In 1975, a rising Willie Nelson signed to Columbia Records on the condition that he maintain creative freedom. His first project, like Nelson, was just left of mainstream. Red Headed Stranger, a concept album, spun a tale of a fugitive on the run after he'd killed his wife and her lover. Record executives were wary of the sparse arrangement, but Nelson persisted. It was his time to call the shots.
The milestones that followed paved for Nelson a path toward the freedom to create at will – and began the evolution of an artist who would soon be known for his rogue stylings and unwillingness to compromise his vision. The album gained Nelson's first multi-platinum certification, earned him his first number one hit with “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain”, and made clear that when Nelson was at the creative helm, he could do little wrong.
Furthermore, his road to “Luck, Texas” had begun.