Every No. 1 Country Single of the Eighties: Willie Nelson, “On the Road Again”

“On the Road Again”

Willie Nelson

Written by Willie Nelson

Radio & Records

#1 (2 weeks)

October 24 – October 31, 1980


#1 (1 week)

November 8, 1980

After two hit singles from the soundtrack of The Electric Horseman, Willie Nelson returned to No. 1 with a hit from another soundtrack: Honeysuckle Rose.

“On the Road Again” was an enormous hit, and it is still one of Willie’s signature songs.  It probably captures his ethos better than anything else he had a hit with, as his love for touring and live performances have kept him on the road for more than fifty years.

Everything about this record works, from the loose live performance that gives it an authentic road band sound, to Nelson’s idiosyncratic phrasing as he sings, “We’re the best of friends, insisting that the world keep turning our way, and our way, is on the road again.”

He would later explore his impulse to roam again in a stunning fashion in 1993 with “Still is Still Moving to Me,” a single from his brilliant Across the Borderline that failed to chart, only four years after he was named the No. 1 country singles artist of the eighties.  We’ll be seeing a lot more of Nelson between now and then.

“On the Road Again” gets an A.

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

Previous: Razzy Bailey, “Loving Up a Storm” |

Next: Waylon Jennings, “The Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol’ Boys)”


  1. As I am about to travel 2 hours down the highway for Christmas celebrations, This song is perfection. Willie is a GREAT singer, but, his songwriting is upper echelon in the history of mankind!!!

  2. My youngest son (14) latched on to this song and loves to sing along with it when it comes up on Sirius XM’s “Willie’s Roadhouse.”

    It is spare, to the point, and sincere. A little, genius gem of a song.

    It is so fun when a song is not only a signature song, but fully captures the personality and ethos of an artist as well, a statement song as much as a signature song.

    Another classic from 1980 alone!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.