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The Best of Early Willie Nelson

by Nick Murray

The Best of Early Willie Nelson

About this playlist

When Willie Nelson arrived in Nashville, he got his break as a songwriter penning hits for artists like Faron Young ("Hello Walls") and Patsy Cline ("Crazy"). And while he released his first LP in 1962, most listeners -- even fans -- don't pick up Willie's trail until his 1973 Atlantic debut, Shotgun Willie, or his first No. 1 release, 1975's Red Headed Stranger. Though understandable -- how do you approach a discography that extends longer than most of us have been alive? -- it's still quite a shame, as Willie's first decade contains some of his purest songwriting, filled with tunes that are as desperate as they are clever. Where "Little Things," for instance, is a husband's letter to his departed wife, the singer of "Three Days" takes consolation in the fact that he only feels pain "yesterday, today and tomorrow." Here, we compiled these tunes and more in our playlist of favorites from Nelson's early LPs.

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