Legacy Recordings is proud to announce the June 2 release of Django and Jimmie, the new studio album collaboration from Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, two of the founding fathers of American outlaw country music.
“Me and Merle got a new album coming out called Django and Jimmie and the title track is about Django Reinhardt and Jimmie Rodgers,” said Willie Nelson. “Both of those guys were very influential in both of our careers.”
According to Merle Haggard, there’s “new songs, a couple of classics and Willie sang like he was a teenager.”
For Django and Jimmie, Willie Nelson’s sixth studio album release for Legacy since inking an historic deal with the label in 2012, the legendary singer-songwriter joined forces with longtime friend and collaborator Merle Haggard to reignite the musical chemistry that made the pair’s Pancho & Lefty a honky-tonk blockbuster and America’s #1 Country Album following its release in January 1983. Driven by a title track penned by Townes Van Zandt (and arguably the songwriter’s most familiar song), the critically-acclaimed top-selling Pancho & Lefty solidified the reputations of both Willie and Merle as among the most formidable and influential artists in outlaw country music while topping the Billboard Country charts for seven non-consecutive weeks between April and October 1983.
The success of Pancho & Lefty opened the doors for a number of successful follow-up projects including 1987’s Seashores Of Old Mexico album, 2007’s double album Last Of The Breed with Ray Price, and the Merle Haggard-penned “A Horse Called Music” (the lead track on 2012’s Heroes, Willie Nelson’s first album for Legacy).
Helmed by Nelson’s longtime producer, collaborator and friend Buddy Cannon, Django and Jimmie premieres 14 brand-new studio recordings including: “Django and Jimmie,” a dual tribute to jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt and Jimmie Rodgers, country music’s mythic “Singing Brakeman”; the reflective and meditative “Live This Long”; “Missing Ol’ Johnny Cash,” an homage to country music’s original Man in Black featuring guest vocals from Bobby Bare; a sublime interpretation of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”; and the future outlaw country classic “Unfair Weather Friend,” written by rising songsmiths Marla Cannon-Goodman (Buddy Cannon’s daughter) and Ward Davis.
A legendary country music producer and songwriter in his own right, Buddy helped pen five of the album’s tracks, including “It’s All Going To Pot” (a rollicking anthem for the emerging 21st century cannabis culture) and four cowrites with Willie: “Alice In Hulaland,” “It’s Only Money,” “Where Dreams Come To Die,” and “Driving The Herd.”
Among the 14 essential recordings on Django and Jimmie, Nelson and Haggard each pay musical tribute to the other through heartfelt solo performances: Willie singing Merle’s “Somewhere Between” and Merle covering Willie’s “Family Bible.”
Willie sums up the duo’s new collaboration simply saying, “It’s good music, I got a good feeling about it.”
Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard
Django and Jimmie
1. Django and Jimmie – written by Jimmy Melton and Jeff Prince
2. It’s All Going To Pot – written by Buddy Cannon, Jamey Johnson and Larry
3. Unfair Weather Friend – written by Marla Cannon-Goodman and Ward Davis
4. Missing Ol’ Johnny Cash – written by Merle Haggard
5. Live This Long – written by Shawn Camp and Marv Green
6. Alice In Hulaland – written by Willie Nelson and Buddy Cannon
7. Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright – written by Bob Dylan
8. Family Bible – written by Walter M. Breeland, Paul F. Buskirk, and Claude
9. It’s Only Money – written by Willie Nelson and Buddy Cannon
10. Swinging Doors – written by Merle Haggard
11. Where Dreams Come To Die – written by Willie Nelson and Buddy Cannon
12. Somewhere Between – written by Merle Haggard
13. Driving The Herd – written by Willie Nelson and Buddy Cannon
14. The Only Man Wilder Than Me – written by Merle Haggard
About Willie Nelson
In February 2012, Willie Nelson entered into an historic new record deal with Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, marking a label homecoming for Nelson, who, from 1975-1993, had cut a phenomenal string of top-selling singles and albums for Columbia Records, beginning with 1975’s seminal smash Red Headed Stranger. New titles by the artist under the Legacy imprint will include newly recorded songs and performances as well as archival releases, personally curated by the artist, drawn from all phases of his career including his recordings for RCA Records and others.
Nelson’s album releases for Legacy Recordings have included:
1) Heroes (2012), a collection of pop-country songs performed by Willie with an all-star roster of guest artists including Merle Haggard, Snoop Dogg, Kris Kristofferson, Billy Joe Shaver, Sheryl Crow, and Jamey Johnson as well as Willie’s sons, Lukas Nelson and Micah Nelson;
2) Let’s Face The Music And Dance (2013), a collection of new studio performances by Willie Nelson and Family;
3) To All The Girls… (2013), a collection of newly recorded duets with contemporary pop-country women singers including Dolly Parton, Mavis Staples, Sheryl Crow, Loretta Lynn, Wynonna Judd, Rosanne Cash, Alison Krauss, Miranda Lambert, Tina Rose, Carrie Underwood, Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, Secret Sisters, Brandi Carlile, Lily Meola, Shelby Lynne, Melonie Cannon and Paula Nelson;
4) Band of Brothers (2014), featuring the artist’s first batch of freshly penned original songs in nearly two decades
5) December Day: Willie’s Stash, Vol. 1 (2014), the first installment of the Willie’s Stash archival recordings series, the album features Willie Nelson and Sister Bobbie performing intimate new recordings of songs that informed their musical heritage.