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Remember When Hank Williams Jr. ‘Settled Down’ at No. 1?

Hank Williams, Jr. scored one of his most career-defining hits with “All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down),” which topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart on Nov. 21, 1981.

Williams wrote the song, which Elektra/Curb released as the first single from his album, The Pressure Is On. The single hit right at the crest of a particularly successful period for the country icon, whose previous single was “Dixie on My Mind.” “All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down)” was just one of a string of hits from The Pressure Is On, including “A Country Boy Can Survive” and a cover of one of his father’s classic hits, “Honky Tonkin’.”

The song finds Bocephus lamenting the fact that all of his longtime friends have started to get older and straighten out, making it hard for him to find someone to hang out and raise hell with. The song name-checks George Jones, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson, while the chorus throws a reference to Williams’ dad, Hank Williams.

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“And I think I know what my father meant when he sang about a lost highway / And Johnny Cash don’t act like he did back in ’68 / And Kris he is a movie star and he’s moved off to L.A.,” Williams sings, ending with, “And nobody wants to get drunk and get loud / And all my rowdy friends have settled down.”

The song became so closely associated with Williams that he turned to its themes in subsequent songs including “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight” and “Born to Boogie.”

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