Hank Williams – Dear John

"Dear John" is a song written by Tex Ritter and Aubrey Gass. It is best remembered for being the A-side to Hank Williams' #1 hit "Cold, Cold Heart" in 1951 for MGM Records. "Dear John" rode on its coattails to #8 on the Billboard country singles chart.

Must Read
TruCountry Show
Porter Wagoner Show

“Dear John” is a song written by Tex Ritter and Aubrey Gass. It is best remembered for being the A-side to Hank Williams’ #1 hit “Cold, Cold Heart” in 1951 for MGM Records.

Single Hank Williams MGM 1951
Single Hank Williams MGM 1951

According to Colin Escott’s 2004 biography of Hank Williams, producer Fred Rose initially saw “Cold, Cold Heart” as a B-side and regarded “Dear John” a more appropriate A-side, since jukeboxes preferred up-tempo singles. The song was originally recorded by Jim Boyd, younger brother of Dallas-based western swing artist Bill Boyd. Eventually Tex Ritter got a credit on the song likely after promising songwriter Aubrey Gass he would get the song cut by a big name or get Gass a contract with his label Capitol if he got a piece of the composition. Williams recorded the song at the same session that he cut “Cold, Cold Heart,” with Fred Rose producing and backing from Jerry Rivers (fiddle), Don Helms (steel guitar), Sammy Pruett (electric guitar), Chet Atkins (rhythm guitar), and Ernie Newton or “Cedric Rainwater,” aka Howard Watts (bass). As Escott observes: “When Hank and the band hollered the tag line, ‘Dear John, I’ve sent your saddle home,’ it invited everyone in the bar, the auditorium, or even the car to holler right along. Once again, the upfront rhythm guitar carried the recording. Hank cruised at the brisk tempo, never once straining.”



“Cold, Cold Heart” shot to #1 in early 1951, and “Dear John” rode on its coattails to #8 on the Billboard country singles chart.

In 1996, “Dear John” was referenced by Tracy Lawrence’s single “Time Marches On”, featuring the lyrics “Hank Williams sings ‘Kaw-Liga’ and ‘Dear John’ and time marches on.” “Time Marches On” held the number one spot on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart for three weeks.

B-side “Cold, Cold Heart”
Released 1951
Recorded 1951
Genre Country, honky-tonk, blues
Length 2:33
Songwriter(s) Tex Ritter, Aubrey Gass
Producer(s) Fred Rose





Hank Williams – Dear John Lyrics

Well when I woke up this mornin’,
There was a note upon my door,
Said don’t make me no coffee Babe,
’cause I won’t be back no more,
And that’s all she wrote, Dear John,
I’ve sent your saddle home.

Now Jonah got along in the belly of the whale,
Daniel in the lion’s den,
But I know a guy that didn’t try to get along,
And he won’t get a chance again,
And that’s all she wrote, Dear John,
I’ve fetched your saddle home.

Well she didn’t forward no address,
Nor she didn’t say goodbye,
All she said was if you get blue,
Just hang your little head and cry,
And that’s all she wrote, Dear John,
I’ve sent your saddle home.

Now my gal’s short and stubby,
She’s strong as she can be,
But if that little old gal of mine,
Ever get’s a-hold of me,
That’s all she wrote, Dear John,
I’ve sent your saddle home.

Now Jonah got along in the belly of the whale,
Daniel in the lion’s den,
But I know a man that didn’t try to get along,
And he won’t get a chance again,
And that’s all she wrote, Dear John,
I’ve fetched your saddle home.

Now I went down to the bank this morning,
The cashier said with a grin,
I feel so sorry for you Hank,
But your wife has done been in,
And that’s all she wrote, Dear John,
I’ve sent your saddle home.

Single Hank Williams MGM 1951
Single Hank Williams MGM 1951
SourceWikipedia
POPULAR POSTS

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Pop! Goes The Country
Hee Haw

More Articles Like This