On This Date: Waylon Jennings Was At The Top Of The Charts with #1 Hit “Amanda” in 1979

Waylon Jennings country music

It’s safe to say that Waylon Jennings knew how to craft a hit song back in the day.

And though this one could technically be considered a cover song, the country music legend sent it rocketing up the charts after making it his own.

“Amanda” was originally written by Bob McDill and then recorded by Don Williams in 1973. His version of the song had its own fair share of success, but the tune really took off once Waylon Jennings recorded his styling of the hit the following year.

Jennings released the hit song in 1974 as a part of his popular album The Ramblin’ Man. Upon its release, “Amanda” stayed at the top spot on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart for an impressive three weeks. The song was Jennings’ eighth solo number one hit.

What made the song so popular you may ask? Well, it has all the important components of a hit song: falling in love, a toe tapping beat, and having the name of the song be a specific woman’s name.

Top 5 Songs with the name of a specific woman in the title? Yeah, we can do that real quick.

5. “Lola” (by The Kinks)
4. “Jolene” (by Dolly Parton)
3. “Elvira” (by The Oakridge Boys)
2. “Lucille” (by Kenny Rogers)
1. “Amanda” (by Waylon Jennings)

Yes, I know one of those was not a country song, but “Lola” is too catchy for it not to be on the list (and it has to be one of the first songs to ever fall to the sword. Also, they aren’t making a lot of Elvira’s or Lucille’s anymore…

“Amanda” tells the story of two young people quickly and hopelessly falling in love and growing up together. The lyrics tell the story of a blossoming relationship:

“I’ve held it all inward, God knows, I’ve triedBut it’s an awful awakening in a country boy’s lifeTo look in the mirror in total surpriseAt the hair on my shoulders and the age in my eyes

Amanda, light of my lifeFate should have made you a gentleman’s wifeAmanda, light of my lifeFate should have made you a gentleman’s wife”

Using “light of my life” in a song’s chorus is almost a guarantee that the tune will be a number one hit. Plenty of artists have covered the song, including the likes of Chris Stapleton and Billy Joe Royal, but no other version matches up to Waylon’s.

Check it out:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock