As first reported by Saving Country Music weeks ago, Willie Nelson‘s next record will be a tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra. Now we have confirmation and details of the new record to be called My Way that is set to be released on September 14th via Sony’s Legacy Recordings.
Named for Frank Sinatra’s 1969 signature song, My Way will feature 11 tunes made famous by Frank, and done anew by Willie with lush string and horn arrangements where appropriate, as well as contributions from signature musicians in Willie’s cadre such as harmonica player Mickey Raphael. As with all of Willie’s recent records, My Way is produced by Buddy Cannon, with Matt Rollings also helping.
Though one of the most recognizable country performers in history, Willie Nelson’s long-standing love for jazz and pop standards makes My Way not an entirely unexpected endeavor, and if anything perhaps a little overdue. In the midst of the Outlaw movement, Willie Nelson released the record Stardust of old standards that went on to become the first triple-platinum record in country music history. Willie regularly features music from folks like Django Reinhardt in his repertoire, and for years has cited Sinatra as an influence.
“I learned a lot about phrasing listening to Frank,” Willie says. “He didn’t worry about behind the beat or in front of the beat, or whatever – he could sing it either way, and that’s the feel you have to have.” Willie calls Sinatra a “close friend,” and the two played shows together in Las Vegas, and even once recorded a PSA for NASA together. Willie first heard Sinatra on Hit Parade when he was 10-years-old while growing up in Abbott, TX.
Ahead of the release, Willie Nelson has made available the timely single “Summer Wind” (hear below). It is originally a German standard called “Der Sommerwind” that was translated into English by Johnny Mercer. It originally appeared on Sinatra’s 1966 record Stranger in the Night.
- “Fly Me to the Moon”
- “Summer Wind”
- “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)”
- “A Foggy Day”
- “It Was a Very Good Year”
- “Blue Moon”
- “I’ll Be Around”
- “Night and Day”
- “What Is This Thing Called Love” (with Norah Jones)
- “Young at Heart”
- “My Way”