It was a long time ago, but it sounds just as sweet today as the day he wrote it.
“Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground” was Willie Nelson’s seventh No. 1 song, topping the chart on March 21, 1981. Since then, it has become so much more than just a No. 1 song. It has become one of country music’s brightest shining moments.
Written and released by Willie at the height of the Outlaw movement, the song is commonly believed to have been written about Charlie Magoo, a good friend of Nelson’s who happened to also be a member of The Hells Angels, something that Willie has never confirmed nor denied.
While the song is signature Willie, “Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground” has been covered a multitude of times by artists ranging from Bob Dylan and Cross Canadian Ragweed to the power punk group The Smoking Popes. It’s even been name checked in other songs, like Ray Scott’s “My Kind Of Music” with the lyrics “…she can’t see what’s so cool about he stopped lovin’ her today/or angel flying to close to the ground.’
And to think, Willie plays this song today on the guitar he used to actually write the song. Willie’s famed guitar “Trigger” came into his life in 1969.