August 30, 1980 – “On the Road Again” hits the charts

On this day in 1980 Willie Nelson’s country hit “On the Road Again” entered the Billboard 100 charts at #78. The song was written by Nelson on a barf bag while traveling on an airplane with director Jerry Schatzberg and executive producer Sydney Pollack after the two requested Nelson write a song for the upcoming film Honeysuckle Rose, in which Nelson was to star.  The movie was about an aging country star who had yet to achieve the fame he dreamed of. In the movie the character spent much of his time on the road playing small venues all across the country. When the producer asked Nelson to create a song Nelson asked what he wanted it to be about. The producer responded “Can it be something about being on the road?” Nelson said at that moment it just clicked and the American driving anthem was born in pen.
While the movie was not very successful the tune did peak at number 20 on the Top 100 charts and hit #1 on the Billboard Top Country Songs chart for a week. Nelson also won a Grammy for the 1980 best country song.

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