April 16

William Shatner: Country Music Star at Age 88

William Shatner is no stranger to versatility. The actor boldly flexes his musical skills for the launch of his new album ‘Why Not Me?’ at age 88.

William Shatner
via Manfred Baumann/ Rolling Stone

William Shatner’s Musical Stylings

This isn’t the first time that Shatner has dabbled in music. His musical style has often been referred to as something unique, and much-parodied body of work. Shatner usually speaks the lyrics as exaggerated interpretive reading.

William Shatner
Chris Hollo/Grand Ole Opry via AP

His career started in 1968 when ‘The Transformed Man’ launched. Shatner used the album to compare contemporary pop songs of the period to the works of William Shakespeare by providing dramatic readings of Shakespeare interspersed with dramatic readings of the lyrics of songs such as ‘Mr. Tambourine Man.’

But throughout the multiple albums that he had released in the past, none compares to the most recent album that he cooked up: a country album.

Collaborating with Jeff Cook

Founding member and lead guitarist of Alabama, Jeff Cook decided that he would team up with his longtime friend for what we now know as Shatner’s latest album.

Cook tells Rolling Stone that making the album was without a hitch.

“Things just flowed. We rarely had to cut things over twice. I was surprised that we went through it as quick as we did.”

William Shatner
Chris Hollo/Grand Ole Opry via AP

Shatner admits to Billboard that he always wanted to sing.

“I took some singing lessons as a young actor, but I didn’t have time to follow through. I probably could have learned to sing, but I never did. I’m filled with the realization that I can’t sing, but as an actor, I had a feel for poetry. I did a lot of Shakespeare on my time, and poetry readings. There is a very definite road from music to poetry – and it’s one I’ve walked so many times. When Decca Records asked me to make a record, I jumped at the chance. I had a concept, which was to put music to great literature and segue into the great literature of the time.”

Watch his Opry debut here!


Contemporary Country, Country Album, William Shatner

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