Willie Nelson’s son, Lukas, took a page out of his dad’s songbook by covering “Funny How Time Slips Away” in 2016.
In March 1961, Willie Nelson went from a struggling songwriter to an in-demand dude. After Faron Young topped the charts with Willie’s “Hello Walls,” the Texas native was suddenly in vogue.
At the time, Patsy Cline was looking for her follow-up release to her recent No. 1 hit, “I Fall to Pieces.” Patsy thought she had found it when she heard Willie’s “Funny How Times Slips Away.” In a twist of fate, Billy Walker, who had recorded the demo, re-cut the song for Columbia. Billy’s version peaked at No. 23 on the charts in 1961. Patsy, on the other hand, was forced to record Willie’s “Crazy.” Of course, the tune became a hit for Patsy on both the country and pop charts.
While Billy’s version wasn’t a Top 20 hit, it continued to help Willie’s songwriting stock rise. Over the years, the tune has been covered by Joe Hinton, Narvel Felts, The Spinners, and more. Al Green and Lyle Lovett released a duet version in 1994 that won a Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals.
Lukas Pays Tribute to Willie
In March 2016, Willie’s son, Lukas, decided to cover “Funny How Time Slips Away” in a clip he posted on YouTube. Of course, Lukas has plenty of musical chops, in his own right. He’s been fronting Lukas Nelson & the Promise of the Real for more than a decade.
“Staying in a friend’s cabin, I decided to sit down and learn this song and share it with everyone,” said Lukas Nelson in the comments via YouTube. “One of my favorite tunes my dad has written. Apologies to real piano players.”
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Lukas belted the iconic tune in regal fashion. In fact, Lukas’ delivery sounded remarkably similar to Willie’s. And there was no apology necessary to “real piano players.” Lukas Nelson has skills.