Williams wrote this shortly after divorcing his wife, Audrey Mae Sheppard. They married in 1944, while the ink was still drying on Audrey's divorce papers from her first marriage. The pair would go on to record several duets together (and produce a son, Hank Williams Jr.), but Williams' drinking ultimately caused irreparable rift in their marriage.
When he described his first wife as "a cheatin' heart" to country singer Billie Jean Jones, who would soon become his second wife, he was inspired to write the song.
According to Jones, she and Williams were en route to her parents' home in Louisiana to announce their engagement when Williams uttered the title phrase. "Then he said, 'Hey that'd make a good song! Get out my tablet, baby, you and I are gonna write us a song,'" she recalled. "Just about as fast as I could write it, Hank quoted the words to me in a matter of minutes."
Williams recorded this in September 1952 during what would be his last session at Nashville's Castle Records. He would die just months later from heart problems (or, some say, suspicious circumstances) on the way to a New Year's concert in Canton, Ohio. The song was posthumously released in January 1953 and topped the Country & Western Billboard Charts for six weeks.
For the line "You'll walk the floor, the way I do," Williams took inspiration from his friend Ernest Tubb's "Walkin' the Floor Over You." He also recorded three of Tubb's hits, which were released posthumously: "First Year Blues," "It Just Don't Matter Now" and "I'm Free at Last."
This song shares its name with the 1964 biopic of Hank Williams, starring George Hamilton. Hank Williams Jr. recorded the soundtrack album.
https://www.songfacts.com/facts/hank-wi ... atin-heart
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