In 1978, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings recorded Ed Bruce’s “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” for their duets album Waylon & Willie. Forty-plus years later, the outlaw-country pioneers’ sons unite for their own version.
Lukas Nelson and Shooter Jennings cut “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” as the theme song to the Netflix series The Ranch, but a full-length version wasn’t available until now. Nelson and Jennings’ rendition serves as the centerpiece to a new soundtrack to The Ranch, out Friday. The series, starring Ashton Kutcher, Elisha Cuthbert, and Sam Elliott, kicks off its final season tomorrow.
“Lukas and I had a great time in the studio. We came up with an alternate rhythm that changes the vibe a little bit from the original — that gave us the space to make it our own,” says Jennings. “He and I have had very close relationships with our fathers — they always were our Number One fans. I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to sing this song with my brother and just have fun with it.”
“Working with Shooter was an honor,” Nelson says. “We had a great time in the studio and I would love to do it again many times.”
The duet isn’t the first time the outlaw progenies have collaborated, however. Nelson and Jennings have toured together in the past, sharing the stage to perform their own material and other songs by their fathers, including “Good Hearted Woman.”
Nelson and his band Promise of the Real announced a new tour this week, the Naked Garden Tour, that launches March 22nd in Missouri. Their next date, part of their Evening With…tour, is February 19th in Denver. Jennings, meanwhile, sets sails on the Outlaw Country Cruise next Wednesday. Along with Brandi Carlile, he produced Tanya Tucker’s Grammy-nominated album While I’m Livin‘, which is up for Best Country Album at Sunday’s awards.
The Ranch soundtrack, which partners Netflix with Nashville’s Curb Records and was produced by Jim Patterson and Matt Graham, features songs by Lee Brice, Wynonna, and Mo Pitney, among others. A 12″ vinyl edition will arrive February 14th.