To hear Tracy Nelson tell it, her decision to ask Willie Nelson to sing a duet with her on "After the Fire Is Gone" was mostly just kismet meeting standard industry practice.
Tracy Nelson's only album on Atlantic Records, 1974
"I loved that song and knew I wanted to cover it just as soon as I heard the Conway Twitty/Loretta Lynn version that was such a huge hit in 1971," recalls Nelson, no relation to the Red Headed Stranger, from her home outside Nashville.
Primarily considered a blues singer, she had recently left her band Mother Earth and signed a solo deal with Atlantic Records. Written by L.E. White, a close associate of Twitty's who had been in Bill Monroe's band before turning mostly to songwriting, "After The Fire Is Gone" was Twitty and Lynn's first No. 1 as a duo. It also won them a Grammy for Best Country Duet.