The Making of “Wild Side of Life”

William Warren’s heart was broken when a girl he met left him. It was a painful experience for him, but at the same time, it became a good thing for him, too. This experience of Warren led him to co-write the song “Wild Side of Life.” This classic song hit the top of the charts when Hank Thompson released it in 1952.

Hank Thompson The Wild Side of Life

Photo Credit: https://www.allmusic.com

The Song’s Content

“Wild Side of Life” was Thompson’s first number one song on the chart. The single tells the story of the narrator’s experience with a woman he once loved. He was left behind by his lover whom he called honky-tonk angel.

“I didn’t know God made honky tonk angels

I might have known you’d never make a wife

You gave up the only one that ever loved you

And went back to the wild side of life.”

Kitty Wells’ “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”

Kitty Wells It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels

Photo Credit: https://www.gettyimages.com, GAB Archive/Redferns

The song fired up an answer back single known as “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels.” Kitty Wells, who was the woman behind the song’s success, released this single in 1952. It has the same melody as “Wild Side of Life.” Wells became the first female singer to reach number one on the Billboard country chart.

“It wasn’t God who made Honky Tonk angels

As you said in the words of your song

There’s many times married men think they’re still single

That has caused many a good girl to go wrong.”

Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter’s Medley

These two big hit songs have been covered by many artists, but one of the most notable versions was the recording of Jessi Colter and Waylon Jennings. In 1981, the known country couple released a medley of the song “Wild Side of Life” and “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels.” Their collaboration reached number ten on the Billboard country chart. In addition, their recording was part of their first album, Leather and Lace.

Here’s the incredible performance of Jessi Colter and Waylon Jennings.