When Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson teamed up for “Good Hearted Woman,” the world expected nothing less than greatness. Jennings recorded the song as the title track of his 1972 album of the same name, and it peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard’s Hot Country Singles.
Three years later, Jennings remixed the song for the album Wanted: The Outlaws!. He added vocals from Willie Nelson, including fake crowd noise that gave the song a live feel – and it turned out to be a big hit. The song elevated Jennings and Nelson into the upper echelons of the outlaw country movement as it reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles and at No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100.
It even won the Single of the Year award in the 1976 Country Music Association Awards, while the album became the first country album to ever be certified platinum for selling one million units. “Good Hearted Woman” definitely took Jennings and Nelson to the mainstream audiences, giving them nationwide recognition.
A Song Written By Two Country Legends
“Good Hearted Woman” was written by the two country legends themselves. Waylon Jennings said to have a spark of inspiration from an article in a newspaper promoting Tina Turner as a “good hearted woman loving two-timing men,” which was a reference to her then-husband, Ike Turner.
Later that night, he met up with Willie Nelson for a poker game in Fort Worth, Texas, and told him the concept. After the game, the two bounced ideas back and forth. As they thought the lyrics out loud, Nelson’s then-wife Connie Koepke wrote them down. Can you imagine a much better writing session than that?
Ever since then, the duo has performed the duet many times for eager crowds. Interestingly, Tina Turner herself even performed a rendition of it on her later album, Soul Deep.
“She’s a good hearted woman, in love with a good timin’ man. And she loves him in spite of his ways that she don’t understand. And through teardrops and laughter, they’ll pass through this world hand in hand. Now this good hearted woman, in love with her good timin’ man,” the song goes.
This chart-topper is absolutely one of the foremost examples of great country music. It stayed relevant throughout decades in a timeless way that not many songs do. Enjoy Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson’s incredible performance of “Good Hearted Woman” in the video below.