August 30

“To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before” by Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias

Photo of the Redhead Stranger with Julio Iglesias from their record "To All The Girls I've Loved Before."
Willie Nelson with Julio Iglesias, a photo to remember a great duo. Image from YouTube via Screengrab

The Most Vocal Partners

The living legend, Willie Nelson is quite unique when it comes to the number of chart toppers. He was cited by Billboard Magazine with the most-unusual accomplishment. The Redheaded Stanger had actually reached the top of the Billboard country chart with most vocal partners. Would you believe that he charted duets with 24 different artists? Through the years, a lot of songs featuring Willie Nelson was released but failed to reach the charts. From all those 24 artists, the most unusual partner whom Willie Nelson was with a Latin superstar, Julio Iglesias.

With his third wife, Connie, Willie was in London in the fall of 1983 and heard Julio Iglesias in the radio. Nelson immediately liked the sound of the music so Connie suggested that he record it with Iglesias. Willie thought it was a good idea so he started making it happen. He called his manager Mark Rothbaum then he instructed him to research about Julio Iglesias and see if he would like to record a duet. Rothbaum found Julio in Los Angeles who was happy to do the duet.

Willie Nelson didn’t have the idea that Julio was selling the most records during that time.

The Perfect Song for the Duet

Combining a Latin romantic and a Country Outlaw was quite a work. However, producer Richard Perry brought Albert Hammond in the picture who found the perfect song from his catalog. A song meant for Frank Sinatra, “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before” written by Hammond with Hal David back in 1976. Julio Iglesias liked the song and brought the song to Willie Nelson’s studio in Austin. They recorded the song for two hours then had dinner after the session. Julio Iglesias took the tape back to Los Angeles, where he worked to further improve his English on the final product.

The Success

Spending two weeks at the top of Billboard’s Country Chart, “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before” was an overwhelming success. Not only did it land on the No. 5 spot in the Billboard Hot 100 Chart but it also sold a million copies. The Country Music Association named the Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias the”Vocal Duo of the Year.” Then the Academy of Country Music named the song “Single of the Year.” After the short incorporation with the country genre, Julio Iglesias continued his pop career, putting five titles simultaneously on Billboard’s Pop Album Chart in September 1984.

Want more of Willie Nelson? Check out the Redhead Stranger with his version of the modern song titled, “The Scientist” here! For more country music, visit us at God Bless Your Heart!


Julio Iglesias, Willie Nelson

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