Everyone loves this classic Waylon Jennings song, but what if I told you that Waylon himself despised it?
“Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)” was released as Waylon Jennings’ first single from his 1977 album Ol’ Waylon.
The tune was written by Chips Moman and Bobby Emmons, and funny enough, neither the writers of the song nor Waylon Jennings had ever visited the small town in Texas.
In the 1960’s, Luckenback had a reported population of three people. A newspaper once even had the town for sale, with the advertisement saying:
“Town-population 3-for sale.”
Getting back to the song itself, the story that Waylon sings about reveals a couple who’s marriage has added stress because of their successful lives.
To avoid their relationship becoming to complicated and “high society,” Waylon suggests that the pair move back to the small, unpopulated town in Texas so that they can get “back to the basics of love.”
The lyrics sing:
“The only two things in life that make it worth livin’ Is guitars that tune good and firm feelin’ women I don’t need my name in the marquee lights I got my song and I got you with me tonight Maybe it’s time we got back to the basics of love
Let’s go to Luckenbach, Texas With Waylon and Willie and the boys This successful life we’re livin’ Got us feuding like the Hatfields and McCoys Between Hank Williams’ pain songs and Newbury’s train songs and ‘Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain’ Out in Luckenbach, Texas, ain’t nobody feelin’ no pain”
The last portion of the song also includes a guest vocal spot from Willie Nelson, and the two voices of the all-time-great country artists blend together beautifully. One of Willie’s most popular songs, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” is even mentioned by name in the song.
Upon its release, “Luckenbach, Texas” reached number one on the country charts in April of 1977 and stayed there for six weeks until June 25th, 46 years ago today.
Despite the song’s commercial success, Waylon Jennings stated in his autobiography:
“I knew it was a hit song, even though I didn’t like it, and still don’t.”
Well that’s okay Waylon, because the rest of us love it.
And if you haven’t heard it, take a listen below, so you can love it too: