If You've Got The Money, I've Got The Time

Album: The Sound In Your Mind (1976)
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Songfacts®:

  • Willie Nelson's second Country chart-topper (following "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain") follows his adventures out on the town on someone else's dime.

    Written by honky-tonk singer Lefty Frizzell, it previously reached the summit in 1950 when Frizzell released it as his debut single, with "I Love You A Thousand Ways" as the flipside.
  • Frizzell's own words were the inspiration for the song. When his friend asked him if he wanted to take a ride, the singer replied, "If you've got the money, I've got the time." No sooner than when the words left his mouth, he knew he had a song.

    During a show at a Texas nightclub, Frizzell caught the attention of Jim Beck, a record promoter who owned a studio in Dallas. He offered to let Frizzell record a demo there for free, and took the record to Nashville to generate interest. "If You've Got The Money, I've Got The Time" impressed Columbia Records producer Don Law (but not Little Jimmy Dickens, who turned it down), and he signed Frizzell after hearing him perform in concert.
  • Lefty Frizzell died on July 19, 1975, a year before Nelson recorded the song. In 1977, Nelson recorded a tribute album in honor of the late singer, titled To Lefty From Willie. "Actually, I had in mind to do that album earlier," Nelson noted in The Billboard Book Of Number One Country Hits, "but when Lefty died, I held on to that idea for a while. I didn't want anybody to think I was tryin' to take advantage of the fact that he had died."
  • The Sound In Your Mind was Nelson's second album at Columbia Records (19th overall). Earlier in 1976, he released the compilation Wanted! The Outlaws, along with Waylon Jennings, Jessi Coulter, and Tompall Glaser, which was the first country album to sell a million copies.
  • This was also covered by George Jones, Connie Francis and Hank Williams Jr, Gary Stewart, Leon Russell, Percy Sledge, Ricky Van Shelton, and Merle Haggard, among others.
  • This was used in the TV show Preacher in the 2017 episode "The End Of The Road."

    It was also featured in these movies:

    Traveller (1997)
    Pontiac Moon (1994)
    The Beverly Hillbillies (1993)
    Nadine (1987)

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