40 Years Ago: Willie Nelson and Leon Russell Share No. 1 Spot With ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ Remake
Forty years ago today, on Sept. 1, 1979, Leon Russell and Willie Nelson both had one very good reason to celebrate: Their remake of the Elvis Presley classic "Heartbreak Hotel" soared to No. 1 on the country charts.
Nelson and Russell's version of "Heartbreak Hotel" was on their collaborative album, One for the Road, which went gold, signifying sales in excess of 500,000 units, within two months of its release. While the song marked Nelson's seventh time to the top of the charts and one of more than 10 times he'd hold the No. 1 spot, "Heartbreak Hotel" was Russell's only chart-topping hit.
"Heartbreak Hotel" was also Presley's first No. 1 hit. Other artists who have recorded it include the Quarrymen, Paul McCartney, Justin Timberlake, Cher, Bob Dylan, Merle Haggard and Jimi Hendrix, among others.
This story was originally written by Gayle Thompson, and revised by Annie Zaleski.
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