“Lucille (You Won’t Do Your Daddy’s Will)”
Written by Albert Collins and Little Richard
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
May 27, 1983
#1 (1 week)
June 4, 1983
It’s Only Rock + Roll is often referenced as the beginning of the end for Waylon Jennings.
Recorded as the ravages of addiction were most impactful on his voice, a covers album of old rock hits was easy to portray as a creative nadir for a man who was once something of a country music vanguard.
And perhaps it was. But you’d never know it listening to “Lucille (You Won’t Do Your Daddy’s Will.)” Look, maybe he simply couldn’t do this as a rave up in the same spirit of the Little Richard original. His growls toward the end sound like a struggle.
But a great artist knows how to adjust to their own limitations. Jennings made the choice to recast “Lucille” as someone who has worn the protagonist down. He’s tired of her shenanigans, but he lacks his own will to walk away.
The presentation is so starkly different that it feels more like a reboot than a remake. It stands entirely apart from the original recording, going for something a little more quiet and a lot more dark.
It’s a fascinating record that really does bookend Jennings’ remarkable superstar run. We will only seem him twice more in this feature: as part of a superstar collaboration in 1985 and with his final solo No. 1 hit in 1987.
“Lucille (You Won’t Do Your Daddy’s Will)” gets a B+.
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