Make Way for Willie Nelson

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Make Way for Willie Nelson
Studio album by Willie Nelson
Released May 1967
Recorded March–June 1966
Studio RCA Studio B, Nashville, Tennessee
Genre Country
Length 33:01
Label RCA Victor
Producer Felton Jarvis
Willie Nelson chronology
Country Favorites-Willie Nelson Style
(1966)Country Favorites-Willie Nelson Style1966
Make Way for Willie Nelson
The Party's Over and Other Great Willie Nelson Songs
(1967)The Party's Over and Other Great Willie Nelson Songs1967

Make Way for Willie Nelson is the fifth studio album by country singer Willie Nelson. Due to his demanding schedule, producer Chet Atkins delegated the session to Felton Jarvis. Nelson recorded the album, between March and June 1966 with session musicians, with the addition of members of his road band on the RCA Studio B.

The single "One in a Row", Nelson's only original included on the album, peaked at number 19 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles. Meanwhile, the album release peaked at number nine on Billboard's Hot Country Albums.

Background and recording[edit]

During the first months of 1966, Nelson's usual producer, Chet Atkins delegated sessions to other producers due to his demanding schedule. In March, Nelson's next session was assigned to RCA Records staff producer Felton Jarvis. The recording took place in Nashville's RCA Studio B. The musicians who joined the session were Jerry Reed on the guitar, bassist Junior Husky, guitarist Velma Smith and Jerry Smith on piano. Additionally, Nelson added two members of his road band, Johnny Bush on the guitar and Jimmy Day on the steel guitar. The recordings consisted mostly of cover songs. The last song of the album, Nelson's original "One in a Row", recorded in June along with guitarist Johnny Bush and fiddler Wade Ray completed the album.[1]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars[2]
Broadside Favorable[3]

The single "One in a Row" was released with the non-album flipside "San Antonio Rose", on October 1, 1966.[4] "One in a Row" reached number 19 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles.[1] The single "Make Way For a Better Man" was released as the flipside on the non-album track "The Party's Over" in February 1967.[5] Upon its release, the album entered the chart on May 6, at number 45 on Billboard's Hot Country Albums.[6] By July, The release peaked at number nine.[7]

Broadside magazine favored the album, noting that the recording consisted mainly on cover versions, including only one Nelson original. The publication attributed the release to be "thought towards establishing Willie's (Nelson) reputation as a performer, independently of his talent as a songwriter".[3] AllMusic rated the album with two-and-a-half stars out of five.[2]

Track listing[edit]

Side one

Track Song title Writer(s) Time
1. "Make Way for a Better Man" Cy Coben 2:01
2. "Some Other World" Floyd Tillman 2:11
3. "Have I Stayed Away Too Long?" Frank Loesser 3:06
4. "Born to Lose" Ted Daffan 2:39
5. "Lovin' Lies" Beth Nielsen Chapman, Troy Martin, Pete Pyle 3:02
6. "You Made Me Live, Love and Die" Floyd Tillman 2:53

Side two

Track Song title Writer(s) Time
1. "What Now My Love" Gilbert Bécaud, Pierre Delanoë, Carl Sigman 3:13
2. "Teach Me to Forget" Leon Payne 2:53
3. "Mansion on the Hill" Fred Rose, Hank Williams 3:02
4. "If It's Wrong to Love You" Bonnie Dodd, Charles Mitchell 2:21
5. "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You" Scotty Wiseman 3:06
6. "One in a Row" Willie Nelson 2:34



Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1975) Peak
Billboard Top Country Albums 9[7]


Single Chart Peak
"One in a Row" Billboard Hot Country Singles 19[1]



  • Billboard staff 1 (1967). "Hot Country Albums". 79 (18). Nielsen Business Media, Inc. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  • Billboard staff 2 (1967). "Spotlight Singles". 79 (6). Nielsen Business Media, Inc. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  • Billboard staff 3 (1967). "Hot Country Albums". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 79 (30). ISSN 0006-2510. 
  • Jones, Bob (1967). "Reviews". 6 (1-16). Broadside Publications. 
  • Patoski, Joe Nick (2008). Willie Nelson: An Epic Life. Hachette Digital. ISBN 978-0-316-01778-7. 
  • Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top country singles, 1944 to 2001: chart data compiled from Billboard's country singles charts, 1944-2001. Record Research. ISBN 978-0-898-20151-2.