Willie Nelson and Norah Jones Perform “Crying Time” In Celebration of Ray Charles’ Genius

ByQuyen Anne

Apr 15, 2024

In 2008, live in Rose Theater, New York City, Willie Nelson and his go-to duet partner and nine-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and jazz vocalist Norah Jones, along with jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis’ band, performed Ray Charles’ original hit  “Crying Time” as a celebration of his genius. It’s for a live tribute album titled Here We Go Again: Celebrating the Genius of Ray Charles, which was produced under Blue Note label.

The live concert was held for two days, on February 9 and 10, and the official recording was released two years later on March 29, 2011.

Live In NYC: Willie Nelson and Norah Jones’ “Crying Time”

Marsalis opened the performance by introducing singer-songwriter Norah Jones, who was looking gorgeous wearing a little black dress. Willie Nelson, on the other hand, was sitting on a chair with his guitar on his lap wearing his signature look in black.

The crowd clapped and cheered for Jones, and then Marsalis went on to give a short prologue for their performance of the night. He said, “Everything has changed. You know how that happens all of a sudden? One moment, everything – suddenly, your heart is unchained. And this is crying time.”

For the first chorus, Nelson and Jones gifted the audience with their raw vocals as they duetted in acapella. And they delivered every line with so much emotion that it felt like being gutted in the stomach. The band then entered as Nelson sang the first line of the first verse, “Now they say that absence makes the heart grow fonder.” The legend also joined in with his guitar. After that, they sang together again in the chorus.

And then, the instrumentals started, with each band member getting their solo moment. Dan Nimmer on the piano was the first, and then Walter Blanding on the saxophone followed him. Next was Carlos Henriques, who wowed everyone with his bass playing. And, of course, Mickey Raphael didn’t come to play, skillfully taking over with his harmonica.

Jones then continued with the second verse before once again and for the last time meeting with Nelson in the chorus. The song ended with a wonderful orchestra play.

Be mesmerized by Willie Nelson and Norah Jones’ live rendition of Ray Charles “Crying Time” in the video below.

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