Willie Nelson released his first album, And Then I Wrote, in 1962, including three songs written by Nelson but later given to the world as country, pop and R&B hits in cover versions by various artists. Most recognizable is “Crazy,” which, when sung by Patsy Cline, became a world-renowned phenomenon. Another, “Funny How Time Slips Away,” first made it to the Billboard country chart in 1961, before Nelson’s own version was released. Of the many other recordings of that song (including versions by Elvis, Billy Joe Royal and the Supremes), two made it into the Billboard Top 40. Another song from And Then I Wrote, recorded earlier by Faron Young, became an enormous hit.
a) Who recorded the version of “Funny How Time Slips Away” that reached number 22 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1961, selling over a million copies?
b) Which artist took that same song song to Number One on the Cashbox R&B chart and to 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1964?
c) What Faron Young song, written by Willie Nelson, became an enormous hit in 1961, reaching Number One on the Billboard country chart and Number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100?
Willie Nelson is known today as a prolific songwriter and performer who has crossed every boundary. His first hits were songs written for other artists, though he eventually recorded most of them himself.
In 1961, the Jimmy Elledge version of “Funny How Time Slips Away” peaked at number 22 on the Billboard chart.
In 1964, the song was taken to new heights when Joe Hinton brought it to the top of the R&B charts and to Number 13 on Billboard.
Faron Young released Nelson’s “Hello Walls” in 1961, which became a huge crossover hit, both in the country and pop worlds.