Beer for My Horses" shot to No. 1, Willie Nelson made history with his duet partner Toby Keith. Up until this time, Kenny Rogers had held the record for the oldest person to have a No. 1 Billboard country hit at the age of 61 with "Buy Me a Rose." Three years later, at the age of 70, Willie Nelson rode to No. 1 and grabbed the title as country music’s senior chart-topper. The song later inspired a movie starring Keith, Rodney Carrington, Ted Nugent and, of course, Willie Nelson.
"Pancho and Lefty"From ‘Pancho and Lefty’ (1983)
Emmylou Harris originally recorded "Pancho and Lefty" on her Luxury Liner album. Nelson’s daughter Lana made him aware of the song while he was working on a duets album with Merle Haggard. In January of 1983, the album’s first single "Reasons to Quit" landed at No. 6, and by spring, "Pancho and Lefty" soared to No. 1. Nelson would team with Haggard for another duets album in 1987. The two would later join forces with Ray Price for the Last of the Breed album and tour in 2007.
"Seven Spanish Angels"From ‘Half Nelson’ (1985)
In 1982, Ray Charles was working on a country project with Columbia Records when the idea came about for the album Friendship, pairing Charles with established country singers including Ricky Skaggs, Hank Williams, Jr. and the Oak Ridge Boys. "Seven Spanish Angels" was originally pitched as a duet with Ronnie Milsap, but it didn’t quite work out. In the meantime, producer Billy Sherrill found out that Willie Nelson liked the song and was willing to cut it for the duets album. In 1984, Nelson landed yet another No. 1 duet. The song was also included on his own album of duets in 1985, titled Half Nelson.
City of New OrleansFrom ‘City of New Orleans’ (1984)
Legendary songwriter Steve Goodman wrote this song after a train ride to meet his bride’s grandmother in Illinois. They rode on a train called the City of New Orleans, and as they passed the scenery, Goodman was inspired to write the song. After learning that the train would be shut down unless ticket sales increased, he pitched the song to Arlo Guthrie, who made it a hit in 1972. Wille Nelson’s 1984 version of the song chugged to the top and earned a Grammy for Country Song of the Year. Goodman was also the songwriter referenced in David Allen Coe’s hit, "You Never Even Call Me by My Name."
"Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground"From ‘Honeysuckle Rose’ (1980)
Out of all of his great compositions, the country music hall of famer cites "Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground" as one of his all-time favorites. Nelson wrote the song while he and his wife Connie were dealing with marital problems in 1976. Released as the second single from the soundtrack to the Honeysuckle Rose film, the song shot to No. 1 in 1981. In the Warner Brothers picture, Willie Nelson starred as Buck Bonham, an aspiring singer struggling to make it in music and keep his family together. This early ‘80s classic is a must on our list of the Top 10 Willie Nelson Songs.
"To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before"From ‘Half Nelson’ (1985)
Willie Nelson has held the record for charting more duets than anyone else in country music history. In 1984, he paired with the most unlikely of duet partners. While on tour in London, Nelson and his wife Connie heard Julio Iglesias on the radio and Willie liked his sound immediately. The country crooner tracked down the Latin superstar and pitched the idea of recording "To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before." On its way to No. 1 on the country charts, it sold over a million copies, peaked at No. 5 on the pop charts, and eventually won honors from both the ACM and CMA awards.
"On the Road Again"From ‘Honeysuckle Rose’ (1980)
"On the Road Again" is easily considered Willie Nelson’s signature song. On a flight together, Nelson was asked by the producers of the Honeysuckle Rose film to write a song about touring to be used as the movie’s theme song. By the time they had landed, the lyrics to "On the Road Again" had been composed. The song rolled up to No. 1 in 1980 and earned a spot in the Grammy Song Hall of Fame. Willie is still rolling down the highway on his bus Honeysuckle III -- he wore the other two tour buses out with his massive amount of touring.
"Always on My Mind"From ‘Always on My Mind’ (1982)
In 1982, Willie Nelson recorded his own version of the already-recorded "Always on My Mind." The song was released by Brenda Lee in 1972, Elvis recorded it as the B-side of 1973’s "Separate Ways," and John Wesley Ryles cut a Top 20 version in 1979. Originally pitched to Willie while he was working on a duets album with Merle Haggard, the two passed, thinking it sounded better as a solo recording. Nelson released the song in 1982, and it was later awarded with multiple CMA, ACM and Grammy awards. The song that placed Willie Nelson at No. 1 for two weeks is a given on our list of the Top 10 Willie Nelson Songs.
"Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain"From ‘Red Headed Stranger’ (1975)
Willie Nelson placed his first song on the Billboard country charts with "Willingly" in 1962. Although he was having success as a songwriter with cuts from other artists, his own records were not well received by radio. Most of these records were slickly produced with lush orchestration and background choruses. Finally, in 1975, Willie Nelson found the song that would better suit his own style. Stripped down to just his unique voice and acoustic guitar, affectionately known as Trigger, Nelson hit No. 1 for the first time with "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain." A groundbreaking recording penned by Fred Rose and originally cut by Roy Acuff, this Grammy winner is a perfect fit to represent the hits of Willie Nelson at No. 1.
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List of songs written by Willie Nelson
See also: Willie Nelson albums discography and Willie Nelson singles discography
This list contains songs written by American singer-songwriter Willie Nelson, including those where he is credited as co-author. The 337 songs are arranged alphabetically.
- A Moment Isn't Very Long
- A Penny For Your Thoughts
- Alice in Hulaland (co-written with Buddy Cannon)
- Albania Albania
- Always Now
- American Dream (co-written With Bob Dylan)
- And So Will You My Love
- Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground
- Any Old Arms Won't Do (co-written With Hank Cochran)
- Are You Ever Coming Home (co-written With Hank Cochran)
- Are You Sure (co-written With Buddy Emmons)
- Au Jardin De Mes Reves (Albert Babin, rearranged)
- Bach Minuet In G (rearranged)
- Back On The Road (co-written With Nathan Mackey)
- Back to Earth
- Baja Oklahoma (co-written With Dan Jenkins)
- Band of Brothers
- Bird (co-written With Robert Braddock, Hal Coleman, Barry Etris, Claude Putman, Jr. And John Bush Shinn III)
- Bird Medley
- Blame It On The Times
- Bloody Mary Morning
- Blue Rock Montana
- Both Ends Of The Candle
- Broken Promise
- Bring it On
- Changing Skies
- Christmas Blues (co-written With Booker Jones)
- Christmas Prayer
- Cling To The Spark
- Cold Empty Spark
- Come On Back Jesus
- Country Willie
- Cry Softly Darling
- Crying In The Heart
- Darkness On The Face Of The Earth
- Darling Are You Ever Coming Home
- December Day
- Devil In A Sleeping Bag
- Did I Ever Love You
- Do Your Thing You're A Cowboy
- Don't Say Love Or Nothing
- Down At The Corner Beer Joint
- Dream Come True
- Driving the Herd (co-written with Buddy Cannon)
- Ehrbares Madchen
- El Niño
- Electric Horseman
- Eleven Dixie Mudcats
- End Of Understanding
- Everybody's Baby
- Everything But You
- Everywhere I go
- Go Away
- Goin' Home
- Good Hearted Woman (co-written With Waylon Jennings)
- Good Times
- Guitar in the Corner
- Great Divide
- Half a Man
- Half Black Half Leopard
- Hand on the Wheel
- Happiness Lives Next Door
- Hard Edge Texas (co-written With Kris Kristofferson)
- He's Not For You
- Healing Hands Of Time
- Heartaches Of A Fool
- Heaven And Hell
- Heebie Jeebie Blues No. 2
- Hej Meddig
- Hello Darling
- Hello Fool
- Hello Wall Number 2
- Hello Walls
- Hint Of Song
- Hold Me Tighter
- Home Is Where You're Happy
- Home Motel
- Homecoming In Heaven
- Hot Blooded Woman
- Hot Time In Music City Blues
- How Does It Feel
- How Long Is Forever
- I Am The Forest
- I Can Cry Again
- I Can Get Off On You
- I Can Still Reach Yesterday
- I Can't Find The Time
- I Didn't Sleep A Wink
- I Don't Feel Anything
- I Don't Know Where I Am Today
- I Don't Understand
- I Feel Sorry For Him
- I Gotta Get Drunk
- I Guard The Canadian Border
- I Guess I Ve Come To Live Here
- I Just Can't Let You Say Goodbye
