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Watch Neil Young record a Willie Nelson song in one take and make history

A seven-inch single made TV history. 


Audra Schroeder


Posted on May 13, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 7:57 am CDT

Last night on The Tonight Show, Neil Young and Jack White made history with Willie Nelson in a recording booth.

Young and White, which is an excellent rap duo name, demoed White’s refurbished Third Man Records’ Voice-o-Graph recording booth, which allows musicians, and the general public, to record straight to vinyl.

Young recorded his upcoming album, A Letter Home, in the booth. He told Spin that the album will be “retro-tech,” and straddle the divide between analog and the high-resolution sound of his Pono listening device, which debuted at this year’s SXSW:

“You can make a lo-fi, analog record, direct to vinyl, transfer it to 192, and you have a high-res copy of a lo-fi vinyl record.”

Young captured the booth’s warm sound last night, when he recorded a one-take cover of Willie Nelson’s “Crazy,” which was pressed directly to vinyl. The seven-inch single was then played at the end of the show, as Young, White, and guest Louis C.K. looked on.

That’s a lot of pressure to record a song in one take on live TV, but Young’s like, “I got this.”

Screengrab via NBC

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*First Published: May 13, 2014, 1:44 pm CDT