Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson Wrote ‘Good Hearted Woman’ During a Poker Game
At this point, if you enter into a poker game with Willie Nelson and wind up losing all your cash, you've got no one to blame but yourself. The country legend's fondness for high-stakes games and getting his opponents stoned in order to win is well-documented; heck, Jack Johnson even wrote a song about how Nelson sharked him at the cards table!
Still if there's anyone who can best a country legend at poker, it's another country legend, right? Well ... maybe. While it's unclear what amount of money he may have lost in the process, Waylon Jennings gained an iconic country song during a poker game with Nelson, according to American Songwriter.
Jennings was still a relatively green writer when he sat down at the poker table with Nelson and played him a then-new song he'd been working on called "Good Hearted Woman." In the middle of the game, Nelson added in the line, "Through teardrops and laughter / We'll walk through this world hand in hand" -- and, as the saying goes, the rest is history.
According to Jennings' wife, Jessi Colter, the song -- and resulting his partnership and friendship with Nelson -- helped jump-start the artist's confidence in his ability as a songwriter. The track also helped establish Jennings' outlaw style, and advanced both his and Nelson's mainstream fame in the early 1970s. Jennings recorded "Good Hearted Woman" as the title track for the first of two projects he released in 1972, and Nelson also released a version of the song that same year.
For more reasons why you should never challenge Nelson to a poker game, press play above to watch the latest installment of The Secret History of Country Music. The new video series comes from The Boot's partner site Taste of Country.
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