CoJo Music/Warner Music Nashville recording artist Cody Johnson has released the first song from his forthcoming double album, which includes 18 tracks and is due out this fall. The track “Sad Songs and Waltzes,” out now, features musical icon Willie Nelson who originally penned and recorded the track in 1973.
Johnson 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. “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 made the decision to bring that song back and record it with Nelson for his double album. The result is a moving ballad from two distinctive voices, all about the creative process artists go through when they are unwilling to compromise their art.
“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 says.