On November 18, 2015, Willie Nelson became the first country artist to ever receive the distinguished Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from the Library of Congress. Named after influential songwriters George and Ira Gershwin, the prize is awarded each year to celebrate "the work of an artist whose career reflects lifetime achievement in promoting song as a vehicle of musical expression and cultural understanding."
Nelson grew up listening to the songs written by the Gershwin brothers, which is why he was incredibly honored to receive the award named after them.
"The Gershwin songs have been here for many, many years," said Nelson in an interview with The Telegraph. "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."
In tribute to the Gershwin brothers, and to go along with being the most recent recipient of the Gershwin Prize, Nelson revealed during the ceremony in his honor that he has recorded a full-length album of Gershwin songs, called Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin.
The album features Nelson's rendition of the song "They All Laughed," which was written by the Gershwin brothers for the 1937 film, Shall We Dance. In the lyrics, the narrator compares those who "laughed at me, [for] wanting you," to those who laughed at great historical figures such as Henry Ford and the Wright Brothers.
Nelson keeps his rendition of the song jazzy in style, similar to popular recordings in the past by legendary artists such as Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. The newly-released music video for the song shows Nelson sitting in a recording studio, and the intimate setting is reminiscent of jazz lounge performance.
You can watch the video for Nelson's new song "They All Laughed," below.
Nelson's new album, Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin, is set for release on February 26. Who else can't wait to get their hands on a copy?
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