Willie Nelson teamed with his sons Lukas and Micah to perform “Hello Walls” on a 2020 episode of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
Willie and his sons performed the song for Colbert during their at-home Come and Toke It streaming special in celebration of April 20th.
Toke on this: almost 60 years ago, “Hello Walls” changed Willie’s life.
Willie’s Big Break
Following his discharge from the Air Force in the early 1950s, Willie moved to Nashville and found work as Ray Price’s bass player. But Willie didn’t find much success as a songwriter until 1961 when two legends recorded two of his songs.
In March 1961, Faron Young released “Hello Walls,” while Patsy Cline dropped “Crazy” in October 1961.
As Faron told author Ace Collins in his 1996 book, The Stories Behind Country Music’s All-Time Greatest 100 Songs, Willie Nelson was at Nashville’s famed Orchid Lounge pitching the song to anyone who would listen.
“He needed more money, and he offered to sell me something called ‘Hello Walls,'” said Faron. “I listened to him sing it and said, ‘Hell, that ain’t bad.’ But I wouldn’t buy it. I did promise Willie that I’d record it later. He told me that he needed the money now, so I gave him a $400 loan.”
True to his word, Faron recorded and released the song. “Hello Walls” topped the charts on May 7, 1961, and stayed there for nine weeks. The tune also crossed over to the pop charts, peaking at No. 12.
If These Walls Could Talk
Before his performance of “Hello Walls” for Stephen Colbert, Willie Nelson dedicated the song to Faron, who died in 1996. Faron was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000.
“Hey, Stephen, this is Willie and Lukas and Micah, and we’re glad to be with you tonight,” said Willie. “And we’re gonna do a song called ‘Hello Walls.’ I wrote it a long time ago, and the guy who had the first hit on it was a guy named Faron Young. Great friend of mine, and we had a lot of fun together . . . so we’ll dedicate the song to Faron Young.”