Waylon Jennings
Country music artist
Waylon Jennings
Waylon Arnold Jennings was an American country music singer, songwriter, and musician. Jennings began playing guitar at eight and began performing at twelve on KVOW radio. He formed a band, The Texas Longhorns. Jennings worked as a D. J on KVOW, KDAV, KYTI and KLLL. In 1958, Buddy Holly arranged Jennings' first recording session, of "Jolie Blon" and "When Sin Stops (Love Begins)". Holly hired him to play bass.
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Waylon Jennings's personal information overview.
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5 Things You Didn't Know About Chip And Joanna Gaines
Huffington Post - 4 months
Are you ready to meet your “Fixer Uppers?”  Though viewers may feel like they know Chip and Joanna Gaines (and their adorable family) through their hit HGTV show, “Fixer Upper,” the unofficial mayors of Waco, Texas, are spilling even more of their secrets.  The two recently penned their first book, The Magnolia Story, which delves into Chip and Joanna’s childhood, their many business ventures, along with cute stories about their faith and their four kiddos. The Huffington Post chatted with the Gaines earlier this week during a tour stop for their new book. Here are five things you may not know about Chip and Jo:  1. The process of writing a book didn’t come easy for them.  Chip: The hardest part for me was the spelling [both laugh]. That took me a while, and then grammar was a close second right after that. But other than those two, very difficult things, I think just putting it all together. Jo and I were recalling things from 10 to 15 years ago, so she would have one ...
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Huffington Post article
How Chuck Berry Became the Greatest Rock n Roll Artist of a Generation - Daily Beast
Google News - 4 months
Daily Beast How Chuck Berry Became the Greatest Rock n Roll Artist of a Generation Daily Beast The most influential rock 'n' roll artist of a generation will release his first new album in decades next year. On his 90th birthday, we look back at what makes him an icon. Stereo Williams. 10.18.16 9:31 AM ET. Chuck Berry is the greatest rock 'n ... Flashback: See Waylon Jennings' Swaggering Chuck Berry CoverRollingStone.com Chuck Berry, father of rock 'n' roll, announces first album in 38 years on 90th birthdayWashington Post Chuck Berry at Ninety: Full Speed AheadThe New Yorker Stereogum -PEOPLE.com -The Guardian -NPR all 145 news articles »
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Google News article
A Cowboy Poet Gets Real at Sideman Jamboree
Huffington Post - 9 months
His name was Lon and his hands were trembling as he looked down at the words written on the crinkled piece of faded yellow college ruled notebook paper that he was tightly gripping. "I've never read this poem in public," he quietly said, his voice shaking. Lon Hall is a cowboy poet from Montana. He's a real cowboy, and a real poet. A few months ago we were standing in front of the main stage in a barn built in the middle of the Arizona desert at a very secluded RV park located on a tiny road named Music Road. It was a couple hours before show time at the 32nd annual Sideman Jamboree music festival. Our conversation was pretty surreal, given my dog Yoda and I first stumbled on this remote RV park five years ago, in February, 2011, during my five month road trip around the United States in search of shama, which is Sanskrit for inner-peace. I was a weary road-tripper back then, and was surprised to encounter a group of octogenarian musicians at this desert oasis who had g ...
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Huffington Post article
As the First David Bowie Tributes Roll In, Here's To 10 Other Artists Whose Deaths Inspired Music
Huffington Post - about 1 year
In an age where the whole world is a vidcam, it took only hours for the first breathtaking David Bowie musical tribute to go viral. Chris Nickol, organist at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, marked his sadness over the passing of the much-loved Bowie by sitting down at the organ and playing the artist's "Life On Mars." Soon it was echoing far beyond Scotland, and it goes like this: With Bowie as with most artists whose unexpected deaths leave us somewhere between shocked and numb, the first musical responses have tended to be renditions of his own music. But tribute songs are already beginning to surface. A Bowie fan band in Ohio, Modern Electric, is performing one this weekend, and Youtube is starting accumulate a few originals. That's a popular music tradition of its own, and a heartening one. Music is the language musicians speak, and song feels like the natural medium for a singer's sendoff. So even as we anticipate more songs about David Bo ...
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Huffington Post article
Big River -- What Novelists Can Learn From Songwriters
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Johnny Cash was a brilliant musician, singer, performer and masterful songwriter. Johnny Cash condensed high concept ideas into short, resonating stories -- ripping people's hearts in four or five stanzas -- that stayed in millions of ears and memories. Big River was his best-told story. And he played it when inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. A writer friend recently ranted about working with a Grammar Nazi. Wait. How the hell does that relate to the man in black? And why are these opening paragraphs so disjointed? Stick with me. "Jesus Christ! My editor's gagging my friggin' voice." Frustration in her email zinged through me. "Know it." I keyed back. "Who says we can't start a sentence with 'And'?" She pounded. "We're crime-thriller writers, for God's sakes. Not tryin' for a Pulitzer Prize in English Lit." I nodded. "Remember what King says -- 'Grammar don't wear no coat 'n tie." (Stephen King's advice in On Writing). 'Yep. Holding m'ground." She breathe ...
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Huffington Post article
Dierks Bentley Talks New Album 'Riser' And Being An Undercover Celebrity
Huffington Post - about 3 years
Dierks Bentley has been a prominent face of country music for more than 10 years now, with many of his songs reaching No. 1 on the country radio charts. The 38-year-old singer from Arizona moved to Nashville, Tenn., at 19 years old to pursue a career in country music and never looked back. He's set to release his seventh studio album "RISER" on Feb. 25, which was written and recorded between the death of his dad, Leon Fife Bentley, in June 2012 and the birth of his first son, Knox, in Oct. 2013. The record reflects the ups and downs that we all encounter when life throws us curveballs. "The last few years have been pretty crazy as far as life goes," Bentley said while promoting "RISER." "At the start of this process, my dad passed away and by the end of making the record my son Knox was born, so it was kind of a circle of life thing happening." Bentley, who also has two daughters, Evelyn, 5, and Jordan, 3, with wife Cassidy Black, chatted with HuffPost Entertainment about his ca ...
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Huffington Post article
Tonight in Music: Crooks on Tape, the Abigails
The Portland Mercury - about 3 years
CROOKS ON TAPE, XDS (Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Read our article on Crooks on Tape. THE ABIGAILS, THE LONESOME BILLIES, JENNY DON'T AND THE SPURS (The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Tons of young shitkickers set their sights on the outlaw-country sound of the '70s­—that raw, funky take on down-home tunes popularized by folks like Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings—but few have come as close to the core spirit as the Abigails. The LA-based outfit's approach is a little more ramshackle and occasionally out of tune, something that their influences wouldn't have allowed (in the studio, at least). But there's something about the way Warren Thomas & Co. sing about the blurry lines between the whiskey- and weed-fueled good times and bad times that make the Abigails feel like the natural heirs to the country-rock throne. ROBERT HAM [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]
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The Portland Mercury article
My Conversation with an American Treasure: Ray Benson
Huffington Post - about 3 years
We were hippies... we were against Vietnam... we had long hair. We were counterculture in this redneck "aura." In the 1960s there was a Renaissance of older blues artists, with B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Freddie King and so many others. They brought their music back to my generation. I likened what I did in the 1970s with Asleep at the Wheel to those great blues masters. Back then I thought, "Hey, let's go find old Western Swing, and 'honky-tonk' -- which was, at the time, relegated to a particular region -- and resurrect this brilliant music for our generation as well. The point was, with the war and everything, young people my age hated their parents' music. However when you take away the 'sociological impact' -- it's great music! Hell, Merle Haggard is amazing! Even if 'Okie from Muskogee' poked us in the side! Over 20 acclaimed albums, countless concerts around the globe, nine Grammys, production credits that include Aaron Neville, Willie Nelson, Dale Watson, Suzy Bogguss, Vince ...
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Huffington Post article
Up & Coming
The Portland Mercury - about 3 years
Music previews for the week of January 15-21. WEDNESDAY 1/15 PATTERSON HOOD, FERNANDO VICICONTE (Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Since co-founding Drive-By Truckers more than 15 years ago, Patterson Hood has cranked out hundreds of songs and logged countless miles across the country. Hell, this will be his second of three solo performances at the Doug Fir this month alone. It seems Hood has taken a liking to our city, perhaps bolstered by the fact that he's struck up a kinship with local author/Richmond Fontaine frontman Willy Vlautin. In fact, the Truckers' new single "Pauline Hawkins" (which will appear on the band's forthcoming record English Oceans, due out in March) is named after a character in Vlautin's new book The Free, which comes out February 4. There's a good chance you'll hear that one, along with other classic Truckers beer-swillers, and choice material from Hood's equally raucous and introspective solo joints. There will b ...
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The Portland Mercury article
Texas Monthly: For Old 97’s, a Collaboration That Never Ages
NYTimes - over 3 years
In 1996, the Texas band recorded with Waylon Jennings, one of their musical heroes. The band members recall the session, which yielded two songs being released for the first time.     
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NYTimes article
George Jones' 'Amazing Grace' Album Is An Impressive Posthumous Release
Huffington Post - over 3 years
George Jones, "Amazing Grace" (Bandit/Welk) The first release of George Jones music following his death in April features the legendary singer on a collection of traditional hymns. Largely recorded in 2002, "Amazing Grace" finds Jones in full voice and backed by the subtle orchestrations of producer Billy Sherrill, who recorded many of Jones' classic hits in the 1970s and `80s. Across 12 recordings, Jones performs classics such as "Peace In The Valley," "The Old Rugged Cross" and the title song with solemn reverence, using subtle shifts in volume and phrasing to draw deep emotions from these often-performed standards. Each song features moments that prove why Jones was an unparalleled vocalist. Sherrill also shows why he was such a great studio match for Jones. Whether it's the quiet piano-and-bass opening of "In The Garden," or how the harmony voices and steel guitar play off Jones in "Just A Closer Walk With Thee," Sherrill's arrangements add depth to the singer's distinctive inter ...
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Huffington Post article
Willie Nelson: A Highly Irreverent Deconstruction Of The Music Legend
Huffington Post - over 3 years
photo: willienelson.com WARNING: This article contains mood swings, deep, sometimes haunting personal confessions and occasional marijuana usage. On the flipside: No animals were harmed during the creation of this story. Willie Nelson is a bona fide music legend, yes. And that's a very good thing. Willie Nelson also happens to be in the midst of one whopper of a cross-country tour, which should keep his legions of fans jazzed--he hits New York state this month and last month he wowed audiences in Santa Cruz, California. (Let's face it: if there's anybody Cruzans love to embrace with arms wide open, it's a creative beast with liberal leanings who advocates the legalization of marijuana.) Let's get the no-brainer out of the way: The pop country patriarch has led a colorful existence. Nelson's six-decade career and collection of more than 200 albums to his credit are but two of the things that make the Texas singer-songwriter iconic. He also happens to be a resilient performer--tha ...
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Huffington Post article
Jack Clement, Producer and Country Songwriter, Dies at 82 - New York Times (blog)
Google News - over 3 years
Philly.com Jack Clement, Producer and Country Songwriter, Dies at 82 New York Times (blog) Jack Clement, whose career as a producer, engineer, songwriter and arranger began in the early days of rock 'n' roll and included work with country stars like Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Charley Pride as well as noncountry artists like U2, died on ... Country Music Legend 'Cowboy' Jack Clement Dies at 82Hollywood Reporter 'Cowboy' Jack Clement, Country Music Hall of Famer, Dies Aged 82Billboard Nashville Legend Cowboy Jack Clement Dead at 82RollingStone.com The Star-Ledger - NJ.com -Contactmusic.com -KVVU Las Vegas all 51 news articles »
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Google News article
The Season of Liberty
Wall Street Journal - over 3 years
The summer of 1776 was a perilous time for the fledgling American revolution. Kirk Davis Swinehart reviews Joseph J. Ellis's "Revolutionary Summer."
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Wall Street Journal article
News of the Day From Across the Nation, June 24
San Francisco Chronicle - over 3 years
News of the Day From Across the Nation, June 24 Defense attorneys in Whitey Bulger's racketeering trial said in a motion filed Saturday that a gag order is infringing on their client's First Amendment rights. Chet Flippo, one of the deans of pop music journalism, whose profiles of artists like Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Tanya Tucker for Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s heralded vast new popularity for country music among mainstream audiences in the United States, died Wednesday in Nashville after a long illness. 5 Church shooting: A dispute over the firing of a Mississippi pastor turned deadly Sunday when a police officer called to the church fatally shot a man who had fired a shotgun in the parking lot of the Asia Missionary Baptist Church in Jackson. 6 Transgender bias: A Colorado school district discriminated against a transgender first-grader when it refused to let her use the girl's bathroom, the state's civil rights division has d ...
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San Francisco Chronicle article
Bert Montgomery: Brother With A Semi-Colon: Remembering Rev. Will D. Campbell
Huffington Post - over 3 years
In the Fall of 2004, I was taking a seminary course on Thomas Merton. It was being taught by Merton friend and scholar E. Glenn Hinson. Dr. Hinson knew of my near-obsession with all things Will Campbell, and he helped arrange a trip in which he and I would travel together to visit with Will Campbell at his home in Mt. Juliet, Tenn. In addition to simply getting to hang out with Will Campbell, I was going to set up a recorder and let Campbell and Hinson swap their stories about and memories of Thomas Merton. I would then write something up and submit it for a project grade for the course. Less than two weeks before our trip, Will called me and said that he'd been thinking a lot about it, and his memories of and experiences with Merton were just too personal, and he'd prefer not to talk about them. After all, Merton himself wrote a little about their friendship in his journals, and I could read about everything in there. He really treasured his Merton memories and didn' ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Waylon Jennings
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2002
    Age 64
    The same year, it was announced for September the release of Goin' Down Rockin': The Last Recordings, a set of 12 songs recorded by Jennings and bassist Robby Turner before his death in 2002.
    More Details Hide Details Jennings's family was reluctant to release any new material because they did not feel comfortable at the time. The songs only featured Jennings and Turner on the bass, while further accompaniment would be added later. Ten years after, Turner completed the recordings with the help of former Waylors. The Jennings family approved the release despite the launch of a new business focused on his estate. Shooter Jennings arranged deals for a clothing line, while also launching a renewed website, and started talks with different producers about the making of a biographical film.
    On February 13, 2002, Jennings died in his sleep of diabetic complications in Chandler, Arizona.
    More Details Hide Details
    However, they remained together until Jennings's death in 2002.
    More Details Hide Details In 1997, he gave up touring to be closer to his family. To set an example about the importance of education to his son Waylon Albright, Jennings earned a GED at age 52. Jennings started to consume amphetamines while he lived with Johnny Cash during the mid-1960s. Jennings later stated, "Pills were the artificial energy on which Nashville ran around the clock." In 1977, Jennings was arrested by federal agents for conspiracy and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. A private courier warned the Drug Enforcement Administration about the package sent to Jennings by a New York colleague that contained 27 grams of cocaine. The DEA and the police searched Jennings's recording studio. They found no evidence, because while they were waiting for a search warrant, Jennings disposed of the cocaine. The charges were later dropped and Jennings was released. The episode was recounted in Jennings's song "Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit's Done Got Outta Hand?"
  • 2001
    Age 63
    In December 2001, his left foot was amputated at a hospital in Phoenix.
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    In October 2001, Jennings was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
    More Details Hide Details In one final act of defiance, he did not attend the ceremony and opted instead to send son Buddy Dean Jennings. On July 6, 2006, Jennings was inducted to Hollywood's Rock Wall in Hollywood, California. On June 20, 2007, Jennings was posthumously awarded the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award by the Academy of Country Music. Jennings's music had a major influence on several neotraditionalist and alternative country artists, including Hank Williams, Jr., The Marshall Tucker Band, Travis Tritt, Steve Earle, Jamey Johnson, John Anderson, his son, Shooter Jennings, and Hank Williams III. In 2008, his first posthumous album, Waylon Forever, was released. The album consisted of songs recorded with his son Shooter when he was 16. In 2012, Waylon: The Music Inside a three-volume project, consisting of covers of Jennings's songs by different artists, was released.
  • 2000
    Age 62
    By 2000, his diabetes worsened, and the pain reduced his mobility, forcing Jennings to end most touring.
    More Details Hide Details Later the same year, he underwent surgery to improve his leg circulation.
    In January 2000, Jennings recorded what became his final album at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium, Never Say Die: Live.
    More Details Hide Details Jennings's music was characterized by his "powerful" singing voice, noted by his "rough-edged quality," as well as his phrasing and texture. He was also recognized for his "spanky-twang" guitar style. To create his sound, he used a pronounced 'phaser' effect (see 'Modulation Effects': below) plus a mixture of thumb and fingers during the rhythmic parts, while using picks for the lead runs. He combined hammer-on and pull-off riffs, with eventual upper-fret double stops and modulation effects. Jennings played a 1953 Fender Telecaster, a used guitar that was a gift from The Waylors. Jennings's bandmates adorned his guitar with a distinctive leather cover that featured a black background with a white floral work. Jennings further customized it by filing down the frets to lower the strings on the neck to obtain the slapping sound. Among his other guitars, Jennings used a 1950 Fender Broadcaster from the mid-1970s, until he gave it to guitarist Reggie Young in 1993. The leather covers of his guitars were carved by leather artist Terry Lankford.
  • 1999
    Age 61
    In mid-1999, Jennings assembled what he referred to as his "hand-picked dream team" and formed Waylon & The Waymore Blues Band.
    More Details Hide Details Consisting primarily of former Waylors, the 13-member group performed concerts from 1999 to 2001.
  • 1998
    Age 60
    In 1998, Jennings teamed up with Bare, Jerry Reed, and Mel Tillis to form the Old Dogs.
    More Details Hide Details The group recorded a double album of songs by Shel Silverstein.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1997
    Age 59
    In 1997, after the Lollapalooza tour, he decreased his tour schedule and became centered on his family.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1993
    Age 55
    In 1993, in collaboration with Rincom Children's Entertainment, Jennings recorded an album of children's songs, Cowboys, Sisters, Rascals & Dirt, which included "Shooter's Theme", a tribute to his 14-year-old with the theme of "a friend of mine".
    More Details Hide Details Although his record sales and radio play dwindled during the '90s, Jennings continued to draw large crowds at his live performances.
  • FORTIES
  • 1986
    Age 48
    The debut release with the label Will the Wolf Survive (1985) peaked at number one in Billboard's Country albums in 1986.
    More Details Hide Details Jennings's initial success tailed off, and in 1990, he signed with Epic Records. His first release, The Eagle, became his final top 10 album. During the late '80s-early '90s, Jennings and his contemporaries such as Faron Young, Merle Haggard, and George Jones, were gradually evicted from the airwaves in favor of a younger generation of pop-influenced country artists such as Alan Jackson and Reba McEntire.
  • 1985
    Age 47
    Also in 1985, he made a cameo appearance in the live-action children's film Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird.
    More Details Hide Details In the movie, he plays a turkey farm truck driver who gives Big Bird a lift. He also sings one of the film's songs, entitled "Ain't No Road Too Long".
    In 1985, Jennings joined with USA for Africa to record "We Are the World", but he left the studio because of a dispute over the song's lyrics that were to be sung in Swahili.
    More Details Hide Details Ironically, after Jennings left the session, the idea was dropped at the prompting of Stevie Wonder, who pointed out that Ethiopians did not speak Swahili. By this time, his sales had decreased. After the release of Sweet Mother Texas, Jennings signed with Music Corporation of America.
  • 1979
    Age 41
    Also in 1979, Jennings joined the cast of the CBS series The Dukes of Hazzard as the Balladeer, the narrator.
    More Details Hide Details The only episode to feature him in person was "Welcome, Waylon Jennings", during the seventh season. Jennings played himself, presented as an old friend of the Duke family. For the show, he also wrote and sang the theme song "Good Ol' Boys", which became the biggest hit of his career. Released as a single in promotion with the show, it became Jennings's 12th single to reach number one on the Billboard Country Singles chart. It was also a crossover hit, peaking at no. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100. In the mid-1980s, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Nelson, and Jennings formed a successful group called The Highwaymen. Aside from his work with The Highwaymen, Jennings released a gold album WWII (1982) with Willie Nelson.
    In 1979, he released Greatest Hits, which was certified gold the same year, and quintuple platinum in 2002.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1978
    Age 40
    Jennings released I've Always Been Crazy, also in 1978.
    More Details Hide Details The same year, at the peak of his success, Jennings began to feel limited by the outlaw movement. Jennings referred to the overexploitation of the image in the song "Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit Has Done Got Out of Hand?", claiming that the movement had become a "self-fulfilling prophecy".
  • THIRTIES
  • 1976
    Age 38
    In 1976, Jennings released the album Wanted!
    More Details Hide Details The Outlaws, recorded with Willie Nelson, Tompall Glaser, and Jessi Colter for RCA. The album was the first Country music album certified platinum. The following year, RCA issued Ol' Waylon, an album that produced a hit duet with Nelson, "Luckenbach, Texas". The album Waylon and Willie followed in 1978, producing the hit single "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys".
    In 1976, Jennings released Are You Ready for the Country, Jennings wanted the record to be produced by Los Angeles producer Ken Mansfield.
    More Details Hide Details Although RCA denied the request, Jennings and The Waylors went to Los Angeles and recorded with Mansfield at his expense. After a month, Jennings presented the master tape to Chet Atkins, who decided to release it. The album hit number one on Billboards country albums three times the same year, topping the charts for 10 weeks. It was named Country album of the year in 1976 by Record World magazine and it was certified gold by the RIAA.
  • 1975
    Age 37
    Dreaming My Dreams, released in 1975, included the no. 1 single "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" and was his first album to be certified gold by the RIAA; it was also the first of his next six consecutive, solo studio albums to be certified gold or higher.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1973
    Age 35
    In 1973, Jennings released Lonesome, On'ry and Mean and Honky Tonk Heroes, the first albums recorded and released under his creative control.
    More Details Hide Details The release of these albums heralded a major turning point for Jennings, kicking off his most critically and commercially successful years. More hit albums followed with This Time and The Ramblin' Man, both released in 1974. The title tracks of both albums topped the Billboard Country singles chart, with the self-penned "This Time" becoming Jennings's first no. 1 single.
