Waylon Jennings Once Admitted He Had Never Been To The Texas City That Inspired His Hit Song “Luckenbach, Texas (Back To The Basics Of Love)”

Waylon Jennings country music
Paul Natkin/Getty Images

Luckenbach, Texas… the tiny town made famous by Waylon Jennings.

The iconic tune “Luckenbach, Texas (Back To The Basics Of Love)” is one of the most recognizable singles from country music outlaw and icon Waylon Jennings featuring Willie Nelson. The 1977 single was Jennings’ fifth No. 1 single. As the years passed after the single’s release, some funny stories about the tune emerged.

In fact, at first Waylon Jennings hated the song.

Jennings’ drummer, Richie Albright, recalled him saying during the recording session:

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

Written by Chips Moman and Bobby Emmons, the song was pitched to Waylon because it contained his name in the chorus.

“Let’s go to Luckenbach, TexasWith Waylon and Willie and the boys…”

His son Shooter noted after the single was released:

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.” 

Waylon also confessed later down the line in a rare interview clip that he nor the writers of the song have ever graced the city of Luckenbach, Texas, with a visit.

The interviewer asked Jennings:

“Back to your Luckenbach days. Do you still visit Luckenbach, first of all?”

He lets out a deep belly laugh as he reveals the well-kept secret he had never been to the city:

“I’ve never been to Luckenbach, Texas, in my life. 

I thought maybe I had gone through there one time. But funnier than that, the guy that wrote “Luckenbach, Texas,” has never been there… neither one of them. 

I know some people from there, but I’ve never been there.” 

Jennings continues chuckling as he finishes his statement.

While it is still one of the greatest hits from Waylon Jennings, he clearly was indifferent to the single.

After learning this, who knows what old interview clip could surface revealing more city-centered singles are untrue.

I mean… Merle Haggard is not an “Okie From Muskogee.” His parents moved from Oklahoma to California before he was born.

@johnnycashnation Waylon Jennings admits he’s never been to Luckenbach #waylonjennings #country #countrymusic #outlaw #outlawcountry #outlawcountrymusic #luckenbachtexas #luckenbach ♬ Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love) (feat. Willie Nelson) – Waylon Jennings

“Luckenbach, Texas (Back To The Basics Of Love)”

Chris Stapleton, Willie Nelson & More Honor Waylon Jennings With “Luckenbach, Texas”

When have you ever seen so many great country stars on one stage?

The answer is probably not

Back in 2015, many of country music’s best came together to honor Waylon Jennings for a special live concert in Austin, Texas.

However, the highlight of the night was when all of the performers took the stage together for a star-studded performance of “Luckenbach, Texas.”

I mean, we’re talking about Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Eric Church, Chris Stapleton, Jamey Johnson, Lee Ann Womack, Ryan Bingham, Kacey Musgraves, Sturgill Simpson, Alison Krauss, Toby Keith, and more packed the stage for the once in a lifetime performance, which went on to be featured in a TV special called Outlaw: Celebrating The Music of Waylon Jennings.

We got Ryan Bingham and Jamey Johnson kicking it off, Eric Church messing up the second verse after a Toby Keith distraction, followed by Kacey and Toby working together on the latter part of the second verse, and you finish up with whole crew on the chorus.

Just listen to that crowd going crazy.

The entire ensemble featured:

Willie Nelson, Eric Church, Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Kacey Musgraves, Ryan Bingham, Jamey Johnson, Toby Keith, Alison Krauss, Lee Ann Womack, Kris Kristofferson, Shooter Jennings, Robert Earl Keen, Buddy Miller, Jessi Colter, and Bobby Bare.

Good luck ever getting that kind of talent on one stage ever again.

Originally written by Chips Moman and Bobby Emmons, the song was pitched to Waylon Jennings ahead of its 1977 release because, wait for it…. his “name was in 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.

Here’s to Waylon.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock