My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys (song)

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"My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys"
Single by Willie Nelson
from the album The Electric Horseman: Music from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
B-side "Rising Star (Love Theme)"
Released January 1980
Genre Country
Length 3:06
Label Columbia Records
Songwriter(s) Sharon Vaughn
Producer(s) Sydney Pollack
Larry Rosen
Willie Nelson singles chronology
"Help Me Make It Through the Night"
"My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys"
"Midnight Rider"

"Help Me Make It Through the Night"
"My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys"
"Midnight Rider"

"My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys" was recorded by Waylon Jennings on the 1976 album Wanted! The Outlaws, and further popularized in 1980 by Willie Nelson as a single on the soundtrack to The Electric Horseman. "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys" was written by Sharon Vaughn and Nelson's version was his fifth number one on the country chart. The single stayed at number one for two weeks and spent a total of fourteen weeks on the country chart.[1]

Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.[2]


The narrator compares his child dream to become a cowboy and the reality he faces when he actually became a cowboy, and finds a strong contrast between the two.[3]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1980) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[4] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[5] 44
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 3


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 245.
  2. ^ Western Writers of America (2010). "The Top 100 Western Songs". American Cowboy. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014.
  3. ^ Randall, Alice; Carter Little; Courtney Little (2006). My Country Roots: The Ultimate MP3 Guide to America's Original Outsider Music. Thomas Nelson, Inc. p. 92. ISBN 1-59555-860-8.
  4. ^ "Willie Nelson Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  5. ^ "Willie Nelson Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.