July 20, 2024

Why Waylon Jennings Didn’t Even Like One Of His Biggest Hits, “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)”

On this date in 1977, Waylon Jennings was topping the country chart with his hit “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love).” Of course, the song also features his friend Willie Nelson, and was released at the height of outlaw country movement.

From his hit album Ol’ Waylon, “Luckenbach, Texas” was written by Chips Moman and Bobby Emmons. Emmons proposed the song to Jennings because his “name’s in it,” and I guess that was enough for him to say yes…

Why Waylon Jennings Didn't Even Like One Of His Biggest Hits, “Luckenbach,  Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)” | Whiskey Riff

But funny enough, at the time it was written, neither Waylon nor any of the writers had ever even been to Luckenbach, Texas and in his 1996 book Waylon: An Autobiography, he noted:

“I knew it was a hit song, even though I didn’t like it, and still don’t.”

Though, he did say he understood why it became such a big hit:

“Every state has a Luckenbach; a place to get away from things.”

His drummer Richie Albright recalls Waylon talking about it in a later recording session, which is honestly my favorite part of the whole song and story of how it came to be:

“Just remind me when I’m picking singles from now on that I got to sing that mother*****r every night.”

God bless Waylon Jennings.

I imagine he probably just got tired of singing it so much, or got tired of saying his own name in the song, but it’s kind of funny to think that a song he didn’t really even want to record in the first place became one of his biggest hits and fan-favorite songs.

The entire ‘Ol Waylon album was a huge success too, becoming the first country album to ship Gold (meaning it had advanced sales of 500,000 units before it was even released), and has since been certified Platinum by the RIAA. Ol’ Waylon debuted at #1 on Billboard’s country album chart, where it remained for 13 weeks.

And obviously, many of us think of “Luckenbach, Texas” a country standard and one of the biggest hits of Waylon’s career, which he did indeed did have to sing at every show after it was released, so make sure you give this one a spin today in his honor (even though he probably wouldn’t like it):

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