After “Rainy Day Woman” stopped at the No. 2 spot, Waylon Jennings returned to the No. 1 spot with a double-sided record. In this record, he used two icons of country music from an earlier era. On the A-side of the record was “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way,” a song that implies Nashville had grown stagnant. On the other side or the B side, “Bob Will Is Still The King,” a message to Willie Nelson.
The Amazing Recording of “Are You Sure Hank Done it this Way”
Waylon Jennings started with two lines with “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way.” He started to write the song while driving from his friend Jack Clement’s recording studio. With one hand on the stirring wheel, he wrote the song at the back of an envelope. Waylon finished the song before he arrived at the studio on Belmont Boulevard. He placed the envelope on a music stand and recorded the song that day.
Two weeks after, one of Waylon Jennings’ associates came to him with the envelope then asked,
“Do you care if I have this?” Waylon said, “What is it?” The guy replied, “It’s your original lyrics on ‘Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way’.”
Waylon looked at the envelope and couldn’t read a single word of it. He was astonished that he could record the song from that scrap paper. He thought that he could’ve only done something like that because the song was fresh from his mind after just writing it on the way to the studio.
The Funny Story behind Bob Wills is Still the King
The Country Music Outlaw wrote the song “Bob Wills Is Still The King” on a plane between Dallas and Austin, Texas. He was on his way to his concert performance. Waylon Jennings intended this song to be a message to his friend Willie Nelson. He wrote the song because of a spurred anger over a booking disagreement between him and the Redheaded Stranger. Their dispute didn’t last very long, however, the song did. Unfortunately, Bob Wills passed away on May 13, 1975. His untimely death was between the time Waylon was recoding “Bob Wills Is Still The King” and the release of it as a single. Sadly, Bob Wills never heard the tribute song.
Unlike any other songs, Waylon Jennings’ “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way” and “Bob Wills Is Still The King” both listed on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles Chart. Both songs reached the No. 1 spot on November 15, 1975. Both songs were packaged in his album, “Dreaming My Dreams,” his first album that reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Albums Chart.
Watch the video below and you might laugh on how Waylon told the story why he really wrote the “Bob Will Is Still The King.”
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