In Willie Nelson’s 2007 self-help book, The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart, he writes about his ultimate goal in music, which is to play with as many musicians and release as many recordings as possible.
“I read somewhere that I’ve sold 50 million albums,” Nelson writes, “and that’s not counting all the bootlegs and a whole lot of independent records that don’t get counted. The same story said I rank 10th on the all-time list of artists with the most gold, platinum and multi-platinum albums. My total of 24 is just behind [Bob] Dylan. If we keep touring together, maybe we can pass Frank Sinatra, who is just ahead of both of us.
“If we don’t, it’s nice to be in Frank’s neighborhood.”
Over his six-decade career, Nelson has recorded more than 200 albums essentially putting him in Sinatra’s neighbor. Nelson’s next album will be his Sinatra tribute, My Way. Matt Rollings and Nelson’s longtime collaborator Buddy Cannon produced the project, which arrives Sept. 14. Norah Jones guests on “What Is This Thing Called Love”
“Frank didn’t do that many guest appearances on other people’s records, but Willie will sing with just about anybody who asks him,” Cannon told CMT.com in a previous interview for Last Man Standing. “Bill Anderson wanted me to ask Willie if he’d sing on an album he was doing a few years ago, and I gave Bill Willie’s number, and he called him. Willie said, ‘Well, I just sang on a Frank Zappa record last week, so I guess I’m back around to the A’s.’”
Cannon added Nelson’s love for Sinatra’s music goes back to his childhood.
“Willie and Bobbie his sister, 80 years ago when they started playing music, they were playing everything,” he said. “Every kind of music there was. It wasn’t genre specific. But he’s always loved Sinatra. Sinatra is probably his favorite singer.”
In the 1980s, Sinatra opened for Nelson at Las Vegas’ Golden Nugget and the two appeared together in a public service announcement for NASA’s Space Foundation.
Here is the complete track listing for My Way:
01. “Fly Me To The Moon”
02. “Summer Wind”
03. “One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)”
04. “A Foggy Day”
05. “It Was A Very Good Year”
06. “Blue Moon”
07. “I’ll Be Around”
08. “Night And Day”
09. “What Is This Thing Called Love” (with Norah Jones)
10. “Young At Heart”
11. “My Way”