All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight

Album: Major Moves (1984)


  • In 1981, Hank Williams, Jr. had a #1 Country hit with "All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down)," a song where he's bummed out because everyone in his social circle has tamed their wild ways: Johnny Cash has mellowed out, George Jones is sober, and Kris Kristofferson is movie star in Los Angeles. Poor Hank has nobody to call to run the town.

    In 1984, he released "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight," where these same folks are now coming by for a raging bash. His place is out in the woods, but his buddies all show up ready to party. There's beer, a hot tub, a roasted pig, and lots of girls. Miss Mississippi even shows up.

    The song didn't chart as high as "Settled Down" (reaching #10 on the Country tally), but the high-energy party tune became the more popular of the two and the one Williams played more often in concert.
  • Most of us know this song as the Monday Night Football theme music. In 1989, the 20th anniversary of the telecast, Williams reworked the song the hype the matchup, adding an insistent piano riff and changing the lyrics, which work up to his iconic shout: "Are you ready for some football?"

    Williams appeared in the opens, which changed every week, customized to the matchup. The lyrics varied from year to year, but they were along these lines:

    It's Monday night and we're ready to rock
    Time to catch all the hits, the bangs and the blocks
    It's the game of the week that's coming your way
    The Cowboys and the Raiders are ready to play
    We gotta get ready, we gotta get hyped
    'Cause Monday Night Football kicks off tonight

    Are you ready for some football?
    A Monday Night Party?
    The crew's all set, the crowd is psyched
    'Cause all my rowdy friends are here on Monday night

    Williams quickly became a Monday Night Football institution. The show got huge ratings, drawing about 15 million of viewers every week even as the TV landscape fragmented in the '90s with the proliferation of cable channels. Ratings declined in the '00s, but Williams' open endured until 2011, when ESPN pulled it in the middle of the season after Williams made an awkward appearance on the show Fox & Friends where he bloviated on politics, declaring Barack Obama and Joe Biden "the enemy." (Williams was on the show to promote the upcoming game, but the hosts asked him some political questions first).

    By 2017, the controversy had blown over and Williams and his "Rowdy Friends" were reinstated with a version where he's joined by Florida Georgia Line and Jason Derulo. This lasted until 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic made the song inappropriate - nobody was coming over for a Monday night party under quarantine. The new song was a re-worked version of Little Richard's "Rip It Up."
  • The music video has cameos by many of Williams' rowdy friends, including Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Mel Tillis, Porter Wagoner, Waylon Jennings, George Thorogood and Jim Varney, along with a fetching dance team in leotards. George Jones arrives on a riding mower, a reference to his legendary escapade when he drove a mower to the liquor store after his wife hid his car keys.

    At the end of the video, an actor playing Hank Williams Sr. shows up in a Cadillac filled with girls and drives it into the sky. Williams Sr. died in the back seat of a Cadillac in 1953.

    The video won both the ACM and CMA awards for Music Video of the Year.


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