HomeEntertainmentMusicOn This Day: Waylon Jennings Scores First-Ever No. 1 Hit With ‘This Time’ in 1974

On This Day: Waylon Jennings Scores First-Ever No. 1 Hit With ‘This Time’ in 1974

by Brandi Stillings
Photo by Beth Gwinn/Getty Images

In 1974, “This Time” hits No. 1 on Billboard lists as the iconic musicians’ first-ever song to reach the top of the chart. On this day, nearly 50 years ago, the singer, songwriter, and guitarist Waylon Jennings rightfully earned his place. Not only was he a talented music artist, Jennings pioneered the Outlaw Country movement.

Starting out his famed career as a deejay, Jennings also performed in Buddy Holly’s band. In 1959, he covered the Cajun traditional song “Jole Blon” as his debut single.

During the next decade, Jennings made a few memorable achievements. Per Taste of Country, they included his 1966 cover of “(That’s What You Get) For Lovin’ Me” that climbed to No. 9, along with “Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line,” a No. 2 track. Not until June 22, 1974, he surprised everybody with his dominating chart-topper.

The hit single, with the same name as its album, was written and performed by Jennings. Based on a struggling romantic relationship, “This Time” involves a partner who decides to give the other one another chance and only one more. According to the song’s lyrics, which read:

“This time if you want me to come back it’s up to you / But remember I won’t allow the things you used to do / You’re gonna have to toe the mark and walk the line / This time will be the last time.”

Country Musician Waylon Jennings Remains on Top; After “This Time” Hit No. 1

Following his initial success, the legendary country star began to head down a new road. Jennings produced a trio of No. 1 titles, which included “Ramblin’ Man,” “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way,” and then “Good-Hearted Woman” in 1975. However, he didn’t stop there.

During the 1970s, Jennings broke ground with “Outlaw” style songs. The unique music genre describes the criminal or prisoner’s point of view against law enforcement. Characterized as rock and folk music, it also features the lifestyle and relationships that surround criminals.

Covered by Outsider, his most popular single was “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love).” It topped Hot Country Songs chart on May 21, 1977, and didn’t leave its spot for six weeks straight. The hit song came from his most profitable album, “Ol’ Waylon,” which went platinum with over one million copies sold.

While recording “Luckenbach, Texas,” Jennings asked legend Willie Nelson to help with vocals. Once the single debuted on the chart, it took less than a month to reach the top.

His acclaimed career continued to produce a total of 15 No.1 singles. Over a decade later, per Taste of Country, Waylon Jennings made chart-topping songs until 1986. Then, his track “Rose in Paradise” ended the Billboard streak.

Towards the end, the influential singer would randomly perform and record music until his death in February 2002.