The Time Red Sovine Pondered Killing Waylon & Willie

February 6, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Outlaw History  //  16 Comments

Red-SovineOkay, Red Sovine only pondered killing Waylon and Willie in hyperbole and sarcasm. In fact by all accounts this succulent little lost country classic was written and recorded as a tribute to the success of the two Outlaw country music greats. And as one of the very last recordings trucker song overlord Red Sovine ever made, and one that was released in a much more straight-laced time in country music when its genius may have been lost on most, it only seems fair to resurrect it now and shine a spotlight on it for our listening enjoyment.

The song is called “The Waylon & Willie Machine,” and its wise-ass take on the two Texan’s success speaks to just how big Waylon & Willie were back in the mid to late 70’s. The song was originally written and recorded by country and rockabilly artist Marvin Rainwater with co-writer Max D. Barnes (George Jones’ “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes” and Waylon’s “Drinkin’ and Dreamin'” just to name a few). Marvin Rainwater recorded the song with Jesse Fletcher on the very small “Okie” imprint at some point in the late 70’s (listen below), but very few 7″ copies were made.

Then Red Sovine got a hold of it in 1979 and released it on a 45 himself through Gusto Records, with Colorado Cool Aid on the flip side. Sovine’s would become the definitive version … if there was one. The song never made it on an album (Sovine passed away on April 4th, 1980 of a heart attack), and it was never released properly as a single, probably because it would be misunderstood by DJ’s and listeners alike. But listening to it now some 35 years later, the entertainment value hasn’t waned, but grown better with age.

16 Comments to “The Time Red Sovine Pondered Killing Waylon & Willie”

  • Wanted the Outlaws was the flavor of the day. Jessie, Tammy and Lorretta led the ladies. But 1980 would bring a nice class of young guys.


  • This is awesome..


  • I love Red Sovine. I still get tears in my eyes when the truckers all get in line to give Teddy Bear a ride.


  • If only you could turn on the radio and hear Waylon and Willie today. What a world that would be.


    • Or Red Sovine, for that matter.

      After the direction contempory country is taking and the fact that there’s apparently no longer room for tradional-sounding music in the format, by biggest beef with mainstream country radio is that the few stations who do include a few “oldies” in the roation limit themselves to a very narrow selection of songs and artists, so the chances that a new country listener will every hear a song from someone like Sovine, Jack Greene, Billy Walker, or a host of others is somewhere between slim and none. And that’s too bad.


      • Good point, and the list goes on and on. It’s a shame that such wonderful artists of yesterday and their music is tough to find and isn’t out there for more people to enjoy. With every decade it seems that there has always been shitty pop country but there was always traditional honest music being played right beside it, and nowadays it’s almost a sin. Now if Country radio also played new traditional Country artits such as Sturgill Simpson, Dale Watson, Wayne Hancock etc I don’t think the pussy boy Country wouldn’t stand a chance. As well I’m not sure why Rock radio plays the new songs as well as tunes from 10 20 30 years ago, it would be nice if Country radio has some respect for the past.


  • a great sense of humour he has. I guess the only person on the radio now, who has a sense of humour is Brad Paisley. “lookee here I’ve got a bite.”

    1979, and he puts out a 45? must have been about the only one that year.

    and what great steel guitar solo on that tune, probably a great band. Any idea who played that solo?

    Thanks I really enjoyed hearing that, it’s a great tune.


    • I don’t get what you mean by “must have been the only one that year.” 45’s were all over the place in 1979, I probably bought a couple dozen myself, at least.


  • Never heard that before that is pretty good and does illustrate the dominance of Willie and Waylon in the late 1970s. Red Sovine had a long and varied career from his days with Webb Pierce (there version of George Jones ‘Why Baby Why’ was actually a bigger hit than Jones original version) to the trucker songs like ‘Giddy Up Go’ and my favorite ‘Phantom 309′.

    Another song he recorded in the last couple of years of his life and released on Gusto was his cover of Clapton’s ‘Lay Down Sally’



    • that Lay Down Sally cover is bad ass.


  • B side of the tune. “Kolorado Kool Aid”



  • Great stuff from a true musical treasure. Seriously. Tom Waits covering Phantom 309 turned a few of my friends onto Red and eventually some country music. Jeeze does that make Red Sovine a gateway drug for country?


  • You gotta like this.


  • Great One! Here’s another ode to Willie and Waylon (with two part harmony). http://youtu.be/PDwON2ETKhY


  • More of this, please! Give us more….


  • Oh baby!! So, so great!


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