Music

'The Conversation': Hank Williams Jr. Clears the Air About His Famous Father With Waylon Jennings Duet

Screengrab via YouTube

https://youtu.be/csONW-zWFqs

Hank Williams Jr.'s "The Conversation," a song he co-wrote with duet partner Waylon Jennings and longtime Jennings drummer Richie Albright, addresses the rumors and reality about the elder Hank Williams. Two singers and songwriters with their own "outlaw" reputations cover both the love story between Bocephus' parents and the rambunctious side of Ole Hank, which went from being a reason to kick him off the Grand Ole Opry cast late in his life to a light-hearted focus of musical tourism after his passing at age 29.

The song first appeared on Hank Jr.'s 1979 album Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound and resurfaced on Jennings' 1983 duets-heavy album Waylon and Company. The latter release made the song a Top 15 country hit and brought us an early example of an official music video.

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Children of the original performers sang their fathers' parts during a CMT tribute to Hank Jr. Shooter Jennings asked the questions while Holly Williams dished out the cold, hard truth in the live performance below.

"The Conversation" Lyrics

[Waylon:]
Hank let's talk about your daddy
Tell me how your momma loved that man

[Hank:]
Well, just break out a bottle Hoss
I'll tell ya' about the Drifting Cowboy Band

[Waylon:]
We won't talk about the habits

[Waylon & Hank:]
Just the music and the man thats all

[Waylon:]
Now Hank, you just gotta tell me
Did your daddy really write all them songs, did he

[Hank:]
That don't deserve no answer Hoss
Let's light up and just move along

[Waylon:]
Do you think he wrote 'em about your momma
Or about the man who done her wrong
You know that

[Waylon & Hank:]
Yeah, back then they called him crazy
Nowadays they call him a saint
Now the ones that call him crazy
Are still riding on his name

[Waylon:]
Well, if he was here right now Bocephus
Would he think that we were right?
Do you think he might?

[Hank:]
Don't you know he would Watasha
Be right here by our side

[Waylon:]
If we left for a show in Provo

[Waylon & Hank:]
Be the first one on the bus and ready to ride
Last one to go, Hoss

[Waylon:]
Wherever he is I hope he's happy
You know, I hope he's doing well
Yes, I do

[Hank:]
He is
'Cause he's got one arm around my momma now
And her sure did love Miss Audrey and raising hell

[Waylon:]
I won't ask you no more questions

[Waylon & Hank:]
To the stories only Hank could tell
And he could tell'em
Back then they called him crazy
Now days they call him a saint

[Hank:]
Most folks don't know that
They fired him from the Opry
And that 'caused his greatest pain
I'd love to tell you about lovesick
How Miss Audrey loved that man

[Waylon:]
You know, I've always loved to listen to
The stories about that Drifting Cowboy Band
That man

[Hank:]
You know when we get right down to it

[Waylon & Hank:]
Still the most wanted outlaw in the land...

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'The Conversation': Hank Williams Jr. Clears the Air About His Famous Father With Waylon Jennings Duet