Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way, song written and recorded by Waylon Jennings for the RCA label, was recorded on September 2, 1974, at Glaser Sound Studio, Nashville, Tennessee, along with two more songs (I RECALL A GYPSY WOMAN and THE DOOR IS ALWAYS OPEN), Waylon was accompanied in the recording session by: James Colvard (guitar), John B. Wilkin (guitar), Randy Scruggs (guitar), Merle Watson (guitar), Larry Whitmore (guitar), Billy R. Reynolds (guitar), Ralph Mooney (steel & dobro), Joe Allen and Duke Goff (bass), Kenny Malone and Ritchie Albright (drums), Charles Cochran (piano), Charlie McCoy and Roger Crabtree (harmonica) and Johnny Gimble & Buddy Spicher (fiddle). With the production of Waylon Jennings and Jack Clement, the single was released in August 1975, on November 15, 1975, reaching number # 1 on the US Hot Country Songs charts, and He kept the charts for 16 weeks. On the Canadian RPM Country Tracks charts, he reached number # 21. It was the third number one of the Waylon career.
The song was included in Waylon’s twenty-second studio album, Dreaming My Dreams (RCA 1975), the album was released in June 1975, reached # 1 on the charts of U.S Top Country Albums. The album was certified gold in the USA.
Story behind the song:
This song is about how country music has gone downhill since the death of Hank Williams.
His return to number one was a double-sided hit that used two icons of country music from a previous era to relay Jennings’s criticism in the establishment of Music City (on one side of the record) and his tribute to a friend (in the other side). The “A” side, “Are you sure Hank did it this way?”, He made reference to Hank Williams while insinuating that Nashville had stalled. Basically, Waylon had only two lines when he started driving from his house to Jack Clement’s recording studio. With one hand on the wheel, he wrote down the rest of the song on the back of an envelope, completing “Are you sure Hank did it this way?” Just before arriving at the studio on Belmont Boulevard. Placing the envelope on a lectern, Jennings recorded it that same day.
In a rare event, the two songs on the album, “Are You Sure Hank has done it this way” and “Bob Wills is still the king” were jointly placed in the list of Hot Country Singles Billboard, making his first appearance On September 6, 1975, it reached No. 1 ten weeks later, on November 15, marking the third of its 16 Waylon top-charters. Both tunes were packaged in “Dreaming My Dreams” Jennings’s first album which reached number one on the Billboard album chart in the country.
Hank Williams Jr. 1981 (Elektra)
Billy Cole Red 1982 (Phonorama)
Clint Black 1999 (RCA)
Pat Green & Cory Morrow 2001 (P & C Music)
Robert Earl Keen 2003 (Dualtone)
Alabama 2010 (Valory Music)
Travis Tritt 2016 (Post Oak Recordings)
Waylon Jennings – Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way Lyrics
Lord it’s the same old tune, fiddle and guitar
Where do we take it from here?
Rhinestone suits and new shiny cars
It’s been the same way for years
We need to change
Somebody told me when I came to Nashville
Son you finally got it made
Old Hank made it here, we’re all sure that you will
But I don’t think Hank done it this way, no
I don’t think Hank done it this way, okay
Ten years on the road, making one night stand
Speeding my young life away
Tell me one more time just so I’ll understand
Are you sure Hank done it this way?
Did old Hank really do it this way?
Lord I’ve seen the world with a five piece band
Looking at the back side of me
Singing my songs, one of his now and then
But I don’t think Hank done ’em this way, no
I don’t think Hank done ’em this way, take it home