The Winning Hand

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The Winning Hand
Studio album by Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Brenda Lee & Dolly Parton
Released December 1982
Genre Country
Length ≈60 min
Label Monument
Producer Fred Foster
Kris Kristofferson chronology
To the Bone
The Winning Hand
Music from Songwriter
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars [1]
The Village Voice B–[2]

The Winning Hand is a double album, released in December 1982, featuring Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Brenda Lee and Kris Kristofferson. The album consisted largely of unreleased tracks from their years with Monument Records (all four of them had recorded for the label during the mid-1960s). Of the four artists, Kristofferson and Lee contributed new vocals, and a number of the original solo recordings were edited together to create "duets".[citation needed] Despite what might have seemed an opportunistic project, designed to capitalize on the later fame of the performers—Parton's and Nelson's careers were at their commercial peaks in 1982—the album was largely well received by critics upon its release and did well on the country charts.

A single, "Everything's Beautiful" (not to be confused with the Ray Stevens song of the same name), featuring Parton and Nelson, was released and made the country top ten.

Kristofferson's two solo outings, "Here Comes that Rainbow Again" and "The Bandits of Beverly Hills", both had previously been released as singles.

In early 1983, a two-hour variety syndicated television special was aired in celebration of the album with all four stars singing together for the first (and only) time. Johnny Cash hosted the program.

Track listing[edit]

  1. Nelson & Lee – "You're Gonna Love Yourself in the Morning" (Donnie Fritts) – 2:58
  2. Kristofferson & Parton – "Ping Pong" (Boudleaux Bryant) – 2:20
  3. Nelson – "You'll Always Have Someone" (Hank Cochran, Willie Nelson) – 3:01
  4. Kristofferson – "Here Comes That Rainbow Again" (Kris Kristofferson) – 2:55
  5. Kristofferson & Lee – "The Bigger the Fool, the Harder the Fall" (Kristofferson, Stephen Bruton, Mike Utley) – 3:44
  6. Kristofferson & Lee – "Help Me Make It Through the Night" (Kristofferson) – 3:50
  7. Parton & Nelson – "Happy, Happy Birthday Baby" (Gilbert Lopez, Margo Sylvia) – 2:21
  8. Nelson & Lee – "You Left Me A Long, Long Time Ago" (Willie Nelson) – 2:49
  9. Nelson & Kristofferson – "To Make A Long Story Short, She's Gone" (Fred Foster, Willie Nelson) – 3:07
  10. Lee – "Someone Loves You Honey" (Don Devaney) – 2:52
  11. Parton & Nelson – "Everything's Beautiful" (Dolly Parton) – 3:17
  12. Lee – "Bring On the Sunshine" (Danny Epps) – 2:52
  13. Parton & Kristofferson – "Put It Off Until Tomorrow" (Dolly Parton, Bill Owens) – 2:28
  14. Nelson – "I Never Cared For You" (Willie Nelson) – 2:24
  15. Kristofferson & Nelson – "Casey's Last Ride" (Kris Kristofferson) – 4:10
  16. Nelson – "King Of A Lonely Castle" (Kenny Devine) – 3:20
  17. Parton – "The Little Things" (Dolly Parton) – 2:36
  18. Kristofferson – "The Bandits Of Beverly Hills" (Kris Kristofferson) – 2:27
  19. Parton & Lee – "What Do You Think About Love?" (Bill Owens, Dolly Parton) – 2:41
  20. Lee & Kristofferson – "Born To Love Me" (Bob Morrison) – 4:18

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1982) Peak
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums 4
U.S. Billboard 200 109


  1. ^ Ruhlmann, William. The Winning Hand at AllMusic
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (April 26, 1983). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved April 14, 2013. 

External links[edit]