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Willie Nelson Previews New Album With Gershwins’ ‘Summertime’

Willie Nelson is releasing a Gershwin tribute album, and recently shared his cover of “Summertime,” one of the more popular songs from George and Ira Gershwin.

In the video clip above, Nelson is seated with his guitar as his familiar wavering vocals put a country tilt on the classic pop tune. The studio recording of the song features Nelson alongside piano and harmonica and his intricate guitar playing.

Nelson’s new album, Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin, will be released on Feb. 26, just three months after he received the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for his lifetime achievements.

“To get a Gershwin award for anything is great but to get one for songwriting is especially great because Ira and George Gershwin were just fantastic writers. They wrote some of the greatest songs ever,” Nelson says. “The Gershwin songs have been here for many many years. When I was just a small guy, I remember hearing all these great Gershwin songs and they’ll be around forever because great music like that just does not go away.”

Nelson’s upcoming album includes some of the Gershwin brothers’ biggest hits, including “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” which features Cyndi Lauper, “Embraceable You” featuring Sheryl Crow, “I Got Rhythm” and “Love Is Here to Stay.”

Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin follows the release of Nelson’s duet record with Merle Haggard last year. Their album, Django and Jimmie, was the sixth collaboration between the two and debuted at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Top Country Albums chart.

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