Lee Ann Womack loves everything about Willie Nelson.
In an interview with the National Podcast of Texas, Womack reminisced with host Andy Langer about filming the music video for “Mendocino County Line” in downtown Austin. She says, “Getting to ride horses toward the state capitol with the most famous Texan ever, it was a big moment for me.”
Acclaimed photographer Mark Seliger directed the video, which settled in for a long stretch on CMT’s playlist. Written by Bernie Taupin and produced by Matt Serletic, the song led to an ACM award, CMA award, and Grammy award, and climbed to No. 22 at country radio.
“I love him,” she says of Nelson. “I love all of his people, I love his whole vibe and everything he has going on, musically, personally, the whole thing, I can’t even say enough. We toured on that song and I learned so much from watching him. I’d been around so many spoiled brats and so many divas and just s— that goes on in that whole Nashville scene.”
She continues, “And then here comes Willie and his camp, who were totally not in that scene. Willie was so kind to everybody that was working on the crew, the fans… We did The Tonight Show, we did several awards shows, we did all this stuff together, and I never saw him say, ‘I’m too tired to rehearse it again,’ or ‘I’m not showing up for rehearsal or soundcheck.’ He was the ultimate professional and I learned so much from him. It was a great time for me.”
Nelson has recorded innumerable duets over the years, although his offbeat phrasing can be intimidating to singers who aren’t prepared for it. So, was it hard for Womack to sing with Willie?
“Hmm-mmm, it wasn’t hard,” she says. “It wasn’t difficult for me. I don’t know why. I think probably because I had listened to him for so many years, I knew what to expect, but no, it wasn’t a problem.”