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Willie Nelson Goes Classic Pop for New Album

“Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin” arrives Feb. 26.

photo by David McClister/Sony Music
Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin — Feb. 26, 2016

Country icon Willie Nelson will show his love for classic American pop on Feb. 26 with the release of a new album, Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin.

Full of songs penned by songwriting greats George and Ira Gershwin during pop music's Tin Pan Alley era, the album arrives on the heels of Willie accepting the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in 2015 and was produced by Buddy Cannon. 

“To get a Gershwin award for anything is great but to get one for songwriting is especially great because Ira and George Gershwin were just fantastic writers. They wrote some of the greatest songs ever,” said Willie after receiving the honor. “The Gershwin songs have been here for many many years. When I was just a small guy, I remember hearing all these great Gershwin songs and they'll be around forever because great music like that just does not go away.”

Some of the songs chosen include duets with Cyndi Lauper on “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” and Sheryl Crow on “Embraceable You,” as well as pop standards like “Love Is Here to Stay,” “I Got Rhythm,” “Summertime” and more. Pop covers are nothing new for Willie, who’s career kicked into high gear after 1978’s pop-theme Stardust.

Last year, Nelson teamed up with fellow country legend Merle Haggard for the duets album, Django & Jimmie.

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