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In April 1977, Waylon Jennings released what would go on to become one of his signature songs.
As the first single from his album Ol’Waylon, “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)” was an instant fan favorite. It managed to claim the top spot on the Billboard country chart little over a month after its release.
The song was also one of Jennings’ biggest crossover hits, after it took the 25th spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
What made the song extra appealing to fans was the fact that another major country star joined Jennings on the final refrain.
Who was it? Well, none other than outlaw legend and Jennings’ future Highwaymen band member, Willie Nelson.
Both Jennings and Nelson have their names mentioned in the song, which was written by respected songwriters Bobby Emmons and Chips Moman.
The song follows a couple experiencing extreme martial problems, despite being part of high society and having everything they could ever want. The narrator in the song plays the part of the husband, and tries to encourage his wife to take off with him to Luckenbach so they can start a new life, as he sings:
“Let’s go to Luckenbach, Texas
With Waylon and Willie and the boys
This successful life we’re livin’
Got us feuding like the Hatfields and McCoys.”
Nelson was not always able to join Jennings for live performances of the song, but he is featured on the recorded version.
He may only sing at the end of the song, but the short moment of him singing along with Jennings is simply spectacular. Years later, he performed the song with over a dozen other artists in a star-studded collaboration all in honor of Jennings. Check out that video below!
This is one song we can never get out of our heads after we listen to it, and we’re perfectly alright with that!
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