“Mind Your Own Business” is a country music staple song, and being able to enjoy two generations of Williams’ singing is a treat. Hank Williams first recorded the blues-inspired single in 1949 at Castle Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. The song’s lyrics talk about a town busybody who likes to gossip, and many think the lyrics had to do with his relationship with Audrey Williams, which often got a lot of press.
The first wife of Williams had a notorious relationship with the press. From Audrey being the band’s manager, fighting Williams for the limelight, the abuse of alcohol seeping back into the relationship, and rumors of infidelity, their relationship was talked about quite a bit in the Nashville scene.
It’s believed that Williams wrote the song telling everyone to “Mind Your Own Business” when it came to his personal relationships, with the opening line of the song being:
“If the wife and I are fussin’, brother, that’s our right ‘Cause me and that sweet woman’s got a license to fight Why don’t you mind your own business?”
It seems he was making that message loud and clear.
Although Hank Williams Jr. hated being compared to his father and pioneered his own outlaw song, he couldn’t help but pay tribute here and there to the strangers that his date wrote. He hit the studio in 1986 to re-record the single and, of course, added his own Hank Williams Jr. flair to the track.
Bocephus enlisted the help of Reba McEntire, Tom Petty, Reverend Ike, and Willie Nelson to record the song. Making it a honky tonk good time in the studio, and you can feel the energy of the friends belting out the exact words Sr. sang nearly 40 years prior.
Reba adds a fun perspective of the “wife” singing back and forth with all the men, saying that everyone needs to mind their own business. The song topped the charts shortly after it was released and stayed at number one on the Billboard Country Chart for two consecutive weeks.
“Mind Your Own Business” is a jukebox staple, and either version will be a crowd favorite when fired up… but personally, I favor the Jr.’s version. You can’t beat the silly, smooth vocals of Bocephus combined with these all-star features.
For fun, here is Hank Williams Sr.’s version of the track.