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Willie Nelson and Shirley Collie - Willingly.jpg
Single by Willie Nelson and Shirley Collie
B-side "Our Chain of Love"
Released March 17, 1962
Format 7" single (LB-1343)
Recorded November 1961 at Bradley's Barn Studio (Nashville, Tennessee)
Genre Country
Length 2:40
Label Liberty
Writer(s) Hank Cochran
Producer(s) Joe Allison
Willie Nelson chronology
"The Part Where I Cry"
"Touch Me"

"Willingly" is a duet by country music singer Willie Nelson and Shirley Collie, produced by Joe Allison during Nelson's third session for Liberty Records. Released in March 1962, the album reached number ten on Billboard's Hot Country Singles.


Leveraged by his prominence as a songwriter in Nashville, Tennessee, Nelson was signed as a recording artist by Liberty Records in 1961.[1] Nelson produced two sides in his first session, and an entire album after his second one.[2]

While touring with Ray Price as a Cherokee Cowboys bassist, Nelson had attended the Nashville disc jockeys convention. Songwriters Harlan Howard and Hank Cochran visited with Nelson California DJ Biff Collie's hotel room at The Hermitage Hotel. There they met Collie's wife, Shirley, a fellow Liberty recording artist.[3]

During Nelson's second recording session at Radio Recorders, in California, Harlan Howard took Shirley Collie to the studio, where Nelson was cutting "Mr. Record Man". After the Collies attended a Ray Price concert at Harmony Park Ballroom, the couple socialized often with Nelson.[4] While in California, Nelson and Collie began an affair.[5]


Producer Joe Allison held Nelson's third Liberty Records recording session at Nashville's Bradley's Barn studio in November 1961. The backing was composed of fiddler and guitarist Ray Edenton, pianist Pig Robbins, drummer Buddy Harman, basisst Bob Moore. The band also featured Ray Price's steel guitarist, Jimmy Day and the Anita Kerr singers.[6]

At the persistence of Nelson, Allison added to the session Shirley Collie. Collie sang the lead on "Willingly", with Nelson blending on a high tenor to join her voice. The session also produced the duet "Our Chain of Love", that was used as the flipside of the single.[6]


On its January 1962 review, Billboard rated the single with four stars with "strong sales potential". The review noted the song as a "pleasant duo blend work on effective country theme with good lyrics".[7]

The single was released on March 17, 1962, reaching by May number ten on Billboard's Top country singles.[8]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1962) Peak
Billboard Hot Country Singles 10[9]



  • Billboard staff (1962). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 74 (2). ISSN 0006-2510.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • Nelson, Willie; Bud Shrake; Edwin Shrake (2000). Willie: An Autobiography. Cooper Square Press. 
  • Patoski, Joe Nick (2008). Willie Nelson: An Epic Life. Hachette Digital. ISBN 978-0-316-01778-7. 
  • Scobey, Lola (1982). Willie Nelson: Country Outlaw. Kensington Pub Corp. ISBN 978-0-89083-936-2. 
  • Thomson, Graeme (2012). Willie Nelson: The Outlaw. Random House. ISBN 978-1-448-13341-3.