In 2015, Willie Nelson became the recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song Award conferred by the Library of Congress. Such distinction was given in recognition of his essential contributions to popular music. All stars from the music industry gathered to grace the awarding ceremony. Apparently, part of the program were several performances among the biggest stars and newbies alike from the music world. Among those who honored the country outlaw singer was the country and bluegrass musician Alison Krauss. During the tribute performance, the Grammy Award winner collaborated with fellow country music artist Jamey Johnson for an incredible performance of “Seven Spanish Angels.”
Johnson did the honor of introducing the song to the audience. His opening statement was brief but succinct and he delivered so in such a way that ignited the listeners’ curiosity. The moment he mentioned the names of Willie Nelson and Ray Charles rouse the audience’s excitement all the more. And, when he finally uttered the song’s title, they can’t wait to hear them sing it.
Watch Krauss and Johnson’s performance of “Seven Spanish Angels” below.
“Seven Spanish Angels”: Brief Song Details
The song “Seven Spanish Angels” became the biggest hit in Ray Charle’s career. He was lucky enough to have found opportunities in the country music industry after his musical stint in the late ’70’s began to wane. He even had the chance to make duets with several of the biggest names in country music. These duet performances earned him a string of country hits. Among those country legends with whom Charles had sung was Willie Nelson. Their recording of Troy Seals and Eddie Setser-penned tune “Seven Spanish Angels” reached No. 1 on the country chart in 1984. That was Charles’ first top recording since 1966.
Recorded on Charles’ 1984 album Friendship, the song was created in honor of Marty Robbins‘ Tejano ballads. A great example of which was “El Paso.” “Seven Spanish Angels” depicts the story of a Mexican couple who were trying to escape a posse. These bounty hunters were sent to get the outlaw couple back to Texas. The two strived to fight back leading them to their eventual death. After which, seven Spanish angels surrounded them to pray for their souls. Hence, the song’s title.
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