On This Date: Waylon Jennings Releases “Luckenbach Texas” In 1977 (Even Though He Didn’t Even Like The Song)

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24 years ago today…

On this date in 1977, Waylon Jennings released “Luckenbach, Texas (Back To The Basics Of Love),” his 5th career No. 1 single at the time.

Written by Chips Moman and Bobby Emmons, the song was pitched to Waylon Jennings because, wait for it…. his “name was in it.”

And here’s the other kicker, both the writers, nor Waylon had ever even been to Luckenbach when the song was recorded. Waylon would go on to write in his autobiography that he wasn’t particularly fond of the song, but he knew that it was a hit.

Drummer Richie Albright recalls Waylon talking about it in a later recording session:

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

His son Shooter adds:

“He didn’t like the fact that he was going to sing his own name in a song. He had a lot of facets, but that song, lyrically and everything, the message there is pretty thin. It references a bunch of other country singers. It is what it is, but I dig it.” 

Ultimately, it would go on to become one of the biggest hits in Waylon’s career, and the studio version featured some background vocals from Willie Nelson as well.

And the rest is history.

Years later, at a Waylon Jennings tribute concert, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Eric Church, Sturgill Simpson, Kacey Musgraves, Jamey Johnson, Ryan Bingham and more would perform the song to close out the show.

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