Hello Walls

Faron Young

Today in 1961 Faron Young recorded an odd song called Hello Walls from an unknown songwriter named Willie Nelson. Hank Cochran tells how he and Nelson had been writing songs together, or as Cochran says, trying to write songs together, as Nelson worked better alone. One afternoon Cochran stepped out to make a phone call and when he returned Nelson had written Hello Walls on the back of a piece of cardboard. I guess it was handy. Shortly afterwards they were hanging out in Tootsie’s Orchard Lounge with Roger Miller and in came Webb Pierce and Faron Young. Someone had a guitar and Young asked Nelson to sing him a song. He sang Hello Walls.

The song itself is classic Willie. All economy, airtight, not a word too many or missing; in short a master class in perfection:

Hello walls
How things go for you today
Don’t you miss her
Since she upped and walked away
 
And I’ll bet you dread to spend
Another lonely night with me
But lonely walls, I’ll keep you company
 
Hello window
Well I see that you’re still here
Aren’t you lonely
Since our darling disappeared
 
Well look here is that a teardrop
In the corner of your pane
Now don’t you try to tell me that it’s rain
 
She went away and left us all alone
The way she planned
Yes we’ll have to learn to get along
Without her if we can
 
Hello ceiling
I’m gonna stare at you a while
You know I can’t sleep
So won’t you bear with me awhile
 
We must all stick together
Or else I’ll lose my mind
I’ve got a feeling she’ll be gone
A long long time

Willie offered to sell it to Faron for $500, but for once in the music industry heart was bigger than wallet. Faron Young knew what he had and instead of buying the song he just loaned Willie the money and told him not to sell it to anyone else. It went to number #1 on the country charts in March of ’61 and stayed there for nine full weeks.

Hello Walls, Faron Young

Post Script ~ Since I’ve been talking novelty songs of late I should add that later that year in his one and only chart hit the great Ralph Emery, Dean of Nashville and a nationally radio treasure, sang an “answer song” to Hello Walls written by James Coleman called Hello Fool. It went all the way up to #4.

Hello Fool, Ralph Emery

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About Iaan Hughes

Iaan Hughes is a deejay on 91.3 KBCS in Seattle. He plays country & western music.
This entry was posted in Country, Honky Tonk, Music, Pop, Radio and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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