January 9

An Outlaw Duet, “Just To Satisfy You” by Jennings and Nelson

An Outlaw Duet, “Just To Satisfy You” by Jennings and Nelson 1

The Birth of a Hit

The song “Just to Satisfy You” is a tune that was written by Waylon Jennings and Don Bowman way back in 1960. The two had worked together as a disc jockey in Lubbock. Eventually, they have to go their separate ways. Bowman lived and took a job in El Paso and Jennings moved to Phoenix, Arizona. However, they kept in touch with each other and on occasion, Bowman would go to Phoenix to write songs with Jennings. One of those time that Bowman visited Jennings, they have written the song “Just To Satisfy You”. Jennings wasn’t happy with the song at first and he and Don threw it away.

At first, Waylon wasn’t happy with the song “Just To Satisfy You” and he and Don had contemplated just throwing it away. Then at the last minute, they decided to write another verse and a bridge. The verse and the bride made it right and it kept the piece from being tossed in the trash can.

Recordings of the Song

Waylon Jennings recorded “Just To Satisfy You” several times. The first was for A & M Records. It included a harpsichord in the arrangement. It was produced by Herb Alpert. Jennings also cut the song for his RCA audition. Cutting the song was an important ingredient in him being signed to the label by executive Chet Atkins.

Another RCA artist Bobby Bare, released “Just To Satisfy You” in 1965 and it was very well-done. However, his version failed to become a big hit. For some reason, Bobby Bare always had trouble landing in the upper rungs of the national playlists. His version topped at No. 31.

It wasn’t until 1982 when Jennings teamed with Willie Nelson on “Just To Satisfy You” for the “Black On Black” album. The song finally made its destination to the No. 1 spot. Jennings found out later that co-writer Don Bowman had been secretly meeting with Nelson. Bowman was trying to influence him to record “Just To Satisfy You” on the duet sessions with Jennings. It was Nelson’s idea to do it more than Jennings’s.

It proved to be a timely decision for Nelson when “Just To Satisfy You” followed his No. 1 hit “Always On My Mind” to the top. As a result, He spent four consecutive weeks at the summit of Billboard’s country singles chart with two different songs. The occasion marked only the ninth time in history that the same performer sewed up the No. 1 plateau with back-to-back singles.


just to satisfy you, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson

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