Although Waylon Jennings specialized in interpreting other writers' songs, he still penned a number of country classics, like "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way." "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way," though released before the height of outlaw madness, works as an anthem for every performer and listener who detested the Nashville establishment in the '70s and crossover artists like Barbara Mandrell. It was time to get back to the real country music of spiritual forefathers like Hank Williams, Jennings believed, and strip away everything ("rhinestone suits and new shiny cars") nonessential. What raises "Are You Sure Hank Did It This Way" above the typical self-referential song, though, is Jennings' humor. Sure, he wants to follow Hank, but he's not so sure about "speeding my young life away" on the road (Williams died on the road courtesy of lots of hard living). One thing that makes the song somewhat difficult to interpret is that it's not always clear who's repeating the refrain, "Are you sure Hank done it this way?" Jennings, in fact, would receive his fair share of criticism for long hair and drugs that ran counter to traditional country values (short hair and hard liquor). In this light, it's easy to imagine the Nashville establishment trying to remind the young rebel to honor his forefathers (Williams at least had short hair and wore a cowboy hat). Either way, though, Jennings was committed to living Williams' legacy in every way save dying young. Interestingly, "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" has only two chords and no chorus. It's success musically, then, has more to do with the drive of the phase shifter-fueled guitar and the steady thump of the drum than melody. "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" reached number one on the Country Singles chart in 1975.