Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard's 1983 cover of Townes Van Zandt's "Pancho and Lefty" is among 26 new inductees into the Grammy Hall of Fame for recordings.
The song appears on the album of the same name, Pancho & Lefty. Both the single and album topped the country charts, and the album crossed over to No. 37 on the Top 200.
"Pancho and Lefty" was the last song recorded for the album. Nelson felt it needed a hit song and his daughter Lana recommmeded it. It's about a Mexican bandit, Pancho, who's betrayed by the mysterious Lefty.
The lyrics go, in part:
The day they laid poor Pancho low, Lefty split for Ohio
Where he got the bread to go, there ain't nobody knows
All the Federales say, they could've had him any day
They only let him slip away, out of kindness I suppose
Willie Nelson Recordings in the Grammy Hall of Fame
"Pancho and Lefty" is Nelson's fifth recording to be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. The others are:
• Red Headed Stranger (1975 album) - inducted in 2002
• Stardust (1978 album) - inducted in 2015
• "On the Road Again" (1980 single) - inducted in 2011
• "Always on My Mind" (1982 single) - inducted in 2008
"Crazy," which Nelson wrote and Patsy Cline recorded in 1961 and had a No. 9 hit with, is also an inductee.
There are a total a total of 1,140 songs in the Hall of Fame, which began in 1973. The criteria is "recordings of lasting qualitative or historical significance that are at least 25 years old."
More 2020 Inductees
• Clouds (1969 album) - Joni Mitchell
• Eat a Peach (1972 album) - Allman Brothers Band
• Frampton Comes Alive! (1976 album) - Peter Frampton
• "I'm a Man" (1955 single) - Bo Diddley
• It Takes a Million to Hold Us Back (1986 album) - Public Enemy
• Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! (1976 album) - Devo
• "Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good)" (1969 single) - Neil Diamond
• "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" (1983 single) - Eurythmics
• Taj Mahal (1968 album) - Taj Mahal
• "These Boots Are Made for Walking" (1965 single) - Nancy Sinatra
• "Tiny Dancer" (1972 single) - Elton John
• "Walkin' After Midnight" (1957 single) - Patsy Cline
• "Wipe Out" (1963 single) - the Safaris
Check out the complete list here.