“Night Life” is a song written by country music singer-songwriter Willie Nelson. Nelson was inspired to write the song during one of his trips from his home in Pasadena, Texas, to his work, singing at the Esquire Ballroom in Houston.
Due to financial issues, Nelson sold the song to guitar instructor Paul Buskirk for $150. The recording of the song was rejected by Pappy Daily, owner of Nelson’s label, D Records. Daily believed that the song was not country. Encouraged by the amount of money he received for the song, Nelson decided to master it at another studio. To avoid legal actions, it was recorded as “Nite Life” under the artist name of “Paul Buskirk and the Little Men featuring Hugh Nelson.” In 1963 Bellaire Records reissued the single under the original title of “Night Life,” recrediting it to “Willie Nelson.”
In 1960 Ray Price purchased the song and recorded a cover of it as the title track of his 1963 album Night Life. The song became a hit for Price who started to use it as the introduction in his shows, replacing the usual backing fiddles. Price said in the introduction to the song that it was “especially” written for him by “a boy down Texas way.” The single reached number 28 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart