Willie Nelson Sings of Gays on the Range

Willie_nelsonValentines Day has brought a Willie Nelson love letter in the form of “Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other,” a song the singer says has “been in the closet for 20 years. The timing’s right for it to come out. I’m just opening the door”

Howard Stern debuted the track on his Sirius radio show this morning.

While Nelson recorded a beautiful song for the Brokeback Mountain soundtrack, “He Was a Friend of Mine”, the new song was written long ago and shoved in a drawer with a bunch of old demos, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Mr. Nelson recorded a song for the Brokeback Mountain soundtrack, the melancholy ballad “He Was a Friend of Mine.” And the movie about two cowboys in love may have provided the perfect opportunity to release this new song. But Mr. Nelson also has a personal connection to the tune.

Two years ago, David Anderson, Mr. Nelson’s friend and tour manager of three decades, told his boss he’s gay. Last March, while Mr. Nelson recorded a batch of previously unreleased songs for iTunes, he discovered the song in a stack of demos he had tossed into a drawer.

Singing “Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other” was Mr. Nelson’s way of telling a longtime pal everything was OK, says Mr. Anderson.

“This song obviously has special meaning to me in more ways than one,” says Mr. Anderson, who lives in Dallas. “I want people to know more than anything – gay, straight, whatever – just how cool Willie is and … his way of thinking, his tolerance, everything about him.”

Willie Nelson is definitely a friend of mine.

Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other
Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly (Fond of Each Other) [iTunes Originals Version]

He Was a Friend of Mine
He Was a Friend of Mine

Willie Opens Closet with Cowboys [dallas morning news]
Willie Nelson’s Gay-Cowboy Valentine’s iTunes Exclusive [until today]


  1. Darren says

    Hehe, Pansy Division did “Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other” it’s on their Pile On CD.

  2. Matthew Schooler says

    What a man! Loves the gays and fucks the IRS! I am so glad it is not the other way around!

  3. Ray says

    That’s great news, Andy. Thanks for posting it! In a world run mad by cold-hearted “Christians,” Muslim fanatics and greedy Republican hypcrites, it’s sure nice to hear a voice of sanity like Willie’s.

  4. Matthew says

    David Anderson did a small stint as a bartender at Cafe Lafitte’s in New Orleans. In what I considered just “bar talk”, he told me about working as Willie Nelson’s tour manager. He said he was in between careers. I guess I was a bit shallow not to believe him.

  5. gordon says

    In all of country music, Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton are two of the coolest to their glbt fans. In particular, if you listen to the Dolly Parton live concert CD, it’s hysterical: she talks about running into drag queens at Dollywood *begging* her to sing “Jolene”.
    I (heart) Willie and Dolly. :-)

  6. ray says

    Since we’re talking about country music, let’s not forget Garth Brooks whose sister (right?) is a lesbian…and I think he was pro-gay-rights as well. Of course, the biggest gay country newsmaker last year was Mr. Renee Zelweger, Kenny Chesney, right?

  7. Michael W. says

    Gordon, I saw Dolly in concert in Myrtle Beach , SC right before Christmas and she was absolutely amazing! She is my all-time favorite celebrity!

  8. says

    Willy’s song on the Brokeback soundtrack IS beautiful and sad, recalling Ennis having to call Jack his ‘friend’ when on the phone with Jack’s wife and visiting Jack’s parents.

  9. Kel says

    Sorry Darren! Didn’t see your comment, I was in flashback land to the ’90s when Pansy Division crashed with me in Nashville. Hey, I know I wasn’t special, they crashed with people in every city back then.

    Anyway I pulled out the Pile Up CD to see what they said about the song:

    “The Old West equation of ten men for each woman makes for easy math. You add it up.”

    The song is credited as written by Ned Sublette. Ned according to my quick Google search is an outspoken critic of Dubya and author of “Cuba and It’s Music: From the first drums to the mambo, an in-depth history of Cuban music” and a professional musician. Mr. Sublette was born in Louisiana and he’s currently a Rockefeller Fellow at Tulan. He wrote the song 1981.

  10. says

    Willie’s cool, unquestioned! He’s environmentally friendly, socially responsible, and a hell of a lyricist… but that voice!

    Still, ya gotta love Willie.

  11. Gilli says

    It’s a great song that deserves to be listened to over and over and again. Too bad it couldn’t have been Oscar-nominated…

  12. Darren says

    No problem there Kel, you knew way more detail than I did. I’m just curious now what’s the connetion between that guy and Willie… hmmm you think this could be six degrees of Tom Cruise?

    Oops. I didn’t say that. My name is John Doe.

  13. says

    What’s even more amazing is that Willie is releasing this song as a SINGLE with a video, not just putting it on an album:

    “On Sunday, a group of about 30 local cowboys spent the afternoon at the Round-Up learning choreography for the song’s upcoming video.”

  14. Gilli says

    Instead of explaining it here?

    YOU are one of SO many people who come to say ZIPPO and mooch off of Andy’s success.

  15. says

    >>”Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other”

    I finally heard this song on Imus this morning. (Sometimes Don holds me captive to hear about things I’d rather not hear.)

    I found the song somewhat offensive. It not only cashes in on the BBM phenom, but it shows an appalling lack of understanding of Gay men. It’s totally based on the premise that Gay men are just women with beards and balls.

    I’m assuming that’s just Willie’s naïveté, since he’s not known to be a homophobe. Still, somebody should have explained his error, before publishing his song. There are too many queens in Nashville to think that nobody else got a creepy feeling of alienation from listening to this song, before it was released.

    I guess when you’re a big star, nobody likes to tell you when you’ve fucked up.