Introduction

Willie Nelson’s “I’ll Be Around” might sound like a classic country heartbreaker on first listen, but its origin lies with a different musical giant – Frank Sinatra. The song actually appeared on Nelson’s 2018 album “My Way,” a collection of covers paying tribute to Sinatra.

“My Way” wasn’t Nelson’s first foray into reinterpreting the works of others. His 1978 album “Stardust” did the same for pop standards, and “Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin” (2016) was a Grammy award winner. Nelson himself has acknowledged the influence of Sinatra’s phrasing on his own singing style.

While the original “I’ll Be Around” was written by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn in 1962, the song transcended its birth in the world of pop and found a new life thanks to crooners like Tony Bennett and, of course, Sinatra. The heartfelt lyrics about enduring love and promises to stay by a loved one’s side resonated with audiences.

Nelson’s version on “My Way” takes the familiar melody and infuses it with his signature relaxed country style. The swinging horns and lush strings might be a departure from Nelson’s usual sound, but his warm vocals deliver the message of devotion with the same sincerity as the original.

So, the next time you hear “I’ll Be Around,” remember that it’s not just a country ballad. It’s a testament to the enduring power of a great song, and a tip of the hat from one musical legend to another. Let Willie Nelson’s smooth vocals and heartfelt delivery transport you to a world of classic romance, all while reminding you that some things, like love and good music, never go out of style.

Video