Why Hank Williams, Jr. Was Initially Opposed to Re-Recording “Born to Boogie”

Nash Icon Records

The world got its first taste of the new album from country legend Hank Williams, Jr. when he opened the CMA Awards in November with its lead single, “Are You Ready for the Country” with Eric Church. On Friday, fans will be able to hear It’s About Time in its entirety, and Eric’s not the only special guest on the collection.

Brantley Gilbert, Justin Moore and Brad Paisley helped Bocephus craft a new version of “Born to Boogie,” but Hank tells ABC Radio he wasn’t always excited about re-recording the number one from 1987 — until the three country hitmakers helped him with the update.

“I’ve already sold millions on that one. I’ve got new stuff!” he says, recalling his initial reaction. “This is a new ‘Born to Boogie.’ You know now, this ‘Born to Boogie’ has got Justin and Brantley on it, so it’s a new one. But I said, ‘Look, I’ve got new, good stuff. I don’t care about re-doing that one.’ You know, you’re gonna get it straight from me!” he quips.

It also looked like another track would be the public’s first taste of his new recording — a remake of a #12 hit from 1967 by Waylon Jennings, written by another Country Music Hall of Famer.

Mel Tillis? They say, ‘What?’ They don’t connect Mel Tillis with ‘Mental Revenge.’ I had to look it up. He’s the guy that wrote it! We actually thought that was gonna be the single. I mean, we’re all over ‘Mental Revenge.’ It’s fresh. The Allman Brothers twin guitars,” he says, imitating the guitar part in the song. “Guess who told ’em to play that lick?” he laughs.

The 66-year-old second-generation country star wrote five of the songs on It’s About Time, including several new ones he’s particularly proud of, namely “Dress Like an Icon” and the title track. “Buy Me a Boat” hitmaker Chris Janson also contributes two songs to the set.

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