Country Throwback: Willie Nelson Brings Waylon Jennings on Stage for ‘Good Hearted Woman’ in 1983

by Suzanne Halliburton
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Hop in the way back. We’re taking a trip to California, circa, 1983. That’s when Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings rocked a California festival crowd with some country classics.

The two sang “Good Hearted Woman.” It’s vintage Jennings, with so much added Nelson flavor. You need this for your Wednesday.

Willie and Waylon Played “Country Day” at The US Festival

For the performance, Willie Nelson asked Jennings to join him on stage.

He told Jennings: “A while ago we rehearsed the song. Now that you’re here, we can do it for real. “

Then Nelson directed a question to the crowd. “Is that all right with you folks?”

Yes, please.

Down in Texas, Willie and Waylon always were synonymous with each other. The song “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)” reached near anthem status in the Lone Star State in the late 1970s. Jennings released it in 1977. Nelson was a guest vocalist on the song, which reached No. 1 status in 1977.

The two also combined with Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson to form the super group “The Highwaymen.”

Nelson and Jennings sang at the US Festival in Glen Helen Regional Park San Bernadino, Calif.

Steve Wozniak, one of the original creators of Apple, actually organized the concert. And the festival boasted a terrific lineup, both rock and country. Other singers and acts included U2, Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie, Ozzy Osbourne, Van Halen, the Police and the Clash. The country acts included Hank Williams Jr., Alabama and Emmylou Harris.

June 4 was designated as country day.

Get A Taste Of Their Set Lists

Jennings and Nelson played the crowd favorites.

Nelson’s set list included the classics “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain” and “Whiskey River.” Jennings sang his hits including “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way.” He also delighted the crowd with the theme song from “Dukes of Hazzard,” which was then one of the most popular shows on TV.

Jennings also joined Nelson for “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys.”

The song “Good Hearted Woman” was written by both of them back in the late 1960s. Jennings said he was inspired when he saw an ad for Tina Turner in a Fort Worth newspaper. The ad said Turner was a “good-hearted woman loving two-timing men.”

And a song was born.

Of course, Nelson and Jennings also sang about Luckenbach. The two couldn’t be together on a stage and ignore that song.

Here’s a taste of that song from another appearance.

Jennings Died In 2002

Jennings, a native of Littlefield, Texas, died in 2002, a year after he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He was only 64. He started limiting his appearances in 1997.

Nelson, meanwhile, is a mellow 87. He’s had some health problems. But he still has shows planned for 2021.

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