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Willie And The Wheel

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Willie And The Wheel
Willie And The Wheel


Better known as 'Mr. R&B', Jerry Wexler was a great fan of the original Western Swing bands like Bob Wills, Milton Brown, Cliff Bruner - all first introduced to him while he was studying journalism in Kansas City. Willie Nelson also had grown up on Western Swing and it has always figured heavily into his approach to music. Finally Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel (hailed as the modern kings of Western Swing) were added, resulting in a sublime album, surefooted in its mastery but still as playful and daring as the originals. Such a fitting collaboration certainly begs the question as to why this hasn't happened already. In 2003 Jerry Wexler, who was retired and living in Florida, called his old friend Ray. "Ray!" Benson recalls, "I'm getting rid of my LPs! They collect dust and it bothers me. I have recorded them all and I am sending you all my Western Swing albums!". I told Jerry thank you very much and how much I appreciated him thinking of me. Well, a few weeks later a box arrived with twenty or so LP's from Jerry. They were collections of the music originally on 78 rpm records reissued on 33 1/3 rpm LPs and although I had a few of them they were a welcome addition to my collection. I noticed that a number of the song titles had two initials next to them: 'WN'. I didn't think much about it but when I talked to Jerry to thank him I asked what they were. He explained that 'WN' stood for Willie Nelson." According to Ray, they asked, "Jerry Wexler thinks now's the time to do the western swing CD. You've got the LPs don't you? It took me a second to realize what they were talking about and once I put two and two together I answered 'Yes of course!' I went to the shelf and pulled out the LP's. Sure enough there were the penned-in WN's by certain songs and so I went to work." From a catalogue of nearly 40 selections Jerry and Ray painstakingly narrowed the list down to twelve. Always the producer with a vision, Jerry was involved in every way. Since then Jerry Wexler has sadly passed away.


  1. Name
  2. Hesitation Blues
  3. Sweet Jennie Lee
  4. Fan It
  5. I Ain't Gonna Give Nobody None O' This Jelly Roll
  6. Oh! You Pretty Woman
  7. Bring It On Down To My House
  8. Right or Wrong
  9. Corrine Corrina
  10. I'm Sittin' On Top Of The World
  11. Shame On You
  12. South (featuring Paul Shaffer & Vince Gill)
  13. Won't You Ride In My Little Red Wagon
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