Story Behind the Song: Good Hearted Woman

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Tony Maples Photography


When Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson team up, the world expects nothing less than greatness. Thankfully, we were never proven wrong, especially with their 1971 hit, “Good Hearted Woman”. Can you guess where the idea for the song came from?

Well, Jennings and Nelson found themselves on tour together at a stop in Forth Worth, Texas in 1969. Jennings was casually flipping through the television channels when he came across a commercial that promoted Tina Turner, a starlet and singer that was just hitting her stride following her headlining tour in Las Vegas with her husband, Ike Turner. The commercial called her, specifically, “a good hearted woman loving two-timing men.”

Jennings had a spark of inspiration and immediately went directly to Nelson to talk about it. Where was ol’ Willie? In the middle of a poker game, actually, and his wife, Connie, wrote the lines down as the two country music outlaws bounced ideas back and forth.

The song became the title track of Jennings’ 1972 album, Good Hearted Woman, and the pair has performed the duet many times for eager crowds. In fact, Tina Turner herself even performed a rendition of it on her later album, Soul Deep.

Watch the original duo, Jennings and Nelson perform it below and let the music take you away.