Good Hearted Woman (song)

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"Good Hearted Woman"
Waylon Jennings 'Good Hearted Woman' 1972 single.jpg
Single by Waylon Jennings
from the album Good Hearted Woman
B-side "It's All Over Now"
Released December 14, 1971
Format 7" single
Recorded September 1, 1971
Genre Country
Length 3:01
Label RCA Records
Songwriter(s) Waylon Jennings
Willie Nelson
Producer(s) Ronny Light
Waylon Jennings singles chronology
"Cedartown, Georgia"
"Good Hearted Woman"
"Sweet Dream Woman"
"Cedartown, Georgia"
"'Good Hearted Woman"
"Sweet Dream Woman"
Audio sample
"Waylon Jennings - Good Hearted Woman"

"Good Hearted Woman" is a song written by country music singers Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. In 1969, Jennings and Nelson were staying in a motel in Fort Worth, Texas. Jennings was inspired to write the song after reading an advertisement that promoted Ike and Tina Turner. Jennings joined Nelson during a poker game and told him about the idea. The singers completed the song while Nelson's wife, Connie Koepke, wrote it down.

Jennings recorded the single for the same time as the title-track of his 1972 album, peaking at number three on the Billboard's Hot Country Singles. Jennings and Nelson recorded duet version in 1975, that was later included in Wanted: The Outlaws!. It peaked at number one on Billboard's Hot Country Singles and at number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was awarded with the Single of the Year award by the Country Music Association and gave Jennings and Nelson nationwide recognition.


In 1969, while staying at the Fort Worther Motel in Fort Worth, Texas,[1] Waylon Jennings was inspired to start writing the song when he saw an advertisement on a newspaper promoting Tina Turner as a "good hearted woman loving two-timing men", a reference to Ike Turner.[2] Jennings went to talk to Nelson, who was in a middle of a poker game. He joined the game, and told Nelson about his idea. While they kept playing, they expanded the lyrics as Nelson's wife Connie Koepke was writing them down.[1]


Jennings recorded the song for the first time as the title track of his 1972 album Good Hearted Woman,[1][3] the single peaked at number three on the Billboard's Hot Country Singles.[4] In 1975, Jennings remixed the song, adding vocals from Willie Nelson (and adding fake crowd noise to give it a live feel) for the album Wanted: The Outlaws!. The album cemented the pair's outlaw image and became country music's first platinum album.[5] The song peaked at number one on Billboard's Hot Country Singles and at number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100.[6] The song won the Single of the Year award in the 1976 Country Music Association Awards,[7] and took Jennings and Nelson to the mainstream audiences, giving them nationwide recognition.[8][9]

Cover versions[edit]

  • In 1976, a duet version of "Good Hearted Woman" performed by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson became the first of three number ones on the country chart for the duo.
  • The 2005 album Texas Fed, Texas Bred: Redefining Country Music, Volume 1 includes a cover version performed by Guy Clark.
  • LeAnn Rimes recorded a version of the song for her 2011 release, Lady & Gentlemen.
  • Tina Turner recorded a version on Soul Deep.
  • Hank Williams III recorded a version of the song on his 2012 release Long Gone Daddy.


Waylon Jennings[edit]

Chart (1971-1972) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[10] 3
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1

Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson[edit]

Chart (1976) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 25
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Singles 16
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 5
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 6


  1. ^ a b c Horstman, Dorothy 1996, p. 104.
  2. ^ "Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson - Good Hearted Woman". New Musical Express. IPC MEDIA. Retrieved June 3, 2012. 
  3. ^ Horstman, Dorothy 1996, p. 426.
  4. ^ "Billboard Hot Country Singles". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 84 (10): 52. March 11, 1972. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved June 4, 2012. 
  5. ^ Hartman, Gary 2008, p. 175.
  6. ^ "Wanted! The Outlaws". Allmusic. Allrovi. Retrieved June 4, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Country's Toppers Honored by CMA". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. October 23, 1976. Retrieved June 3, 2012. 
  8. ^ Larkin, Colin 2002, p. 196.
  9. ^ Busby, Mark 2004, p. 332.
  10. ^ "Waylon Jennings – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Waylon Jennings.

Works cited

  • Busby, Mark (2004). The Southwest. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780313328053. 
  • Hartman, Gary (2008). The History Of Texas Music. Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 9781603440028. 
  • Horstman, Dorothy (1996). Sing Your Heart Out, Country Boy. Country Music Foundation. ISBN 9780915608195. 
  • Larkin, Colin (2002). The Virgin Encyclopedia of 70s Music. Virgin. ISBN 9781852279479. 
Preceded by
"Ann (Don't Go Runnin')"
by Tommy Overstreet
RPM Country Tracks number-one single
(Waylon Jennings version)

March 18, 1972
Succeeded by
by Lynn Anderson
Preceded by
"The White Knight"
by Cledus Maggard & The Citizen's Band
Billboard Hot Country Singles number-one single
(Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson version)

February 21 - March 6, 1976
Succeeded by
"The Roots of My Raising"
by Merle Haggard