Listen to Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin just released today.
Willie Nelson became the first country artist to receive the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in 2015. The prize recognizes the work of artists whose songs promote musical expression and cultural understanding. He was honored at a Washington concert in November 2015 for his six decades in music. He was named a “musical explorer” in country music and beyond by James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress, along with this statement.
A master communicator, the sincerity and universally appealing message of his lyrics place him in a category of his own while still remaining grounded in his country-music roots. His achievements as a songwriter and performer are legendary. Like America itself, he has absorbed and assimilated diverse stylistic influences into his stories and songs. He has helped make country music one of the most universally beloved forms of American stylistic expression.
This is his tribute to composers George and Ira Gershwin with his interpretations of their best-loved timeless songs which were American standards from the 1930’s, including duets with Sheryl Crowe and Cyndi Lauper. The 82-year-old singer/songwriter explained that this recording was a way of saying thank you for the Gershwin Prize.
Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin (2016) – 11 songs, 36 min
Here’s an extended version of his phenomenally successful album Stardust from 1978.
Stardust (30th Anniversary Legacy Edition (2008) – 26 songs, 1 hr 29 min
These are some videos of songs from his new album.
Someone to Watch Over Me – 4 min 6 sec
Summertime – 3 min 55 sec
They All Laughed – 2 min 43 sec
Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin – 4 min 52 sec
Listen to more of his music at my Willie Nelson post with additional albums, videos, and links. This new album has been included there as well.
Photo credit: Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin @ Amazon (album cover)