Written by Stephen L. Betts (Rolling Stone Country)
In the below exclusive clip from the series, Walker performs a moving version of Rodney Crowell's "Song for the Life," recorded by the former for his 1977 LP A Man Must Carry On. Crowell recorded the song that year as well with Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris and Nicolette Larson backing him, and it has since been cut by others, including Johnny Cash, Alison Krauss and Waylon Jennings. In 1995, Alan Jackson's cover of the tune was a Top Ten hit.
In the accompanying biopic for the series' first episode, Walker shares details of the writing of "Mr. Bojangles," which he recorded in 1968 and which the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band had a massive Top Ten pop hit with three years later. "I wanted to find internal rhymes. I'd heard about them but I didn't know what they were," he recalls, strumming the guitar and singing the song's original, long-discarded lyrics, while musing about the tune's phenomenal success. "Because I put internal rhymes in a song about a dancer, it kind of double-compounded it," he notes.