Grammy Hall of Fame: “Pancho and Lefty,” Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard

Grammy Awards Will Air Sunday on CBS

One of the most beloved country duets of the 1980s, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard’s “Pancho and Lefty” is among the 2020 inductees to the Grammy Hall of Fame. This No. 1 hit, recorded in 1982 and released in 1983, was written by Townes Van Zandt, who appears several times throughout the video. (That’s him at the one-minute mark.)

Nelson and Haggard had never heard the song until Nelson’s daughter, Lana, suggested it. At a time when music videos were brand new, with CMT and TNN both debuting in 1983, this cinematic clip helped propel the captivating story song to success. Haggard and Nelson also titled their collaborative album Pancho and Lefty.

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