Your Cheatin' Heart  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"Your Cheatin' Heart" is a song written and recorded by the American country music singer and songwriter Hank Williams in 1952, but released after his death in 1953. It is often considered one of his greatest songs, and one of the great songs of country music. The song is a slow blues ballad, telling an unfaithful lover of the guilt that she will feel for cheating on the singer.

The story goes that Williams was prompted to write the song when thinking about his first wife, Audrey Williams, while driving around with his second, Billie Jean Jones; she is supposed to have written down the lyrics for him in the passenger seat. Williams collaborated with Nashville songwriter Fred Rose to produce the song's final draft before recording the song in his last ever recording sessions, on September 23, 1952. It was released the following year, shortly after he died, by MGM Records as catalog number 11416 and occupied the No. 1 slot in the US country music chart for six weeks. Rolling Stone ranked it #213 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Many artists have recorded the song since Williams released it, including Ray Charles, Van Morrison, Patsy Cline, Elvis Presley, Jon Foreman, and Louis Armstrong; the biggest hit version of the song was done by Joni James, reaching #2 on the Billboard pop chart in 1953; the Rat Pack actor Joey Bishop recorded an infamously bad version of it in the 1960s. Ray Charles had U.S. and British chart success with the song in 1962. American folk singer Don McLean recorded a version for his Chain Lightning album in 1978 which featured Elvis Presley's backing singers, The Jordanaires. McLean's version of the song received a Grammy award in 1983. It would be covered yet again in a dream-like piano and slide guitar arrangement by Beck in 2001.

The Joni James version was recorded on January 7, 1953 and released by MGM Records as catalog number 11426.

A recording by Frankie Laine was also made contemporaneously, on January 8, 1953 and released by Columbia Records as catalog number 39938. Released after the James version, it reached the number 18 position on the charts.

Your Cheatin' Heart was also the title of the film of Hank Williams' life story made in 1964, with George Hamilton playing Williams and Susan Oliver as his wife, Audrey. The soundtrack was recorded by Hank Williams Jr.. It has also been used as the title of a BBC television series.

The song ranked #5 in CMT's 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music in 2003 and #1 in CMT's 40 Greatest Done Me Wrong (Cheatin') Songs in 2004.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Your Cheatin' Heart" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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