Your Cheatin' Heart

Album: 40 Greatest Hits (1953)
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  • Williams wrote this shortly after divorcing his wife, Audrey Mae Sheppard. They married in 1944, while the ink was still drying on Audrey's divorce papers from her first marriage. The pair would go on to record several duets together (and produce a son, Hank Williams Jr.), but Williams' drinking ultimately caused irreparable rift in their marriage.

    When he described his first wife as "a cheatin' heart" to country singer Billie Jean Jones, who would soon become his second wife, he was inspired to write the song.

    According to Jones, she and Williams were en route to her parents' home in Louisiana to announce their engagement when Williams uttered the title phrase. "Then he said, 'Hey that'd make a good song! Get out my tablet, baby, you and I are gonna write us a song,'" she recalled. "Just about as fast as I could write it, Hank quoted the words to me in a matter of minutes."
  • Williams recorded this in September 1952 during what would be his last session at Nashville's Castle Records. He would die just months later from heart problems (or, some say, suspicious circumstances) on the way to a New Year's concert in Canton, Ohio. The song was posthumously released in January 1953 and topped the Country & Western Billboard Charts for six weeks.
  • Many artists have covered this over the years, including Louis Armstrong, Glen Campbell, Fats Domino and Jerry Lee Lewis. Ray Charles' 1962 version was a hit in both the US and the UK, peaking at #29 and #13, respectively.
  • Rat Pack member Joey Bishop recorded this in the '60s on the album Cold, Cold, Heart. Bishop was an actor, and many people considered his version so bad it was actually entertaining. On the album cover, Bishop is dressed in a rhinestone cowboy costume. It contains liner notes by fellow Rat Packer Dean Martin. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Barry Kesten - Bellmore, MD
  • For the line "You'll walk the floor, the way I do," Williams took inspiration from his friend Ernest Tubb's "Walkin' the Floor Over You." He also recorded three of Tubb's hits, which were released posthumously: "First Year Blues," "It Just Don't Matter Now" and "I'm Free at Last."
  • This song shares its name with the 1964 biopic of Hank Williams, starring George Hamilton. Hank Williams Jr. recorded the soundtrack album.
  • Two versions of this hit the pop charts in 1953: Joni James' at #2 and Frankie Laine's at #18.
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Comments: 15

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn November 4th 1964, the Hank Williams bio-movie "Your Cheatin' Heart" had its world premiere in Montgomery, Alabama...
    As already stated above Hank Jr. dubbed in his father's singing voice in the movie, his was fifteen years at the time...
    Exactly eleven years later on Nov. 4th, 1975 Hank Sr.'s first wife*, Audrey, passed away at the young age of 52...
    * The Williams' divorced was finalized on July 10th, 1952; six months before Hank Sr's passing on Jan. 1st, 1953.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyHappy 84th Birthday Day to Joni James; born Giovanna Carmella Babbo on September 22nd, 1930...
    On April 12th, 1953 her covered version of "Your Cheatin' Heart" peaked at #2* {for 3 weeks} on Billboard's Most Played on Juke Boxes chart...
    * The #1 record for those three weeks was "Doggie in the Window" by Patti Page.
  • Hank Williams Iii from Loganville, TnNOBODY and I mean NOBODY sang better than Hank Williams. Hank 3 comes close.
  • Joel from Wheeling, WvGood song. It has been covered by Hank, Jr and even Norah Jones.
  • Jay from Virginia Beach, VaThere ain't no 'white man's blues' there's just the South and the tragedies both internal and external that have born the music which as changed the world and they call it country if a white guy is up there or blues if a black guy is up there, (see Gregg Allman's dismisal of the term ' Southern Rock'). Hank was taught to play guitar by a black man( music transcended racial barriers contrary to popular belief, even then)...and always considered himself and only ever wanted to be a 'blues singer.'
  • Memphis "piano" Joe from Los Angeles, CaYOUTUBE PIANO INSTRUMENTAL...instead of using the previous link, it might just be easier to search at YouTube for

    - - Memphis Piano Joe Your Cheatin Heart - -

    Thanks again,
    Joe
  • Memphis "piano" Joe from Los Angeles, CaI just completed a YouTube piano instrumental of Your Cheatin' Heart at
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=HdsdrdneLRY

    Hope you like it!
    Joe
  • Musicmama from New York, NyTo Steve of Fenton, MO: You are sooo perceptive. White man's blues: I couldn't have characterised this song, or Hank Williams Sr.,any better. Generally, I don't like country music, but I'll listen to anything Hank did--especially this song.
  • Steven from West Carrollton, OhI'm more into punk rock, but I consider Mr. Williams, Snr., the best damn country singer EVER!!!!! R.I.P., Hank!!!
  • Eric from Milltown, InIf you like Hank Sr. then read "Snapshots from the Lost Highway." It has some great photos and other stuff like unplubished songs. It has the last song he ever written;

    Then Came That Fatal Day

    We met we lived and dear we loved
    Then came that fatal day
    The love that felt so dear fades so far away
    Tongiht we both are all alone
    And here's all that I can say
    I love you still and always will
    But that's the price we have to pay

    That is pure Hillbilly Poetry. And Jon, good advice, Hank III is great, definatley the best thing out there. Straight To Hell rocks!!!
  • Jon from Oakridge, OrHank Williams grandson (Hank Williams III) is pretty great to. Much better than Junior. No one BUT Cash can beat senior though.
  • Kevin from San Jose, CaUh, Hank died at 29 in the back of a cadillac on his way from montgomery, AL to canton, Ohio new years day 1953. The last song he sang, according to the driver, was red foley's "midnight."
  • Steve from Fenton, MoFor those who don't listen much to country music or think you don't like it, listen to Hank Williams, Sr. It is so good, it transcends country music...it might be more appropriate to call it white man's blues. Williams' core group of about 20 songs is some of the best songs ever written and sung so well, it's silly to try to redo them. This is a classic case of the world being left without several great songs that will never be written because this man tragically died at age 27.
  • Tom from Mount Joy, PaHank Williams is the best there is, was, or ever wiil be(Johnny Cash is a VERY close second). This is one of the first song i remember hearing when I was just a toddler. My old man used to play Hank all the time. Thanks Dad.
  • David from Hudson, NyThe Joni James recording of this song reached #2 on the pop charts in 1953.
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