About the song

If you are a fan of country music, you probably know the song “Highwayman” by the supergroup The Highwaymen, composed of four legends: Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. But do you know the history behind this iconic song and how it brought these four artists together? In this blog post, we will explore the origins and the impact of “Highwayman”, one of the most successful country songs of all time.

The song was written by Jimmy Webb, a renowned songwriter who had penned hits for Glen Campbell, Art Garfunkel, Linda Ronstadt and many others. Webb first recorded the song on his album El Mirage, released in May 1977. The following year, Glen Campbell recorded his version on his 1979 album Highwayman. The song tells the story of four reincarnated souls who lived as a highwayman, a sailor, a dam builder and a starship captain.

In 1984, Johnny Cash invited Kristofferson, Jennings and Nelson to join him for his Christmas TV special in Montreux, Switzerland. There, they started jamming and singing each other’s songs. They decided to record an album together and chose Chips Moman as their producer. Moman suggested that they record “Highwayman” as their first single, and each singer picked a verse that suited his personality. The song was released in May 1985 and became a number one hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. It also won the Grammy Award for Best Country Song in 1986.

The success of the song led to the formation of the supergroup The Highwaymen, who adopted the name from the song’s title. They released their first album Highwayman in 1985, which was also their most successful album. They went on to record two more albums: Highwayman 2 in 1990 and The Road Goes On Forever in 1995. They also toured extensively and became one of the most popular acts in country music history. The Highwaymen represented the best of the Outlaw movement, which challenged the Nashville establishment and brought a new edge and authenticity to country music.

“Highwayman” is more than just a song. It is a symbol of friendship, collaboration and musical excellence. It showcases the unique talents and voices of four icons who transcended genres and generations. It is a timeless classic that will remain in the hearts of country music fans forever.


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