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‘Blue Eyes Crying In the Rain” by Willie Nelson – Classic Hit or Miss

“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” is a song written by songwriter Fred Rose. Originally performed by Roy Acuff, the song was later recorded by Willie Nelson as part of his 1975 album Red Headed Stranger. Both the song and album would become iconic in country music history, and jump start Nelson’s success as a singer and recording artist.

Originally recorded in 1945 by Acuff, the song was later recorded by Hank Williams in 1951 for the Mother’s Best Flour Hour. Gene Vincent recorded the song on 15 October 1958. The song was later recorded by Willie Nelson as part of his concept album, Red Headed Stranger, about a fugitive preacher on the run from the law after killing his wife.

Nelson’s rendition, wrote country music historian Bill Malone, was “a fine example of clean, uncluttered country music, (with) a spare arrangement that could have come straight out of the 1940s.” Rolling Stone noted the song was delivered with his “jazz-style phrasing” and was “the beating heart of Red Headed Stranger.”

In October 1975, the song became Nelson’s first No. 1 hit as a singer, and at year’s end was the third-biggest song of 1975 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. In addition, the song gained modest airplay on Top 40 radio, reaching number twenty one on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” #302 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. [SOURCE]

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