Country Throwback: Watch Willie Nelson and Ray Charles Sing ‘Seven Spanish Angels’ Live on TV in 1984

by Keeli Parkey

A real country music fan should never miss a collaboration by two music legends. For instance, an example of such a dream duo is Willie Nelson and Ray Charles joining forces on the song “Seven Spanish Angels.”

So, how did the two legends come to work together on a song? According to a report by, Charles was known as an R&B singer. In addition, he was a popular soul performer. Even though his chosen genres were very different, he was a fan of country music. And, Charles didn’t try to hide his fandom. Luckily for all of us, in 1984 he got to record “Seven Spanish Angels” with country legend Willie Nelson.

Consequently, describes the iconic collaboration as: “Singing about a Mexican outlaw traveling with his wife and trying to outrun a posse that wants to take them back to Texas, Nelson and Charles appear to be the perfect blend of sound and emotion to detail the protagonist duo’s cornered and exhausted outlook, as they determine to face the approaching lawmen in a gunfight.”

Nelson Offers Moving Performance in ‘Seven Spanish Angels’

Nelson’s performance is especially heartbreaking. In addition to other lyrics, he sings: “She reached down and picked the gun up / That lay smokin’ in his hand / Said, ‘Father please forgive me / I can’t make it without my man’ / And she knew the gun was empty / And she knew she couldn’t win / But her final prayer was answered/When the rifles fired again.”

“Seven Spanish Angels” first appeared on Willie Nelson’s “Half Nelson” album in 1984. According to a previous report by, “Seven Spanish Angels” was the first track released from the album and sent to radio stations. Also, the song was a big hit. In addition, it made its way up to No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart during March 1985.

You can watch Willie Nelson and Ray Charles perform “Seven Spanish Angels” live on television below. Before the legendary performers break out into song, Nelson says that Charles brought the song to him to record. Nelson is all smiles as he prepares to sing alongside his friend.

Willie Nelson Moved to Tears by ‘Seven Spanish Angels’ Performance

A special performance of “Seven Spanish Angels” brought tears to the eyes of a country music legend. Willie Nelson was very moved back in 2015 by the song.

The emotional performance by Alison Krauss and Jamey Johnson was witnessed by Nelson the night he was awarded the Gershwin Prize. That special ceremony took place in November 2015. The ceremony took place in Washington, D.C. The award is sponsored by the Library of Congress. Both performers are friends of Willie Nelson.

You can also watch Alison Kraus and Jamey Johnson perform “Seven Spanish Angels” in honor of Willie Nelson below.