Released in 1940, “Time Changes Everything” was originally recorded by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys on April 16. Tommy Duncan, a vocalist with Wills and the band, conceived and composed the song. Since its release, it has become popular around the country as a western swing standard.
“Time Changes Everything” was written as a ballad that narrates a failed romance and a healed hurt through time. Every verse ends with:
“Time changes everything.”
“Time Changes Everything,” Its Original and Other Versions
On April 16, 1940, the Texas Playboys recorded “Time Changes Everything” during a recording session in Saginaw, Texas. OKeh label was the first to release the track. Since several have re-issued the song. It became one of the top singles of the said year. Artists ranging from Roy to Woody Herman and His Orchestra soon brought out competing records. The Roy Rogers’ version reached number four on Billboard’s Hillbilly…Hits chart in October 1941.
In Hollywood, California, the Playboys recorded another version of it on July 1, 1960. Again, many labels released the said version. Sometime in 1968, J. Preston using his vocals recorded another version in Nashville.
From then on, numerous artists have covered it. To name is tribute albums by George Jones—George Jones Sings Bob Wills). Another is Ray Price’s Ray Price Sings San Antonio Rose. Last is Merle Haggard in A Tribute to the Best Damn Fiddle Player in the World (or, My Salute to Bob Wills).
All through his career, Ol’ Merle has recorded tributes for Bob Wills. In 1973, he appeared on For the Last Time Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. Several years after (1994), Haggard collaborated with Asleep at the Wheel and many other artists were influenced by the music of Bob Wills. This album carries the title: Tribute to the Music of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. A Tribute was re-released on CD on the Koch label in 1995.
WATCH Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys sing “Time Changes Everything” from the film, Blazing the Western Trail:
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