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Waylon Jennings Pointing to Willie Nelson

On March 20, 1978 the country music scene was dominated by the hit song “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. The song, written by Ed Bruce and his wife Patsy Bruce, had already been recorded by several other artists, but it was the Jennings-Nelson version that skyrocketed to the top of the charts.

The song’s catchy melody and lyrics struck a chord with listeners, particularly those who were fans of the cowboy lifestyle. It warned mothers against letting their sons pursue a life on the range, citing the hardships and dangers that came with it. Yet, despite the cautionary message, the song had a distinctly upbeat and celebratory tone, with Jennings and Nelson’s vocals harmonizing perfectly.

The song’s success was reflected in its recognition at the 1979 Grammy Awards, where it won Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The award cemented Jennings and Nelson’s place in country music history and their status as two of the genre’s most beloved and influential performers.

Watch Willie and Waylon perform “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” below!