On the Road Again (Willie Nelson song)
|"On the Road Again"|
|Single by Willie Nelson|
|from the album Honeysuckle Rose|
|Willie Nelson singles chronology|
The song, about life on tour, came about when the executive producer of the film Honeysuckle Rose approached Nelson about writing the song for the film's soundtrack. "On the Road Again" became Nelson's 9th Country & Western No. 1 hit overall (6th as a solo recording act) in November 1980, and became one of Nelson's most recognizable tunes. In addition, the song reached No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, and No. 7 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It was his biggest pop hit to that time and won him a Grammy Award for Best Country Song a year later.
Background and writing
In 1980 Nelson starred in his first leading role in the film Honeysuckle Rose, about an aging musician who fails to achieve national fame and relationship with his family, who also are part of his band that travels throughout the United States while playing in different venues. Shortly after signing the contract, Nelson was approached during a flight by the executive producer of the movie, who requested him to write a song about life on the road to use as the theme song. Nelson quickly wrote the song on a barf bag. The tune featured a "train beat". 
Release and reception
The song was released with Nelson's 1980 album Honeysuckle Rose, reaching the first position on Billboard's top country albums, while it ranked twenty on the Billboard Hot 100. Nelson received a Grammy Award for Best Country Song, while he was nominated for Best Original Song during the 53rd Academy Awards. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked it No. 471 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In 2011, "On the Road Again" was inducted to the Grammy Hall of Fame.
The song has also featured in several other films and TV series including South Park, Shrek, Shameless, Family Guy, Forrest Gump, The Littlest Hobo, Monk, Open Season 3 and Dumb and Dumber To which features Nelson rehearsing the song with his band.
Parodies and covers
The song was parodied by the comedy musical group Da Yoopers as "Road to Gwinn" (a reference to Gwinn, Michigan) on their 1986 album Yoopanese. On the 1983 CBS game show Press Your Luck, Whammy sings a parody of the song on a horse, singing "Got your bucks again. I can't wait to get your bucks again...". This Whammy animation was used during the final months of the show's run in 1986.
A Swedish version, with lyrics by Keith Almgren, called "Jag ser mig om" (Eng. "I look around") has been recorded by Anne Kihlström on the album Förgät mig ej in 1984, and also by Paula Jarl on a single and by Bennys on an album in 1987.
Graeme Allwright adapted the song in French as "Comme un vrai gamin" in his 1992 album "Lumière".
The Kidsongs kids sang this song in their 1994 video "Country Sing-Along".
Conan O'Brien performed the song as "My Own Show Again" during his 2010 Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour, changing the lyrics to reflect how he couldn't wait to return to hosting a television series after leaving The Tonight Show earlier in the year.
Jerry Reed sang part of "On the Road Again" in his hit "The Bird": "The life I love is makin' money with my friend...".
|Australian Kent Music Report||64|
|Canadian RPM Country Tracks||2|
|Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks||3|
|US Billboard Hot 100||20|
|US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)||1|
|US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)||7|
|US Cashbox Top 100||22|
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