July 2

Willie Nelson and Friends Cover the Rolling Stones’ Classic “Dead Flowers”

Singing a classic song is a challenge, but its’ more of a challenge to sing with a legend. Country singer Willie Nelson and lead guitarist of the English rock band, Rolling Stones, Keith Richards collaborated for the first time. They were joined by young artists such as Hank Williams III and Ryan Adams. These four artists come together to perform a live version of the Rolling Stone’s song, “Dead Flowers.”

dead flowers willie nelson hank williams III Keith richards ryan adams
A Screenshot from YouTube

The single was first recorded by the English band in 1970, and this was the time when Rolling Stones was tryin’ to inject a bit of country music into their style. “Dead Flowers” was penned by the band members, Richards, and Mick Jagger. The touch of country to the song makes this a bit fun to listen to as the band doesn’t normally perform country songs. Jagger said in an interview that the song fits Richards more than him.

“The actual music is played completely straight, but it’s me who’s not going legit with the whole thing because I think I’m a blues singer, not a country singer – I think it’s more suited to Keith’s voice than mine.”

Their live version is more of a rock compared to their album rendition of the song.

Album rendition

Covers of “Dead Flowers”

Since the single has a touch of country to it, a lot of country singers released their version. Townes Van Zandt and Jerry Lee Lewis are some of the artists to have their rendition of the song.

Willie Nelson and Friends

In 2002, a live album was released by Nelson where he invited friends from country music and other genres to perform. One of the songs he covered was “Dead Flower.” In the live recording, he teamed up with Richards, Williams III, and Ryan Adams. This rock and roll country song will surely make you want to jam along with Willie and his friends.

Here’s the live performance.

On the Charts

Nelson never released one single from his album, hence, none charted. However, his album Willie Nelson & Friends – Stars & Guitars secured the 18th spot on the Top Country Albums chart.

What do you think of the remake of “Dead Flowers?” For us, both the original and the remake are awesome. Country and rock seem to be the perfect combination!


Willie Nelson

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