Clean-shaven Willie Nelson was trying to fit in with the clean-shaven sound of Nashville in the 1960s.
The smooth sounds of Chet Atkins were king, and country music was finding a wider audience with the easy-listening sheen. Try as he might, Willie Nelson never had a hit following the formula.
But once Willie returned to Texas, grew his hair out, knotted his trade-mark bandana around his head and started making music in his own way, things changed. Now he's an icon.