  • 1972
    Age 34
    By 1972, after the release of Ladies Love Outlaws, his recording contract was nearing an end.
    More Details Hide Details Sick with hepatitis, Jennings was hospitalized. Afflicted by disease, and the music industry, he was considering retirement. Albright visited him and convinced him to continue. Albright talked to him about making Neil Reshen his new manager. Meanwhile, Jennings requested a US$25,000 royalty advance from RCA Records to cover his living expenses during his recovery. The same day he met Rashen, RCA sent Jerry Bradley to offer Jennings US$5,000 as a bonus for signing a new 5% royalty deal with RCA, the same terms he had accepted in 1965. After reviewing with Reshen, he rejected the offer and hired Reshen. Reshen started to renegotiate Jennings's recording and touring contracts. At a meeting in a Nashville airport, Jennings introduced Reshen to Willie Nelson. By the end of the meeting, Reshen had become Nelson's manager, as well. Jennings's new deal gained him a $75,000 advance and artistic control. Reshen advised Jennings to keep the beard that he had grown in the hospital, to match the image of Outlaw Country.
    In 1972, Jennings released Ladies Love Outlaws.
    More Details Hide Details The single that headlined the album became a hit for Jennings, and was his first approach to Outlaw Country. Jennings was accustomed to performing and recording with his own band, The Waylors, a practice that was not encouraged by powerful Nashville producers. Over time, however, Jennings felt limited by the Nashville sound's lack of artistic freedom. The music style publicized as "Countrypolitan" was characterized by orchestral arrangements, and the absence of traditional Country music instruments. The producers did not let Jennings play his own guitar or select material to record. In an interview, Jennings recalled the restrictions of the Nashville establishment: "They wouldn't let you do anything. You had to dress a certain way: you had to do everything a certain way. They kept trying to destroy me. I just went about my business and did things my way. You start messing with my music, I get mean."
  • 1969
    Age 31
    He married for the fourth and final time in Phoenix, Arizona, on October 26, 1969 to Jessi Colter.
    More Details Hide Details Colter and Jennings had one son, Waylon Albright "Shooter" Jennings (born May 19, 1979). Colter had one daughter, Jennifer, from her previous marriage to Duane Eddy. In the early 1980s, Colter and Jennings nearly divorced due to his addiction to drugs and other forms of substance abuse.
    In 1969, his collaboration with The Kimberlys on the single "MacArthur Park" earned a Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group.
    More Details Hide Details His single "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" reached number three at the Hot Country Singles chart by the end of the year. During this time, Jennings rented an apartment in Nashville with singer Johnny Cash. Jennings and Cash were both managed by "Lucky" Moeller's booking agency Moeller Talent, Inc. The tours organized by the agency were unproductive, with the artists being booked to venues located far from each other in close dates. After paying for the accommodation and travel expenditures, Jennings's profits were reduced, with him frequently requesting advances from the agency or RCA Records to play the next venue. While playing 300 days on the road, Jennings's debt increased along with his consumption of amphetamines, as he believed himself to be trapped on the circuit.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1967
    Age 29
    Jennings's singles enjoyed success. "The Chokin' Kind" peaked at number eight on Billboard's Hot Country Singles in 1967, while "Only Daddy That'll Walk the Line" hit number two the following year.
    More Details Hide Details
    Jennings produced midchart albums that sold well, including Just to Satisfy You, that included the same-named hit single of 1967.
    More Details Hide Details
    In 1967, Jennings released a hit single, "Just to Satisfy You".
    More Details Hide Details During an interview, Jennings remarked that the song was a "pretty good example" of the influence of his work with Buddy Holly and rockabilly music.
  • 1966
    Age 28
    In 1966, Jennings released his debut album for RCA Folk-Country, followed by Leavin' Town and Nashville Rebel.
    More Details Hide Details Leavin' Town resulted in significant chart success as the first two singles "Anita, You're Dreaming" and "Time to Burn Again" both peaked at no. 17 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The album's third single, a cover of Gordon Lightfoot's "(That's What You Get) For Lovin' Me", became Jennings's first top 10 single, peaking at no. 9. Nashville Rebel was the soundtrack to an independent film of the same name, starring Jennings. The single "Green River" charted on Billboard country singles at #11.
  • 1965
    Age 27
    Atkins formally signed Jennings to RCA Victor in 1965.
    More Details Hide Details On August 21, Jennings made his first appearance on the Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart with "That's the Chance I'll Have to Take".
  • 1964
    Age 26
    He also played lead guitar for Patsy Montana on a 1964 album.
