When Willie got the opportunity, he signed with Columbia Records and the contract gave him much greater control over the production of his albums. The very first one he wanted to do was pretty much just him in a studio with his guitar and a couple other people. Columbia was scared to death about investing in an album like this that was almost completely stripped down of other musical instruments or even recording gizmos to make the sound quality better, not authentic, but better in their opinions.
When Willy handed the executives a tape they listened to it and said it wasn't a very good demo tape to which Willy replied, "That ain't a demo, that's the album." Willy was adamant about creating the album "old school," so to speak, so the executives at Columbia were livid but they figured they'd allow Willy to crash and burn with his album then he'd be ready to listen to them the next time around.
The album was called the "Red Headed Stranger," and it was released in 1975. It was a concept album about a fugitive on the run from the law after killing his wife and her lover. Not only did the album reach number one and Willie was featured on the cover of The Rolling Stones, but a movie was released in 1986 called: "The Red Headed Stranger," and it led to a television series and a comic book called: "Preacher," which is one of the songs on the album.
By the way, the album became a cult classic and remained on music charts for over five years! It opened the door to a new brand of country music called: "Outlaw," which meant the artists weren't going to follow the mainstream and instead just play their music.
Maybe you remember one of the songs from this award winning album? If you don't, then you're just blue eyes crying in the rain. :)