YouTube/When The Cowboy Sings
It’s hard to imagine that there was a time when Waylon Jennings performed without a hat or a full beard. Believe it or not, in his early days, Jennings’ hair was always perfectly coiffed and his face was always freshly shaved, but his voice was just as amazing.
During a performance on The Johnny Cash Show, Jennings performed his hit song “Brown Eyed Handsome Man,” which climbed to number three on the country charts, making it Jennings’ third Top Five solo hit.
“Brown Eyed Handsome Man” was written by Chuck Berry, who released it in 1956. According to Rolling Stone, Berry wrote the song after he toured several heavily populated Latino and African American cities in California. “I didn’t see too many blue eyes,” Berry said. He witnessed a Hispanic man being arrested by a policeman for loitering when “some woman came up shouting for the policeman to let him go.”
Jennings released the tune as a single off his 1970 album Waylon, which is remembered as the beginning of his displeasure with the way his record label was taking his career.
A few albums later, he went from the poster boy of the Nashville Sound to a real country outlaw.
Although “Brown Eyed Handsome Man” was one of his last recordings as a clean-cut country singer, it is remembered as one of the best of his career.
Watch his performance below.