And back in 2004, two absolute icons in their respective genres you may have heard of before, rock legend Keith Richards and outlaw country pioneer Willie Nelson, teamed up for a duet of “We Had It All.”
The song was written by Troy Seals and Donnie Fritts and originally recorded by Waylon Jennings for his 1973 Honky Tonk Heroes album. It peaked at just #28 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles chart, which is a crying shame, in my opinion.
Waylon’s outlaw best friend Willie included a cover of it on his 2004 Outlaws and Angels live album, which is how the live performance by Keith and Willie came to be.
Dolly Parton also included “We Had It All” on her 1984 album of covers The Great Pretender, and later released another remixed version of it as single from her 1986 Think About Love record.
And in honor of Willie’s album release back in 2004, they filmed a special concert which featured guest performers singing duets with Willie on each song, and was later aired on cable television.
Of course, Keith is a co-founder and legendary guitar player for the Rolling Stones, and he knows how to sing some classic country, too.
I’m convinced that Willie can sing with literally anyone in the music business, no matter what genre they’re in, and make it absolutely incredible.
The fact that they’re both masters of their crafts and music icons doesn’t hurt, either.
And in honor of what would’ve been the late Waylon Jennings’ 86th birthday today, I thought it would be the perfect time to reflect on such an incredible moment in music.
It simply doesn’t get any better than this. Their on-stage chemistry is palpable, and they couldn’t have picked a more perfect song.
The unique pairing and simple acoustic delivery is absolutely everything and more:
There’s just somethin’ about hearing Waylon sing it, though.
The heartbreak in his voice comes through so beautifully, and in my opinion, it’s one of his best and most underrated tracks.
Talk about a damn sad country song…
“We Had It All”
Keith and Willie also reunited for an encore of this performance at Willie’s 90th birthday celebration in April, and Keith Richards just turned 80 himself on December 18th.
While they’re almost 20 years older than the first time they did it, how damn cool is it that they’re both still kickin’ ass and performing for thousands of fans?