October 1

Willie Nelson’s Notable Rendition of “Pretty Paper”

Willie Hugh Nelson professionally known as Willie Nelson is one of the most recognized artists in country music. His notable singles and albums were really loved by his listeners. He started entering into the country music industry in 1956 and he’s still an active music artist up the present. He has bagged numerous major awards and honors. With this, let us hear one of his Country hit songs entitled “Pretty Paper.”

“Pretty Paper”

It is a song written by Willie Nelson. Further, Roy Orbison has recorded the song first and his rendition became a hit. Since it became a country hit, various country artists have recorded it and one of them is Willie Nelson.

Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Pretty Paper
Via YouTube.com by Screengrab

Orbison’s rendition has entered into country charts and peaked at number 10 on the Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart. His rendition also reached number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Thus, this track was also featured on More of Roy Orbinson’s Greatest. 

Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Pretty Paper
Via YouTube.com by Screengrab

Talking about Nelson’s version, it was published in 1964 and it was also included in his album, Pretty Paper.

Lyrics Breakdown

Crowded street, busy feet, hustle by him
Downtown shoppers, Christmas is nigh
There he sits all alone on the sidewalk
Hoping that you won’t pass him by

Pretty Paper” talks about the story of a street vendor who sells pencils and papers during the holiday season. Nelson was inspired to write the song after he remembered a man he often saw in Forth Worth Texas. The man’s legs were amputated so he moved with rollers, selling papers and pencils in front of Leonard’s Department Store. Thus, the man gets the attention of many people by saying “Pretty paper! Pretty Paper!”

The man being talked about in the story is Frankie Bierton from Santo, Texas. He refused to use a wheelchair after his legs were affected by a spinal disorder. He had suffered from childhood meningitis and his both legs were atrophied.

With this, Bierton showed that his disability cannot hinder him to work for him and his family.

Listen to Willie Nelson’s rendition of “Pretty Paper” below:


Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson

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