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Nelson, Willie

Things To Remember - The Pamper Demos

Real Gone Music

For the series of sessions that laid the foundation for WILLIE NELSON's career and thus changed the course of modern country music, these recordings have been treated pretty cavalierly over the years. Willie Nelson was a struggling songwriter, hungry for work and maybe even just plain hungry, when he moved to Nashville in late 1960 with his wife and kids and met Hank Cochran, who was a writer for Pamper Music. Pamper, which was owned by country star Ray Price, fiddle player Hal Smith, and a baker from Pico Rivera, California named Claude Caviness, was the hottest publishing company in town. At first, Willie wasn’t going to sign with Pamper because Hal Smith wouldn’t give Willie the draw he needed, but Cochran told Smith to front Willie fifty bucks a week from his own draw. So Willie, determined to reward Cochran’s trust, got to work.He would end most work days with a new song, and then he and Cochran would call a session with A-team musicians who didn’t have major label studio work that day. The result: a body of work that just may well represent the most fertile creative period ever to issue from a country songwriter. The songs Willie recorded for Pamper during the early ‘60s remain among his most famous, and include tunes he still performs to this day: “Crazy,” “Funny (How Time Slips Away),’ “Night Life,” “Pretty Paper,” “Half a Man,” “Hello Walls,” “Healing Hands of Time,” and more. And these, the Pamper demos, are the first recordings of those legendary songs. Things to Remember—The Pamper Demos brings together 28 performances for the first time (several of which have hitherto eluded compilation), all remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision and annotated by Grammy-winning writer Colin Escott, with photos courtesy of Bear Family label founder Richard Weize. Red vinyl pressing. Edition of 1,000 copies.

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