On This Date: Waylon Jennings Released “Luckenbach, Texas (Back To The Basics Of Love),” A Song He Didn’t Even Like

Waylon Jennings country music
Waylon Jennings/Youtube

Talk about an all-time classic.

On this date in 1977, Waylon Jennings released his classic country song with Willie Nelson “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love),” which ultimately became Waylon’s fifth #1 single when it topped the country charts later that year at the height of the country outlaw movement of the 1970’s.

The duet was included on Waylon’s Ol’ Waylon record, and was co-written by Chips Moman and Bobby Emmons, who proposed the song to Jennings because his “name’s in it.”

And I guess that was enough for him to say yes…

But funny enough, at the time it was written, neither Waylon nor any of the writers had ever even been to Luckenbach, Texas and in his 1996 book Waylon: An Autobiography, he noted:

“I knew it was a hit song, even though I didn’t like it, and still don’t.”

Though, he did say he understood why it became such a big hit:

“Every state has a Luckenbach; a place to get away from things.”

His drummer Richie Albright recalls Waylon talking about it in a later recording session, which is honestly my favorite part of the whole song and story of how it came to be:

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

God bless Waylon Jennings.

Of course, it ultimately became a country standard and one of the biggest hits of Waylon’s career, which he did indeed did have to sing at every show thereafter, so make sure you give this one a spin today in his honor:

And at a Waylon Jennings tribute concert a few years back, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Eric Church, Sturgill Simpson, Kacey Musgraves, Jamey Johnson, Ryan Bingham and more would perform the song to close out the show, and it’s absolutely incredible:


A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock