Over Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson was one of the original outlaws of country music, and one of its most influential songwriters. He began playing in the 1960s, writing "Crazy" for Patsy Cline and "Hello Walls" for Faron Young. Nelson's career as a performer flourished in the mid-1970s when he joined up with Waylon Jennings for the memorable Waylon & Willie, and released the crossover, chart-topping Red Headed Stranger. It was the hit "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" that perpetuated the then-popular image of the long-haired country boy. Willie Nelson had arrived as a country superstar. His folky, nasal inflections carried his voice through many different genres of music, including Western Swing, traditional pop, jazz, Traditional Country, Cowboy country songs, Honky-Tonk, rock 'n' roll, folk music and of course, the blues. Nelson's success lasted until the late 1980s, when some trouble with the IRS landed him in a number of stuffed-crust pizza commercials and a cameo role in the film Half Baked smoking his beloved joints. When the day is done, Nelson can easily be considered a bona fide legend.