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Willie Nelson (left) and fellow songwriter Harlan Howard with their boss Hal Smith, the owner of the Pamper Music publishing company, on July 15, 1961.Even hard-core Willie nerds sometimes forget that his spear-tip position in the mid-seventies’ outlaw movement was actually the second time he revolutionized country music. The first came at the dawn of the sixties, when he signed a publishing deal with Ray Price’s Pamper Music company, joining a writing staff that included fellow young-gun composers Harlan Howard and Hank Cochran, both of whom were also recent Nashville transplants. Read Next: See Where Willie’s 150th Album Ranks Against the Other 149 The three wrote songs that were more sophisticated, both melodically and lyrically, than what had come before—and, arguably, just better—as evinced by Patsy Cline’s two massive pop-crossover hits in 1961, Harlan and Hank’s “I Fall to Pieces” and Willie’s “Crazy.” Those tunes, brought to life by…

The post Willie Nelson’s New Album—His 150th—Honors Another Country Legend appeared first on Texas Monthly.

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