Willie Nelson was a door-to-door Bible salesman, but that didn’t work out. Then he tried to find his way as a country music singer but that didn’t work out either. He tried for years to fit the image and sound of what Music Row executives expected from country music, until he gave up on pleasing Nashville and moved back to Texas. As historians of the era described it, “Back in his native Texas, Nelson started over  – and revived his career.” At the same time, a similar revival was happening in the lives of some other singer-songwriters, in what came to be known as “outlaw country.” The outlaw genre brought an infusion of change, without which the country music industry would have succeeded its way to oblivion.

A revival often looks disturbingly different but really is a reconnection to roots so old they now seem new.