“Your Cheatin’ Heart” is a song written and recorded by country music singer-songwriter Hank Williams in 1952. It is regarded as one of country’s most important standards. Williams was inspired to write the song while driving with his fianceé from Nashville, Tennessee, to Shreveport, Louisiana. After describing his first wife Audrey Sheppard as a “Cheatin’ Heart”, he dictated in minutes the lyrics to Billie Jean Jones. Produced by Fred Rose, Williams recorded the song on his last session at Castle Records in Nashville, Tennessee, on September 23.
“Your Cheatin’ Heart” was released in January 1953. Propelled by Williams’ recent death during a trip to a New Year’s concert in Canton, Ohio, the song became an instant success. It topped Billboard’s Country & Western chart for six weeks, while over a million units were sold. The success of the song continued. Joni James’ version reached number two on Billboard’s Most Played in Jukeboxes the same year, while Ray Charles’ 1962 version reached number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 and 13 on the UK Singles Chart. The song ranked at 213 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and was ranked number 5 on Country Music Television’s 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music.
Released January 1953
Recorded September 23, 1952
Studio Castle Studios, Nashville, Tennessee
Genre Country, honky-tonk, blues
Label MGM (K11416-B)
Songwriter(s) Hank Williams
Producer(s) Fred Rose