- I Just Don't Understand
- I Just Stopped By
- I Let My Mind Wander
- I Live One Day At A Time
- I Never Cared For You
- I Should Have Kissed Her More
- I Still Can't Believe You're Gone
- I Thought About You
- I Thought I Left You
- I Want A Girl
- I Want To Be Alone
- I Write You Letters
- I'd Already Cheated On You
- I'd Rather You Didn't Love Me
- I'll Stay Around
- I'm A Memory
- I'm Building Heartaches
- I'm Falling In Love Again
- I'm Gonna Lose A Lot Of Teardrops
- I'm Not Trying To Forget You
- I'm So Ashamed
- I'm Still Not Over You
- I'm Waiting forever
- I’ve Got A Wonderful Future
- I’ve Just Destroyed The World
- I’ve Loved You All Over The World
- I’ve Seen All This World I Care to See
- If You Could Only See
- If You Really Loved Me
- In God's Eyes
- In The Car Again
- Is The Better Part Over
- Is There Something On Your Mind
- Island In The Sea
- It Could Be Said That Way
- It Should Be Easier Now
- It's A Dream Come True
- It's Not For Me To Understand
- It's Not Supposed To Be That Way
- It's Only Money (co-written with Buddy Cannon)
- Jimmy's Road
- Jingle Bells (James Pierpont, rearranged)
- Just As I Am (Charlotte Elliott, William B. Bradbury)
- Just For The Moment
- Kneel At The Feet Of Jesus
- Laying My Burdens Down
- Laws of Nature
- Lear And A Limo (co-written With Mickey Raphael)
- Leave Alone
- Let Me Be A Man
- Let My Heart Be Broken
- Let's Pretend We’re Strangers
- Little Old Fashioned Karma
- Little Things
- Local Memory
- Lonely Little Mansion
- Looking For A Place To Fall (co-written With Merle Haggard And Freddy Powers)
- Makin's Of A Song (co-written With Max Barnes, Waylon Jennings And Troy Seals)
- Man With the Blues
- Me And Paul
- Mean Old Greyhound Bus
- Misery Mansion
- More Than One Way To Cry
- Mr. Record Man
- My Kind Of Girl
- My Love
- My Love For The Rose
- My Own Peculiar Way
- New Way To Cry
- Night Life
- No Love Around
- No Place for Me
- No Tomorrow In Sight
- Nobody Said It Was Going To Be Easy
- Nobody Slides My Friend
- O’er The Waves (Juventino Rosas, rearranged)
- Old Age And Treachery
- On the Road Again
- On The Road Too Long
- Once Along
- One Day At A Time
- One In A Row
- One Step Beyond
- Opportunity To Cry
- Our Chain Of Love
- Over You Again
- Part Where I Cry
- The Party's Over
- Permanently Lonely
- Pet Wrangler
- Phases, Stages, Circles, Cycles
- Pick Up The Pieces
- Pick Up The Tempo
- Place To Fall Apart (co-written With Merle Haggard And Freddy Powers)
- Precious Memories
- Pretend I Never Happened
- Pretty Paper
- Pride Wins Again
- Promises Promises
- Sad Songs And Waltzes
- Save Your Tears
- Send Me a Picture
- Shall We Gather
- She Always Comes Back To Me
- She Is Gone
- She Might Call
- She's Gone (co-written With Fred Foster)
- She's Not For You
- She's Still Gone (Shirley Nelson)
- Shelter Of My Arms
- Shotgun Willie
- Sister's Coming Home
- Sit On My Lap
- Sitting Here In Limbo (Written by Jimmy Cliff and Guilly Bright)
- Slow Down Old World
- So Much To Do
- So You Think You're A Cowboy
- Some Other Time
- Somebody Pick Up My Pieces
- Someone Waiting For You
- Something To Think About
- Sometimes She Lies (Harlan Howard, rearranged)
- Somewhere In Texas
- Sorrow Tearing Me Apart
- Sound In Your Mind
- Spirit I-iii
- Spirit Of E Nine
- Stage Coach Score (co-written With David Alan Coe)
- Still Is Still Moving To Me
- Storm Has Just Begun
- Storm Within My Heart
- Suffer In Silence
- Summer Of Roses
- Sweet Bye And Bye
- Take My Advice (co-written With David Alan Coe)
- Take My Word
- Talk To Me
- Tell It To Jesus
- That's What Children Are For
- That's Why I Love Her
- The Wall
- There Are Worse Things Than Be
- There Goes A Man
- There Is A Fountain
- There Is No Easy Way
