Nelson and Sinatra were close friends, musical colleagues and mutual admirers of each other’s work throughout Sinatra’s lifetime. In the 1980s, Sinatra opened for Nelson at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas and the two of them appeared together in a public service announcement for NASA’s Space Foundation. That’s Life continues Nelson’s longtime musical appreciation of Sinatra’s artistry and repertoire, an exploration exemplified by 2018’s My Way, which earned Nelson the Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Solo Album. This album includes classics made famous by Frank Sinatra, including “You Make Me Feel So Young,” “Luck Be A Lady,” and “In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning.”
Produced by Buddy Cannon and Matt Rollings, That’s Life was recorded at Capitol Studios in Hollywood—where Sinatra, the first artist to record at the facility, created many albums from March 1956 to November 1961—with additional recording at Pedernales Studios in Austin, Texas. The album cover painting of Nelson and his iconic guitar, Trigger, was created by painter and illustrator Paul Mann. It evokes classic Sinatra album cover In The Wee Small Hours.
Willie Nelson – That’s Life track listing (songwriters; Frank Sinatra version, date)
1. Nice Work If You Can Get It (Ira Gershwin & George Gershwin; Sinatra-Basie: An Historic Musical First, 1962)
2. Just In Time (Adolph Green, Jule Styne & Betty Comden; Come Dance With Me!, 1959)
3. A Cottage For Sale (Larry Conley & Willard Robison; No One Cares, 1959)
4. I’ve Got You Under My Skin (Cole Porter; Songs For Swingin’ Lovers!, 1956)
5. You Make Me Feel So Young (Josef Myrow & Mack Gordon; Songs For Swingin’ Lovers!, 1956)
6. I Won’t Dance – featuring Diana Krall (Jerome Kerr, Oscar Hammerstein II, Otto Harbach, Jimmy McHugh & Dorothy Fields; A Swingin’ Affair!, 1957)
7. That’s Life (Dean Kay & Kelly Gordon, That’s Life, 1966)
8. Luck Be A Lady (Frank Loesser; My Kind Of Broadway, 1965)
9. In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning (David Mann & Bob Hilliard; In The Wee Small Hours, 1955)
10. Learnin’ The Blues (Dolores Vicki Silvers; Session with Sinatra EP, single, 1955)
11. Lonesome Road (Nathaniel Shilkret & Gene Austin; A Swingin’ Affair!, 1957)
That’s Life is available for pre-order here.