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April 30-May 2

Why today? Because the Red Headed Stranger turns 77, and he’s still going strong.

About the record: Not released as a single. Appeared on the LP Country Willie – His Own Songs, RCA Victor LSP/LPM-3418, recorded early April 1965 at the label’s studios in Nashville. It was released in September that year, reaching No. 14 on Billboard‘s country album chart.

The first album in Willie Nelson’s nine-year tenure with RCA Victor collected his versions of a dozen songs he’d written that others made famous. “Hello Walls” was the number that Faron Young took to the top of the charts in 1961. Our version wasn’t Nelson’s first cover of his own song; that came on his debut album, … And Then I Wrote, on Liberty Records in 1962.

This one, however, has an interesting twist, courtesy of steel guitarist Pete Drake. He uses the talk box device he invented to provide the “hello, hello” response to the “Hello, walls” kickoff in each verse. Jerry Reed (or maybe Jerry Kennedy) provides tasty acoustic guitar work. And Nelson keeps his literally off-beat phrasing in check (mostly) for a pleasant version of the song that put him on the map as a writer.