Usually, when you see a musician on television, they’re plugging something. They talk about their new or upcoming release first and foremost. Then, they perform their latest single. It’s a great way to get music in the ears of a whole new audience. At the same time, it gives existing fans something to be excited about. That’s the formula and it works. However, Waylon Jennings wasn’t a big fan of any kind of formula.
Waylon Jennings released the chart-topping album Music Man in May of 1980. That album produced two singles. The most well-known of those was the Dukes of Hazzard theme song. The other was a cover of J.J. Cale’s “Clyde.”
However, it seems like Waylon Jennings didn’t want to play one of the singles from the record in this TV appearance. In fact, Hoss never released the Harlan Howard-penned, “Nashville Wimmin,” as a single. The video below just goes to show that sometimes the album cuts are just as good as the singles if not better.
Some More Great Waylon Jennings Album Cuts
While we’re on the subject of killer Waylon Jennings songs that weren’t released as singles, let’s look at two more.
We’ll start with one of Waylon Jennings’ most popular albums, Honky Tonk Heroes. The album was huge. It helped to codify the Outlaw Country sound. It also produced two solid singles. The first was “We Had It All.” Hoss followed that up with “You Ask Me To,” a co-write with Billy Joe Shaver. Both of them are good tunes. However, if I were going to steer someone to a track from the album I’d go with, “Ain’t No God in Mexico.” That driving bassline gets my foot tapping every time I hear it. On top of that, what’s more outlaw than going to jail in Mexico?
Next, let’s look at the 1977 album Waylon and Willie. It’s a classic album that produced two killer singles. The lead single was “The Wurlitzer Prize (I Don’t Want to Get Over You.” However, the follow-up single is the better-known of the two. In fact, “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” might be one of the best-known country songs of all time.
But, the album is Waylon Jennings teaming up with Willie Nelson. So, you know it’s full of gold. My pick from the album is “I Can Get off on You,” a Jennings/Nelson co-write. It’s a love song about how they don’t need weed, pills, cocaine, or whiskey because the love of their woman gets them high enough.
It doesn’t matter if you’re listening to Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, or a more current artist, it always pays to look past the singles. Dig through those albums. Your favorite song is waiting to be discovered.