- There Shall Be Showers Of Blessings
- There's A Way
- There's Gonna Be Love In My Home
- There's No Tomorrow In Sight
- There's Worse Things Than Being Alone
- These Are Difficult Times
- They're All The Same
- Things To Remember
- Three Days
- Time Of The Preacher
- To Make A Long Story Short (She's Gone)
- Today's Gonna Make A Wonderful
- Too Sick To Pray
- Too Young To Settle Down (co-written With Jack Rhodes)
- Touch Me
- Tougher Than Leather
- Truth Will Set You Free
- Turn Out The Lights (co-written By Hank Craig)
- Twice The Man (co-written With Edwin Griens And Maribeth Murray)
- Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
- Two Different Roads (Hank Cochran, Jan Crutchfield; rearranged)
- Two Sides To Every Story
- Two Stories Wide
- Uncloudy Day ( THE UNCLOUDED DAY - Original Lyrics & Music: Josiah K. Alwood, circa 1880)
- Undo The Right (co-written With Hank Cochran)
- Used to Her
- Vir Ewig Is Ek Joune
- Waiting Forever For You
- Waiting Time
- Wake Me When It's Over
- Wanted On Mother (co-written With Harlan Howard)
- We Don't Run
- We Look For Love
- We Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way
- What a Way to Live
- What Can You Do To Me Now (co-written With Hank Cochran)
- What Do You Think Of Her Now (co-written With Hank Cochran)
- What Do You Want Me To Do
- What Right Have I
- When I’ve Sung My Last Hillbilly
- When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder
- When We Live Again
- Where Do You Stand
- Where Dreams Come to Die (co-written with Buddy Cannon)
- Where My House Lives
- Where's The Show
- Whiskey River (by Johnny Bush, Paul Stroud)
- White Cadillac Convertible Blue
- Who Do I Know In Dallas (co-written With Hank Cochran)
- Who'll Buy My Memories (co-written With Eddie Noack)
- Why Are You Picking On Me
- Why Do I Have To Choose
- Wilie Tuning
- Will You Remember
- Will You Remember Mine
- Within Your Crowd
- Wives and Girlfriends
- Wonderful Future
- Words Don't Fit The Picture
- Write Your Own Song
- Yesterday's Wine
- You Don't Think I'm Funny Anymore
- You Dream About Me
- You Left A Long Long Time Ago
- You Memory Won't Die
- You Ought To Hear Me Cry
- You Took My Happiness Away
- You'll Always Have Someone (co-written With Hank Cochran)
- Your Country Boy
- You Wouldn't Cross The Street
Willie Nelson singles discography
|Willie Nelson discography|
Willie Nelson performing during a 2006 concert.
|No. 1 singles (US)||25|
|No. 1 singles (overall)||33|
The following is a detailed discography of all singles released by American singer-songwriter Willie Nelson. A total of 25 Nelson singles have reached number one on music charts.
His 1982 single, "Always on My Mind", reached the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. Two years later, his duet with Julio Iglesias, "To All the Girls I've Loved Before", became a worldwide hit. His albums and singles were successful in many countries, especially New Zealand, Australia and some European countries.
1950s and 1960s
1990s and 2000s
Singles from collaboration albums
Other charted songs
- A^ Certified Platinum by the RIAA.
- B^ "Is the Better Part Over?" did not chart on Hot Country Songs, but peaked at No. 6 on Hot Country Radio Breakouts.
- ^ abcdefghijkWhitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. pp. 294–296. ISBN .
- ^Whitburn, Joel (1990). Joel Whitburn presents the Billboard hot 100 charts: the sixties. Record Research, Inc. ISBN .
- ^"RPM Country singles (1960s)". RPM Magazine. Library and Archives - Canada. Archived from the original on 13 November 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
- ^Whitburn, Joel (1990). Joel Whitburn presents the Billboard hot 100 charts: the seventies. Record Research, Inc. ISBN .
