Remember When Willie Nelson Made Country Music History With ‘Stardust’?
Willie Nelson set a new chart record on Aug. 13, 1988, when his Stardust album officially reached ten consecutive years on Billboard's Country Albums chart.
Released in April of 1978, Stardust features Nelson re-interpreting the Great American Songbook, putting his own unique spin on standards from Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington, George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin and more. The album represented a dramatic shift in direction from the Outlaw Country that had made Nelson into a superstar, and executives at Columbia Records were nervous about its eclectic mix of country, folk, jazz and pop.
“[It's] another one of those albums that they said, ‘This is not a good idea. It costs too much money first of all, and these old songs, nobody wants to hear ‘em anymore,’” Nelson later recalled. "Again, they were wrong.”
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Instead, Nelson scored major hits with "Georgia on My Mind," "Blue Skies," "All of Me" and "September Song," while Stardust reached No. 1 on Billboard's Country Albums chart and crossed over to peak at No. 30 on the all-genre Billboard 200.
Nelson took home Best Country Vocal Performance, Male, for his rendition of "Georgia on My Mind" at the Grammy Awards, and Stardust would go on to sell more than 5 million copies, remaining on the charts for a total of 540 weeks. The Grammy Hall of Fame inducted the album into its archives in 2015.
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