“Crazy”, a ballad, was originally written by Willie Nelson in early 1962. It was made famous by Patti Page’s recording in 1962.
At the time, Willie Nelson was a “journeyman singer-songwriter” who wrote songs for other artists but had not had a hit of his own. Then known as Hugh Nelson, he was struggling to break into the music scene. Nelson met Cline’s husband, Charlie Dick, at a bar one night and pitched “Crazy” to him. When Dick played the song for Cline, Cline is said to have “absolutely hated” it .
The original track was much faster than it is known today and Cline claimed it was too difficult to sing (Cline was recovering from a car accident at the time and singing the high notes put pressure on her ribs). However, Cline was looking for a follow-up from “I Fall To Pieces” and agreed to record the song. Initially, Cline tried to record the song as it was presented by Nelson in the original track. However, Cline was incredibly unsuccessful and spent hours in the studio trying to record the song. The next week Cline recorded “Crazy” as it is know today in one take, however, this version differs greatly from Nelson’s original track.
Loretta Lynn reported that at the debut of “Crazy” at the Grand Ol Oprey Cline said "I had a hit out called 'I Fall to Pieces' and I was in a car wreck. Now I'm really worried because I have a new hit single out and its called 'Crazy'."
“Crazy” was quickly recognized as a cross over song, which may account for its great success. “Crazy” ranked at the top of three different charts in 1961 and 1962 and has been covered by numerous artists. Covers include artists such as The Kills, Linda Rhonstadt, Julio Iglesias, LeAnn Rimes (who sang it for President Bush) and Don McLean.
“Crazy” also ranked 14th in the U.K. Singles chart, 14th in the Irish Singles chart and 56th in the Australian Kent Music Report.
Lauren Morrow, MT-BC