Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning

Album: Always On My Mind (1982)
Play Video


  • This Gary P. Nunn and Donna Farar-penned tune was released by Willie Nelson as the third single from Always on My Mind. The song reached #2 on the Country chart.
  • The song finds Nelson listing on the first verse all of the bad-luck things that happened to him in the morning an alarm clock set to the wrong time, hinges falling off the gate, spilled coffee, etc. He then sets up the rest of the song by singing:

    But the last thing I needed
    The first thing this morning
    Was to have you walk out on me
  • Chris Stapleton recorded a cover in 2017 for his studio album From A Room: Volume 1. Stapleton's remake is a slow, sparse, guitar ballad, punctuated by light harmonies from his wife Morgane.

    Stapleton holds Nelson's original in high esteem, citing it as a model song for anyone who aspires to be a country songwriter. "I do think it's a superbly written country song that if anybody wanted an instruction manual on how to write country songs, I'd probably hand them that song," he said.
  • Mickey Raphael, who played harmonica on Nelson's original, reprises the role on Stapleton's version.

Comments: 3

  • Ashlifaith from Las Vegas, Nv When I heard this song remake sang by Chris Stapleton, the 1st thing I thought was: "Oh my goodness! I'm hearing Mickey Raphael on the harmonica!! There's no one else that plays like that!" Of course I had to look to see if I was right. And I was right!!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1983 {February 20th} Willie Nelson's "Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning"* peaked at #2 {for 2 weeks} on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart, the first week it was at #2, the #1 record for that week was "Why Baby Why" by Charley Pride, and for its second week at #2, "If Hollywood Don't Need You" by Don Williams was in the top spot...
    And on March 19th, 1983 "Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning" reached #1 {for 1 week} on the Canadian RPM Country Singles chart...
    Willie Hugh Nelson will celebrate his 88th birthday in two months on April 29th, 2021...
    * "Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning" was Willie Nelson's third of three of his records to peak at #2, his other two #2 records were "Remember Me (When The Candlelights Are Gleaming)" for one week in 1982 and "Let It Be Me" for two weeks in October of1982...
    And from the 'For What It's Worth' department, the remainder of the Hot Country Singles Top 10 on February 20th, 1983:
    At #3. "If Hollywood Don't Need You" by Don Williams
    #4. "The Rose" by Conway Twitty
    #5. "I Wouldn't Change You If I Could" by Ricky Skaggs
    #6. "Faking Love" by T.G. Sheppard and Karen Brooks
    #7. "Swingin'" by John Anderson
    #8. "Everything's Beautiful (In Its Own Way)" by Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson
    #9. "Ain't No Trick (It Takes Magic)" by Lee Greenwood
    #10. "HonkyTonk Man" by Marty Robbins
  • Colt from Texas...What a great song! Willie has been a Texas favorite for a very long time....he gained a whole new audience of younger people in the 80's...he's getting older...but so are we all.....God bless you Willie...and God bless Texas!....
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," Kiss

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," KissSong Writing

After cutting his teeth on hardcore punk videos, Paul defined the grunge look with his work on "Hunger Strike" and "Man in the Box."

Actors With Hit Songs

Actors With Hit SongsMusic Quiz

Many actors have attempted music, but only a few have managed a hit. Do you know which of these thespians charted?

Intentionally Atrocious

Intentionally AtrociousSong Writing

A selection of songs made to be terrible - some clearly achieved that goal.

Brenda Russell

Brenda RussellSongwriter Interviews

Brenda talks about the inspiration that drove her to write hit songs like "Get Here" and "Piano in the Dark," and why a lack of formal music training can be a songwriter's best asset.

Curt Kirkwood of Meat Puppets

Curt Kirkwood of Meat PuppetsSongwriter Interviews

The (Meat)puppetmaster takes us through songs like "Lake Of Fire" and "Backwater," and talks about performing with Kurt Cobain on MTV Unplugged.

Don Dokken

Don DokkenSongwriter Interviews

Dokken frontman Don Dokken explains what broke up the band at the height of their success in the late '80s, and talks about the botched surgery that paralyzed his right arm.