cover image Me and Paul: Untold Stories of a Fabled Friendship

Me and Paul: Untold Stories of a Fabled Friendship

Willie Nelson with David Ritz. Harper Horizon, $29.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7852-4560-5

“Storytelling is beautiful because it brings people joy,” writes country music legend Nelson (Me and Sister Bobbie: True Tales of the Family Band) in this shining tribute to his best friend and longtime drummer, Robert Paul English. English, who died in 2020 at the age of 87 after a bout with pneumonia, inspired Nelson’s song “Me and Paul” and was a “larger-than-life human being.” According to Nelson, English made sure promoters paid the band in cash, and he protected Nelson on more than one occasion, such as when, after a show in Forth Worth, Tex., Nelson went to the hotel room of a woman whose jealous boyfriend wanted to shoot him, only for English to intervene. English also gave Nelson the cash to buy back the rights to songs he’d sold to pay rent, including “Crazy” and “Night Life,” and he advocated for Nelson to release his multiplatinum album Redheaded Stranger, which Columbia Records executives had deemed “incoherent.” Nelson’s love for English is moving and palpable, and despite his claim that “when I love someone like I loved Paul, words stop working,” Nelson writes about friendship with soulful panache. This lyrical ode to an incredible bond will tug at readers’ heartstrings. Agent: David Vigliano, Vigliano Assoc. (Sept.)