Willie Nelson spoke for all traveling troubadours when he released the now-classic song, “On the Road Again,” in 1980. The familiar refrains, “The life I love is makin’ music with my friends/And I can’t wait to get on the road again,” perfectly pinpointed every musician’s love for the touring lifestyle and the joy of playing for the folks who fill the seats. There’s a timeless quality to Willie’s words, and today, the tune couldn’t be more timely.
Since the middle of March, music stars have been stuck at home out of concerns for the spread of COVID-19. Live concerts have either been canceled completely or postponed to later dates. You can bet that the stars truly can’t wait to get back on the road and entertain their fans.
Several country artists are sharing that very sentiment in a fun mashup video of, you guessed it, “On the Road Again.” The video montage, which is premiering exclusively on Sounds Like Nashville, features Larry Gatlin with brothers Steve and Rudy, Pam Tillis, Aaron Tippin, Ray Stevens, T.G. Sheppard, Charlie Daniels, bluegrass musician Carl Jackson, Steve Wariner and Opera singer Mark Delavan, all performing “On the Road Again” for the cameras. Along for the video ride are a couple of sports icons, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback, and current TV analyst, Terry Bradshaw, and former Major League Baseball superstar Johnny Bench. Each star’s segment was shot separately – in the interests of social distancing – then edited into one cohesive, brightly-paced piece. It’s their upbeat way of letting the fans know how much they miss them.
The video also stands as a tribute to the legendary Willie Nelson, notes Larry Gatlin, who organized the star-studded event with his brothers. “Willie’s likeness should be on Mount Rushmore,” Gatlin says. “This is our tribute to our old Texas buddy, Willie Hugh Nelson, from Abbott, Texas, ‘on loan’ to the world from somewhere in outer space. He ain’t of this world,” Gatlin laughs, adding, “I mean that in a good way.” It’s apparent that Gatlin’s fellow stars had a ball putting this project together. “Thanks to the Gatlins for asking me to be a part of this fun video,” notes Aaron Tippin. Ray Stevens raves that he was “glad to have the opportunity to see and sing with such great performers.”
The stars are assuring their loyal legions that they’ll be returning to the concert stage as soon as possible. “We are all looking forward to being on the road again!” says the always-enthusiastic Tippin. Adds Charlie Daniels, “What a fun video, and also true video. We’re all sitting around waiting to be on the road again.”