    More Details Hide Details Singer Bobby Bare heard Jennings's "Just to Satisfy You" on his car radio while passing through Phoenix, eventually recording it and "Four Strong Winds". After stopping in Phoenix to attend to a Jennings performance at JD's, while driving to Las Vegas, Bare stopped and called Chet Atkins in Nashville, suggesting that he needed to sign Jennings. When he was made aware of the new deal, Waylon was not sure if he should quit his gig at JD's. He then went to get the advice of his friend, RCA artist Willie Nelson, who had gone to see one of Waylon's shows. When Willie and Waylon met, after talking about the possibilities and considering Waylon's profits at the club, Nelson suggested that Waylon should stay in Phoenix and not to move to Nashville. Nonetheless, Jennings decided to accept the offer, and asked Herb Alpert to release him from his contract with A&M. Alpert agreed, though later A&M would compile all of Jennings's singles and unreleased material the label had and release it as Don't Think Twice.
  • 1963
    Age 25
    On July 9, 1963, Jennings signed a contract with A&M that granted him 5% of record sales.
    More Details Hide Details At A&M, he recorded "Love Denied" backed with "Rave On", and "Four Strong Winds" backed with "Just to Satisfy You". He followed up by recording demos of "The Twelfth of Never", "Kisses Sweeter than Wine", and "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right", and also produced the single "Sing the Girls a Song, Bill", backed with "The Race Is On". The singles were released between April and October 1964. His records had little success, because A&M's main releases were folk music rather than Country. He had a few hits on local radio in Phoenix, with "Four Strong Winds" and "Just To Satisfy You" (co-written with Bowman). Meanwhile, he recorded an album on BAT records, called JD's. After 500 copies were sold at the club, another 500 copies were pressed by the Sounds label.
  • 1962
    Age 24
    Jennings married again on December 10, 1962 to Lynne Jones, adopting a child, Tomi Lynne. They divorced in 1967.
    More Details Hide Details He next married Barbara Rood. He composed the song "This Time" about the trials and tribulations of his marriages and divorces.
  • 1961
    Age 23
    In 1961, Jennings signed a recording contract with Trend Records, and experienced moderate success with his single, "Another Blue Day".
    More Details Hide Details His friend, Don Bowman, took demos of Jennings to Jerry Moss, who at the time was starting A&M Records with associate Herb Alpert.
  • 1959
    Age 21
    He recreates the concert performers on February 2, 1959, in order at the Surf Ballroom, starting with Eddie Cochran, then Ritchie Valens, the Big Bopper and, finally, Buddy Holly.
    More Details Hide Details This was the concert that preceded the infamous plane crash. The Stage can be found on the Surf Ballroom Winter Dance Party CD. "Jole Blon" was released on Brunswick in March 1959 with limited success. Now unemployed, Jennings returned to KLLL. Deeply affected by the death of Buddy Holly, Jennings' performance at the station worsened. He left the station after he was denied a raise, and later worked briefly for the competition, KDAV. Due to Maxine's father's illness, Jennings had to shuttle between Arizona and Texas. While his family lived back in Littlefield, Jennings found a job briefly at KOYL in Odessa, Texas. He moved with his family to Coolidge, Arizona, where his wife's sister lived. He found a job performing at the Galloping Goose bar, where he was heard by Earl Perrin, who offered him a spot on KCKY. Jennings also played during the intermission at drive-in theaters and in bars. After a successful performance at the Cross Keys Club in Phoenix, Arizona, he was approached by contractors who were building a club for Jimmy D. Musiel, called JD's. Musiel employed Jennings as his main artist and designed the club around his act.
    When Holly learned that his band mates had given up their seats on the plane and had chosen to take the bus rather than fly, a friendly banter between Holly and Jennings ensued, and it would come back to haunt Jennings for decades to follow: Holly jokingly told Jennings, "Well, I hope your ol' bus freezes up!" Jennings jokingly replied, "Well, I hope your ol' plane crashes!" Less than an hour and a half later, shortly after 1:00 AM on February 3, 1959 (later known as The Day the Music Died), Holly's charter plane crashed at full throttle into a cornfield outside Mason City, Iowa, instantly killing all on board.
    More Details Hide Details Later that morning, Jennings' family heard on the radio that "Buddy Holly and his band had been killed." After calling his family, Jennings called Sky Corbin at KLLL from Fargo to say that he was alive. The General Artists Corporation promised to pay a first-class ticket for Jennings and the band to assist Holly's funeral in Lubbock, in exchange for them playing that night in Moorhead. After the first show, they were initially denied their payment by the venue, but after Jennings's persistence, they were paid. The flights were never paid, and Jennings and Allsup continued the tour for two more weeks, featuring Jennings as the lead singer. They were paid less than half of the original agreed salary, and upon returning to New York, Jennings put Holly's guitar and amplifier in a locker in Grand Central Terminal and mailed the keys to Maria Elena Holly. Then, he returned to Lubbock.