- ^"RPM Country singles (1970s)". RPM Magazine. Library and Archives - Canada. Archived from the original on 13 November 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
- ^ ab"RPM Top singles". RPM Magazine. Library and Archives - Canada. Archived from the original on 13 November 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
- ^ ab"RPM Adult Contemporary singles". RPM Magazine. Library and Archives - Canada. Archived from the original on 13 November 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
- ^ abAustralian chart peaks:
- Top 100 (Kent Music Report) peaks to 12 June 1988: Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 214. ISBN . N.B. The Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA between mid-1983 and 12 June 1988.
- Top 50 (ARIA) peaks from 13 June 1988: "australian-charts.com > Willie Nelson in Australian Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
- Top 100 (ARIA) peaks from January 1990 to December 2010: Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (pdf ed.). Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
- ^Whitburn, Joel (1995). Joel Whitburn presents the Billboard hot 100 charts: the eighties. Record Research, Inc. ISBN .
- ^"RPM Country singles (1980s)". RPM Magazine. Library and Archives - Canada. Archived from the original on 13 November 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
- ^ ab"RPM Country singles (1980s-90s)". RPM Magazine. Library and Archives - Canada. Archived from the original on 13 November 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
- ^ abWhitburn, Joel (2011). Joel Whitburn presents the Billboard hot 100 charts: the 2000s. Record Research, Inc. ISBN .
- ^"Single Reviews"(PDF). American Radio History. Billboard. September 21, 1991. p. 77. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
- ^"Single Reviews"(PDF). Billboard. September 11, 1993.
- ^"Going for Adds 1/13/2003"(PDF). American Radio History. Radio + Records. January 10, 2003. p. 23. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
- ^"Willie Nelson and Friends - From Here To The Moon And Back (feat. Dolly Parton)". Daily Play MPE®. August 6, 2013. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
- ^"Willie Nelson and Friends - Grandma's Hands (feat. Mavis Staples)". Daily Play MPE®. August 6, 2013. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
- ^"Willie Nelson - The Wall". Daily Play MPE®. May 6, 2014. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
- ^"Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard - It's All Going To Pot". Daily Play MPE®. April 20, 2015. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
- ^"Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard - Unfair Weather Friend". Daily Play MPE®. May 11, 2015. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
- ^"Willie Nelson - He Won't Ever Be Gone". Daily Play MPE®. April 5, 2017. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
- ^"Willie Nelson - Me and You". Daily Play MPE®. March 20, 2018. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
- ^"Willie Nelson - Vote Em Out". Daily Play MPE®. October 11, 2018. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
- ^"Willie Nelson - Ride Me Back Home". Daily Play MPE®. April 26, 2019. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
- ^"My Favorite Picture of You by Willie Nelson on Amazon Music - Amazon.com". www.amazon.com. May 17, 2019. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
- ^"Come on Time by Willie Nelson on Amazon Music - Amazon.com". www.amazon.com. May 31, 2019. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
- ^"It'sw Hars to Be Humble by Willie Nelson with Lukas Nelson and Micah Nelson on Amazon Music - Amazon.com". www.amazon.com. June 14, 2019. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
- ^"Willie Nelson - Immigrant Eyes". Daily Play MPE®. July 9, 2019. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
- ^"Willie Nelson Shares 'Seven Year Itch' Video". JamBase. June 27, 2019. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
- ^"Willie Nelson - Have You Ever Seen The Rain?". Daily Play MPE®. July 24, 2019. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
- ^Minsker, Evan. "Listen to Karen O and Willie Nelson's New "Under Pressure" Cover". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2020-10-29.
- ^ aballmusic ((( Willie Nelson > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles )))
- ^ abhttp://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/chart-beat/7519013/forever-country-artists-then-now-forever-charts
- ^"CMT : Videos : Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard : Alice in Hulaland". Country Music Television. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
- ^Vinson, Christina (March 23, 2016). "Loretta Lynn and Willie Nelson Reunite for 'Lay Me Down' Music Video". The Boot. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
- ^RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by Willie Nelson May 28, 2008
- ^"Hot Country Radio Breakouts"(PDF). Billboard. July 28, 1990.
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Are you kissing mom. Of course. But after all. She was holding someone else's. member.