Mind Your Own Business – 1949

“Mind Your Own Business” is a 1949 song written and originally performed by Hank Williams.

“Mind Your Own Business” was recorded on March 2, 1949 at Castle Studio in Nashville. During the same session, Williams also recorded “You’re Gonna Change (Or I’m Gonna Leave),” “My Son Calls Another Man Daddy,” and “Honky Tonk Blues.” He is backed by Dale Potter (fiddle), Don Davis (steel guitar), Zeke Turner (lead guitar), Clyde Baum (mandolin), Jack Shook (rhythm guitar), and probably Ernie Newton (bass).

In the song, the narrator admonishes a local busybody for snooping and gossiping. While the delivery is light and breezy, the song’s lyrics were likely inspired by the singer’s own tempestuous relationship with wife Audrey Williams and the buzz it created. The opening lines seem to reference this: “If the wife and I are fussin’, brother that’s our right/’Cause me and that sweet woman’s got a licence to fight…” His delivery is measured, laconic, and dry. The day before, Hank had cut several duets with his wife Audrey, who by all accounts had limited singing talent. Introducing it in October 1949, he told his radio audience that it was a “little prophecy in song,” and indeed it would prove to be.

The song is similar in tone and structure as Williams’ first Billboard hit “Move It on Over,” with the singer couching his moral indignation in humor, allowing the subject matter to resonate with the public. “Mind Your Own Business” went to #6 on the C&W Best Seller list where it stayed for two weeks.

Cover versions

In the early 1960s, the surf rock band The Trashmen recorded a song with same nae not the Han Williams song. Their version was written by one of the members,Tony Andreason, which appears in the The Great Lost Trashmen Album.
In 1964, Jimmy Dean hit the country charts with his version of the song. His version spent six weeks on the charts and peaked at #35.
Ernest Tubb included it on his 1968 LP Ernest Tubb Sings Hank Williams.
In 1971, Steve Goodman recorded it on his debut album.
In 1975, Henry McCullough recorded the song, and used it as the title track of his solo album on Dark Horse Records.
Moe Bandy recorded it for his 1975 LP Here I Am Drunk Again.
Charlie Pride recorded it for his 1980 album There’s a Little Bit of Hank in Me.
Moe Bandy recorded the song for his 1983 tribute Sings the Songs of Hank Williams.
In late 1986, Hank Williams, Jr. recorded the song along with Reba McEntire, Tom Petty, Reverend Ike and Willie Nelson. This version was the most successful, going to #1 on the country charts for two weeks.