Willie Nelson's 75th Birthday Celebration Kicks Off With Deluxe Box Set, ONE HELL OF A RIDE


Legacy Recordings is launching a year- long celebration of Willie Nelson's 75th birthday (April 30th) with the release of ONE HELL OF A RIDE, a monumental 4-CD, 100-song retrospective covering all phases of Nelson's 50-plus years of barrier-breaking pop and country music. The set arrives in stores April 1st, 2008, on Columbia/Legacy, a division of SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.

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ONE HELL OF A RIDE makes available, for the first time in any collection, recordings and performances drawn from the entire range, and all record labels, of Willie Nelson's mythic career.

With a whopping 100 selections in all, the box set includes rare early recordings -- including "When I've Sang My Last Hillbilly Song," recorded late 1954/early 1955 at KBOP Studio in Pleasanton, Texas, and "No Place For Me," recorded in 1957 in Portland, Oregon, for Willie Nelson Records. Also featured are Willie's own early 1960s performances of "Night Life," "Funny How Time Slips Away" and "Crazy," the much-covered songs that broke down the walls between Tin Pan Alley and country music; his mid-1960s recordings for RCA Victor when he forged his own signature blend of country-rock with currents of jazz, swing and deep folk influences; his 1970s invention of "outlaw country" with the multi-platinum country/pop crossover blockbuster "Red Headed Stranger; his historic collaborations with Waylon Jennings, Chet Atkins, Roger Miller, Ray Price, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Julio Iglesias, and many more; and a generous selection of Willie's classic covers including his signature interpretations of Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'," Fred Rose's "Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain," Townes Van Zandt's "Pancho & Lefty," Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust" and "Georgia On My Mind," and others.

The deluxe 4-CD box set includes liner notes by Joe Nick Patoski, who has written about Willie Nelson over the past thirty five years for Texas Monthly, Rolling Stone, Country Music, No Depression, and other publications. Patoski's biography, Willie Nelson: An Epic Life, is published this spring by Little, Brown.

In addition to ONE HELL OF RIDE, Legacy Recordings will celebrate Willie's

75th with the release of #1s, a single disk collection of Willie's #1 country and pop hits, arriving in stores April 29th. Additional Willie Nelson projects will be announced in the coming months.

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SOURCE: Legacy Recordings

CONTACT: Tom Cordings at Legacy Media Relations, +1-212-833-4448,

Web site: http://www.legacyrecordings.com/