46 Years Ago: Waylon & Willie Record “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”
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Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson recorded their now-iconic song “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” on November 16, 1977.
The legendary duo released “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” as the second single off their duet album Waylon & Willie.
Waylon & Willie album included 11 songs.
The first single released off this album was “The Wurlitzer Prize (I Don’t Want to Get Over You),” which dropped in September 1977.
The other songs on the album are “The Year 2003 Minus 25,” “Pick Up The Tempo,” “If You Can Touch Her At All,” “Lookin’ for a Feeling,” “It’s Not Supposed To Be That Way,” “Don’t Cuss the Fiddle,” Gold Dust Woman,” “A Couple More Years,” and “I Can Get Off on You.”
Recently, Waylon’s grandson, Whey Jennings, and Willie’s granddaughter, Raelyn Nelson, joined forces to cover their song “I Can Get Off On You.”
“Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” is actually a cover.
Ed Bruce first recorded the song for his 1976 self-titled album. It was written by him and his wife, fellow country star Patsy Bruce. His version went to number 15 on the Hot Country Singles chart. Other notable covers include one by Chris LeDoux.
Waylon and Willie’s spent four weeks at the top of the country music charts and won the Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. Nelson’s solo version was featured in the Robert Redford and Jane Fonda movie The Electric Horseman.
Since Waylon’s passing in 2002, it has been hard to see Willie perform this song alone, but when he does take on new duet partners, he chooses them wisely. In this particular video, he enlisted his son, Lukas, to sing Waylon’s parts as well as the harmony, and you will not be disappointed.
Lukas and Waylon’s son, Shooter, actually recorded the song and it became the theme song of the Netflix show The Ranch, which starred Sam Elliott and Ashton Kutcher.
Watch Waylon and Willie perform their duet over the years.