Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way

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"Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way"
Single by Waylon Jennings
from the album Dreaming My Dreams
B-side "Bob Wills Is Still the King"
Released August 1975
Genre Country
Length 3:02
Label RCA
Writer(s) Waylon Jennings
Producer(s) Waylon Jennings
Jack Clement
Waylon Jennings singles chronology
"Dreaming My Dreams with You"
(1975)
"Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way"
(1975)
"Can't You See"
(1976)

"Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" is a song written and performed by American country music artist Waylon Jennings. It was released in August 1975 as the first single from the album Dreaming My Dreams. The song became Waylon Jennings' fourth number one on the country chart as a solo artist. The single stayed at number one for one week and spent a total of sixteen weeks on the country chart.[1] The song was covered by Uncle Tupelo and released as a bonus track on their 2003 re-release of Anodyne.

The B-side to "Are You Sure ..." was "Bob Wills is Still the King," a tribute to the music of Wills. Although it never charted on its own, "Bob Wills ... " gained airplay and continues to be a staple at classic country radio stations.

Song content[edit]

"Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" pays homage to the influence of Hank Williams Sr. in country music and criticizes the glitz that had come to characterize top-selling country artists in the 1970s, through references to "rhinestone suits" and "new shiny cars." [2]

Cover versions[edit]

Country band Alabama covered the song in 2010 for the Waylon Jennings tribute album, The Music Inside: A Collaboration Dedicated to Waylon Jennings, Volume One, which was released on February 8, 2011. Alabama's version was released as a single on December 13, 2010 via The Valory Music Co.

The song was also included on the soundtrack for the 2009 film Crazy Heart.

Pat Green and Cory Morrow covered the song on the album Songs We Wish We'd Written in 2001.

Clint Black covered the song on his 1999 album D'lectrified, inserting Jennings' name in place of Williams'. Black's version adds an extended instrumental section, and features Jennings as a guest vocalist.

Chequered Past, featuring singer/actor Michael Des Barres, covered this song on their 1984 eponymous album.

Robert Earl Keen contributed a cover of the song to Lonesome, On'ry and Mean: A Tribute to Waylon Jennings.

Chart performance[edit]

Waylon Jennings[edit]

Chart (1975) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 60
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 21

Alabama[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
position
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[3] 53

In popular culture[edit]

The song was featured in a Grand Theft Auto V trailer for the wild, hard-living main character, Trevor Philips. The song is also in the video game's soundtrack on the in-game radio station, Rebel Radio.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 174. 
  2. ^ Allmusic Song Review.
  3. ^ "Alabama Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Alabama.
  4. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieNFsir920g
Preceded by
"I'm Sorry" by John Denver
Billboard Hot Country Singles number-one single
November 15, 1975
Succeeded by
"Rocky" by Dickey Lee