wears a lot of hats over those beautiful braids: He’s an activist, a Farm Aid founder, a cannabis connoisseur (with a new strain in the works, y’all) and a legendary musician with a nearly 60-year career. What we didn’t know was that the country music great was also a longtime friend of one Francis Albert Sinatra. Now, at age 85, Nelson is releasing My Way, a tribute to the late iconic crooner.
It’s an odd pairing. In his later years, Sinatra became an ardent supporter of Republican presidents like Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan; Nelson covered “Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly Fond of Each Other” in 2006. Sinatra, always in control, was known as the “Chairman of the Board”; Nelson is the co-chair of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws advisory board. But apparently the men were friends, even filming a PSA for NASA together in the ‘80s (Sinatra stating, “It’s obvious we don’t share the tailor … but we do share the same feelings about space technology,” while he wears a tuxedo and pokes Nelson’s bandana is comedy gold).
My Way pays tribute to that odd-couple friendship, with Nelson covering 11 Sinatra classics, including “What Is This Thing Called Love” with Norah Jones, “Fly Me to the Moon” and “Summer Wind,” the last of which was released Thursday alongside a new music video.
“I learned a lot about phrasing listening to Frank,” Nelson told AARP The Magazine. “He didn’t worry about behind the beat or in front of the beat, or whatever—he could sing it either way, and that’s the feel you have to have.” All jokes aside, maybe there’s something to be said for two radically different men who could work together as these two did—or maybe enough weed really can get you through anything.
My Way will be released Sept. 14 on vinyl, CD and digital formats, and is available for preorder here. The album is Nelson’s second studio album this year, following April’s Last Man Standing.
Watch the music video for Nelson’s cover of “Summer Wind” and Sinatra and Nelson’s NASA PSA, plus the tracklist for My Way. Keep scrolling to see Nelson perform circa 1999 in a video clip from the Paste Cloud.
My Way Tracklist:
01. Fly Me to the Moon
02. Summer Wind
03. One for My Baby (And One More for the Road)
04. A Foggy Day
05. It Was a Very Good Year
06. Blue Moon
07. I’ll Be Around
08. Night and Day
09. What Is This Thing Called Love (w/ Norah Jones)
10. Young at Heart
11. My Way