January 30

LeAnn Rimes Revives Waylon Jennings’ “A Good Hearted Woman”

Country singer LeAnn Rimes has rendered several songs by country music pioneers and has always done right by them. One of those songs was Waylon Jennings’ 1972 hit “A Good Hearted Woman,” which he co-wrote with his friend and fellow legend Willie Nelson. 

The Child Superstar

LeAnn Rimes was just 11 when she had her very first hit song, “Blue.” And while some become one-hit wonders, Rimes earned hit after hit, success after success, establishing herself as one of the genre’s best and most influential vocalists. Throughout her career in country (as LeAnn Rimes’s songs eventually transitioned into pop music), she has become a master of classic covers. 

In fact, in 2011, she released her tenth studio album and second cover album, Lady & Gentlemen. It was a wordplay on her reinterpretation of a collection of country classics sung by Vince Gill, her co-producer on the album, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, and Waylon Jennings. 

“A Good Hearted Woman”

Waylon Jennings wrote this song with his good friend Willie Nelson after he saw an ad in the newspaper. They called Tina Turner, married to her then-husband Ike Turner, “ a good-hearted woman loving two-timing men.” They were in the middle of a poker game, and the song just came to them. Nelson’s then-wife Connie Koepke wrote the lyrics as the two musicians dictated. 

Their duet version was a massive hit, topping the country charts and making it to the Top 25 on the Hot 100 chart. It even earned them a Single of the Year award at the CMAs. 

LeAnn Rimes gave that song justice, which proved a big challenge. As Taste of Country noted, the song had a rambunctious characteristic, and the scars in the original singers’ voices made it the music it was. And Rimes’ beautiful voice couldn’t quite duplicate that. Nevertheless, she tried. 

In her version, she steered from her default brassy and belting style and delivered it as Jennings and Nelson did, staying faithful to the original. In her live song performance, she showcased her high level of musicianship. During the musical breaks, she enjoyed the stage and danced, encouraging the audience to do the same. 

Here’s LeAnn Rimes’ performance of “A Good Hearted Woman.” Enjoy!


Tags

LeAnn Rimes, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson


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