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Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton Shoot for 'The Moon' – Song Premiere

Country greats unite on the Redheaded Stranger's new duets disc

Norah Jones, Willie Nelson and Sheryl Crow.
Jo McCaughey
August 2, 2013 10:45 AM ET

For his next record, To All the Girls, Willie Nelson teamed up with an array of top female singers from Loretta Lynn and Mavis Staples to Miranda Lambert and Norah Jones – for 18 country duets; they will see release on September 24th. "It's been a good one!" Nelson tells Rolling Stone. Now you can take an exclusive first listen to Nelson's collaboration with Dolly Parton on "From Here to the Moon and Back." Parton initially wrote the cut for the soundtrack for her 2012 film Joyful Noise and on this simple, gorgeous version, her softly soaring vocals pair perfectly with Nelson's delicate croak amidst sighing strings and steel guitar.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

More Song Stories entries »
 
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