    Jennings and Holly soon left for New York City, arriving on January 15, 1959.
    More Details Hide Details Jennings stayed at Holly's apartment by Washington Square Park, on the days prior to a meeting scheduled on the headquarters of the General Artists Corporation, that organized the tour. They later took a train to Chicago to join the band. The Winter Dance Party tour began in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on January 23, 1959. The amount of travel created logistical problems, as the distance between venues had not been considered when scheduling each performance. Adding to the problem, the unheated tour buses twice broke down in freezing weather, with dire consequences. Holly's drummer Carl Bunch suffered frostbite to his toes (while aboard the bus) and was hospitalized, so Buddy Holly made the decision to find another means of transportation. Before their performance at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, Holly chartered a four-seat Beechcraft Bonanza airplane at Dwyer Flying Service in Mason City, Iowa, for himself, Jennings, and Tommy Allsup, to avoid the long bus trip to their next venue in Moorhead, Minnesota. Following the Clear Lake show (which ended around midnight), Allsup lost a coin toss and gave up his seat on the charter plane to Ritchie Valens, while Waylon Jennings voluntarily gave up his seat to J. P. Richardson, who was suffering from the flu and complaining about how cold and uncomfortable the tour bus was for a man of his size.
  • 1958
    Age 20
    Before the tour, Holly vacationed with his wife in Lubbock, and visited Jennings' radio station in December 1958.
    More Details Hide Details Jennings and Sky Corbin performed the hand claps to Holly's tune "You're the One".
  • TEENAGE
  • 1956
    Age 18
    Jennings was married four times, and had six children. He was first married to Maxine Caroll Lawrence in 1956 at age 18, with whom he had four children: Terry Vance Jennings (born January 21, 1957), Julie Rae Jennings (born August 12, 1958), Buddy Dean Jennings (born March 21, 1960), and Deana Jennings.
    More Details Hide Details
    In addition to performing on air for KVOW, Jennings started to work as a DJ in 1956, and moved to Lubbock.
    More Details Hide Details His program ran for six hours, from 4:00 in the afternoon to 10:00 in the evening. Jennings played two hours of Country classics, two of current Country, and two of mixed recordings. During those final two hours, Jennings played artists such as Chuck Berry and Little Richard. The owner reprimanded him each time he aired the recordings, and when he then played two Richard records in a row, the owner fired him. During his time at KVOW, Jennings was visited by DJ Sky Corbin, who worked at KLVT in Levelland. Corbin was impressed with his voice, and decided to visit Jennings at the station after hearing him sing a jingle to the tune of Hank Snow's "I'm Moving On". Jennings expressed his economic struggle to live on a US$50-a-week salary. Corbin invited Jennings to visit KLVT, where he eventually took Corbin's then-vacated position. The Corbin family later purchased KLLL, in Lubbock. They changed the format of the station to Country, becoming the main competition of KDAV. The Corbins hired Jennings as the station's first DJ.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1937
    Born
    Waylon Arnold Jennings was born on June 15, 1937, on the G.W. Bitner farm, near Littlefield, Texas.
    More Details Hide Details He was the son of Lorene Beatrice (née Shipley) and William Albert Jennings. The Jennings family line descended from Irish and Black-Dutch. Meanwhile, the Shipley family moved from Tennessee and settled in Texas. The Shipley line descended from Cherokee and Comanche families. The name on his birth certificate was Wayland, meaning land by the highway. His name was changed after a Baptist preacher visited Jennings's parents and congratulated his mother for naming him after the Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas. Lorene Jennings, who had been unaware of the college, changed the spelling to Waylon. Jennings later expressed in his autobiography, "I didn't like Waylon. It sounded corny and hillbilly, but it's been good to me, and I'm pretty well at peace with it right now." After working as a laborer on the Bitner farm, Jennings's father moved the family to Littlefield and established a retail creamery. When Jennings was eight, his mother taught him to play guitar with the tune "Thirty Pieces of Silver". Jennings used to practice with his relatives' guitars, until his mother bought him a used Stella, and later ordered a Harmony Patrician. Early influences were Bob Wills, Floyd Tillman, Ernest Tubb, Hank Williams, Carl Smith, and Elvis Presley.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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