Saturday, May 15, 2021
– Cody Johnson announced he would release a double album this fall. The singer released the first song from the album, "Sad Songs and Waltzes," with Willie Nelson on Friday.
The release will contain 18 tracks, including the song penned by Nelson.
Johnson wasn't born when Nelson's "Shotgun Willie" album was released in 1973, but he was inspired by one of the tracks on the album. He recalls how close to home it hit him when he first heard the song about a decade ago, after he'd played a show at Midnight Rodeo in San Angelo, Texas.
Wide awake around 3 a.m., Johnson was watching Nelson on PBS' Austin City Limits. "You could tell that it was pretty early on in his leaving of Nashville because his hair wasn't very long," Johnson said. "Willie said, 'Well, I went up to Nashville, and I had a pile of songs, and I sang 'em all for the record man, and the record man told me, sad songs and waltzes aren't selling this year, son.'"
Johnson resolved to never chase trends as a result. "The way I am, the music I create, the way that I look, and the cowboy that I am hasn't been a trend in Nashville for a long time," Johnson said.
"Willie was very gracious to do it, and I got to have a very candid conversation with him, and it was one that meant a lot to me," Johnson said.