31 episodes

In “One by Willie,” Texas Monthly’s John Spong hosts intimate conversations with a range of prominent guests about the Willie Nelson songs that mean the most to them. But this series isn’t just about the songs. It’s about what music really means to us—the ways it can change us, take care of us, and connect us all. Songs featured in the episodes can be found on Apple Music. Listen here.

One By Willie Texas Monthly

    • Music
    • 4.5 • 633 Ratings

In “One by Willie,” Texas Monthly’s John Spong hosts intimate conversations with a range of prominent guests about the Willie Nelson songs that mean the most to them. But this series isn’t just about the songs. It’s about what music really means to us—the ways it can change us, take care of us, and connect us all. Songs featured in the episodes can be found on Apple Music. Listen here.

    S3 E10: Buddy Cannon on "Something You Get Through"

    S3 E10: Buddy Cannon on "Something You Get Through"

    This week, Willie’s longtime producer and songwriting partner Buddy Cannon talks about one of the most iconic Willie songs of recent vintage, 2017’s “Something You Get Through.” The song was a cornerstone of Willie’s so-called Mortality Trilogy—a series of albums that found him in Aging Wise Man mode and passing along some hard-learned life lessons. Buddy will describe the poignant moment on Willie’s bus that provided the song’s inspiration and the unique, distinctly 21st Century method they use to write and record together...and then get into his own evolution from hardcore Willie fan in the sixties to invaluable collaborator and friend through the 2000’s.

    • 36 min
    S3 E9: Ethan Hawke on "Too Sick To Pray"

    S3 E9: Ethan Hawke on "Too Sick To Pray"

    This week, four-time Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke—who in addition to being an acclaimed actor, writer, and director happens also to be a hardcore Willie nerd—discusses “Too Sick to Pray,” a meditative hymn from Willie’s beautiful, pin-drop quiet 1996 album, Spirit. Ethan says the song and album were touchstones for him when he first became a father in the late 90s, before going on to describe the way Willie’s music connected him with his own dad as a kid, peppering his memories with digressions on Bob Dylan, Henri Matisse, Johnny Cash, Dead Poets Society...and earlobes. Oh and he also explains why he thinks a Willie Nelson biopic has to be set in the here and now.

    • 39 min
    S3 E8: Norah Jones on "Permanently Lonely"

    S3 E8: Norah Jones on "Permanently Lonely"

    This week, singer-songwriter Norah Jones—a nine-time Grammy-winner and go-to Willie duet partner—talks about “Permanently Lonely.” It’s one of those songs Willie has recorded repeatedly, but she focuses on his early-sixties demo, sitting at her piano to illustrate the jazzy intricacies of the song’s melody, and marveling at what she calls the beautifully harsh poetry in its lyrics. She’ll also describe the way she leaned on Willie’s music when she left Texas for New York City, the first time she ever sang with him, and the truly wonderful way she came to appear on our podcast. And a hint on that last thought: Like most great Willie stories, it’s all about family.

    • 34 min
    S3 E7: David Hood on "(How Will I Know) I'm Falling In Love Again"

    S3 E7: David Hood on "(How Will I Know) I'm Falling In Love Again"

    This week, legendary Muscle Shoals bass player David Hood talks about recording Willie’s classic 1974 album Phases and Stages with his fellow Swampers, focusing on his favorite track on the record, “(How Will I Know) I’m Falling in Love Again.” Phases was, of course, named Willie’s finest album ever by Texas Monthly, and it prompts memories from Hood on the fabled R&B producer who brought the project to Muscle Shoals, Jerry Wexler; the mere two days they took to cut it; and the weird moment when Willie first walked into the studio.

    • 29 min
    S3 E6: Nathaniel Rateliff on "A Song For You"

    S3 E6: Nathaniel Rateliff on "A Song For You"

    This week, Americana singer-songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff talks about the cut that closes Willie’s 1973 album Shotgun Willie, “A Song for You.” It was arguably Willie’s first iconic cover song, written by one of his closest friends and most important collaborators, Tulsa legend Leon Russell, and it prompts Nathaniel to think aloud about the biker funeral where he first heard it; the crazy, early-70s days when Leon and Willie first hooked up...and the great lesson Nathaniel learned from Willie on creating a space—and a life—that brings friends together to make music.

    • 32 min
    S3 E5: Mickey Raphael on "The Words Don't Fit The Picture"

    S3 E5: Mickey Raphael on "The Words Don't Fit The Picture"

    This week, Willie’s longtime harmonica player, Mickey Raphael, talks about a song Willie cut not long before leaving Nashville for good in 1972, the aptly titled “The Words Don’t Fit the Picture.” Mickey was just a sideman on the Dallas folkie scene when he first heard it, and it’s the song that made him want to play with Willie. He talks about that experience, plus what his fifty-plus years with Willie have been like, from joining the band to shows they played until dawn, mysterious stowaways who spent days on the bus, he and Willie’s onstage telepathy...and how their half-century of friendship changed his life.

    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
633 Ratings

633 Ratings

Marfaplain ,

Cannot Get Enough

A real treasure. If you grew up in Texas and listened to Willie and thought you knew everything, you’re wrong. Go to school here and be prepared to be blown away.

MsDawntreader ,

Perfection!

Actually, words fail me here. These episodes, each of them, give perspective, insight, nuance, and speak to the heart, much as does Willie’s music itself. I am grateful to the wonderful host whose knowledge and deep love make the magic come alive. Thank you.

hamilton k ,

An absolutely perfect podcast.

^

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