Alan Jackson Sings “Your Cheatin’ Heart” In Honor Of Hank Williams’ 100th Birthday
Alan Jackson / Instagram / George Rinhart / Corbis via Getty Images
Sunday (September 17) marked what would have been Hank Williams’ 100th birthday, and tributes and cover performances were posted in abundance on social media to mark the occasion.
But, one cover stood out above the rest as Alan Jackson sang an acoustic cover of Williams’ “Your Cheatin’ Heart.” For the video, Alan sat in front of a camera with his guitar in hand as he sang the familiar lyrics.
Your cheatin’ heart will make you weepYou’ll cry and cry and try to sleep But sleep won’t come the whole night through Your cheatin’ heart will tell on you
At the conclusion of the video, Alan wished Hank a happy birthday, saying: “Happy 100th birthday, Hank. I don’t think I’d be here without you.”
“Your Cheatin’ Heart” was written by Hank Williams in September 1952 after his marriage to Audrey Sheppard fell apart. While driving with Billie Jean Jones, who would become his second wife, he referred to his ex as a “cheatin’ heart,” and it inspired him to write a song.
“He said, ‘Hey that’d make a good song! Get out my tablet, baby, you and I are gonna write us a song,’” Billie Jean recalled. “Just about as fast as I could write it, Hank quoted the words to me in a matter of minutes.”
Williams recorded the song shortly after writing it in what would be his last recording session. Hank Williams died less than four months later at the age of 29 following a heart attack.
“Your Cheatin’ Heart” was the first song released after his death in January 1953. The song became one of the biggest hits of Williams’ career, topping the Billboard Country Chart for 6 weeks, selling more than 1 million copies and being named one of the greatest songs of all time by Rolling Stone.
The iconic tune would be covered by numerous artists in the years that followed, including Ray Charles, Patsy Cline, Elvis Presley, LeAnn Rimes and Williams’s son, Hank Williams Jr.
Alan Jackson’s timely tribute celebrating Williams’ 100th birthday is a testimony to the legacy Hank left behind and the influence he had on country music.
Listen to Alan Jackson’s tribute below.