“Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys“ is a country music song first recorded by Ed Bruce….which was written by him and wife Patsy Bruce….as his version of the song appears on his 1976 self-titled album for United Artists Records…..which went to # 15 on the Hot Country Singles charts. This song was featured on Chris LeDoux’s album released in 1976, Songbook of the American West. The narrator of the song warns mothers not to let their children become cowboys…..because of the tough and busy life of cowboy culture.
Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson covered the song on their 1978 duet album Waylon & Willie….as this rendition peaked at # 1 in March 1978….while spending four weeks atop the country music charts….and it also reached # 42 on the Billboard Hot 100….and won the 1979 Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. Also in 1979, Nelson’s version was featured in the film The Electric Horseman with Robert Redford and Jane Fonda….and it is also featured in a 2015 TV commercial for the Volkswagen Passat.
As seen in this video herewith….Ed Bruce & The Tennessee Cowboy Band perform “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” live on stage at Austin City Limits in 1983.