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Waylon Jennings - "Beautiful Annabel Lee" (1967 RCA Victor)

Cover Image for Waylon Jennings - "Beautiful Annabel Lee" (1967 RCA Victor)

w Harlan Howard; from Waylon Sings Ol' Harlan, RCA Victor – LPM 3660

I've always had a thing for Annabel Lee, the Edgar Allan Poe poem, since I heard the first bit in Holes:

(Although on revisiting it, the movie got the "she" and "I" backwards, as have I ever since…).

This musical adaptation is slightly different in particulars - got a little bit of a class conflict thing going on - but no less wistful, enchanting, and, indeed, sappy...this comes as no surprise from the Troubadour of the Tragically Romantic, that King of the Country Songwriters, Harlan Howard.

This man wrote "Life Turned Her That Way", "Above and Beyond (the Call of Love)", "I've Cried a Mile", and of course "Heartaches by the Number". Besides a laundry list of other Country hits of yesteryear. Look on his works, ye mighty...

The rendition in question by Waylon Jennings, late pioneer of Outlaw Country, comes from Waylon's old-school Nashville days, off the tribute album Waylon Sings Ol' Harlan. The album's got both hits and a number of deeper cuts like "Beautiful Annabel Lee", which Waylon's 1996 autobiography (and Wikipedia) says was one of his favorites. Coming in at a cool half hour it's not hard to just recommend the whole album, but I'll put some highlights below...

By the by, fellow outlaw Willie Nelson released his own Harlan Howard tribute album earlier this year, I Don't Know a Thing About Love. It's got a version of this song on it too, but it just isn't as good to my sensibilities...

And for some more killer cuts from Waylon and/or Harlan...

Also Check Out:

By Waylon Jennings:

"Sunset and Vine" - YouTube | Spotify

"Woman, Let Me Sing You a Song" - YouTube | Spotify

"In This Very Same Room" - YouTube | Spotify

By Johnny Cash:

"Busted" (Live at Folsom Prison) - YouTube | Spotify

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