Waylon Jennings

Country, Musical Artist

1937 – 2002

88

Who was Waylon Jennings?

Waylon Arnold Jennings was an American country music singer, songwriter, and musician. Jennings began playing guitar at 8 and began performing at 12 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's first recording session, of “Jole Blon” and “When Sin Stops.” Holly hired him to play bass. During the “Winter Dance Party Tour,” in Clear Lake, Iowa, Holly chartered a plane to arrive at the next venue. Jennings gave up his seat in the plane to J. P. Richardson, who was suffering from a cold. The flight that carried Holly, Richardson, and Ritchie Valens crashed, on the day later known as The Day the Music Died. Following the accident, Jennings worked as a D.J. in Coolidge, Arizona, and Phoenix. He formed a rockabilly club band, The Waylors. He recorded for independent label Trend Records, A&M Records before succeeding with RCA Victor after achieving creative control of his records.

During the 1970s, Jennings joined the Outlaw movement. He released critically acclaimed albums Lonesome, On'ry and Mean and Honky Tonk Heroes, followed by hit albums Dreaming My Dreams and Are You Ready for the Country. In 1976 he released the album Wanted! The Outlaws with Willie Nelson, Tompall Glaser, and Jessi Colter, the first platinum country music album. The success of the album was followed by Ol' Waylon, and the hit song “Luckenbach, Texas.” By the early 1980s, Jennings was struggling with a cocaine addiction, which he quit in 1984. Later he joined the country supergroup The Highwaymen with Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and Johnny Cash. During that period, Jennings released the successful album Will the Wolf Survive. He toured less after 1997, to spend more time with his family. Between 1999 and 2001, his appearances were limited by health problems. On February 13, 2002, Jennings died from complications of diabetes.

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Born
Jun 15, 1937
Littlefield
Also known as
  • Waylon and the Waymore Blues Band
  • Waylon
  • Waylon Arnold Jennings
  • Jennings, Waylon
  • Hoss
  • The Highwaymen
  • Wayland Arnold Jennings
Parents
Spouses
Children
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Lived in
  • Texas
Died
Feb 13, 2002
Chandler

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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2 Comments

  • Michael Clay Edwards
    One of the greatest baritone voices EVER IN COUNTRY MUSIC!!! And as good of an entertainer as there ever was ! Lucky to see him perform 3 times And would have seen him a hundred if I could have! His early music is the epitome of Western Swing music First popularized by Bob Wills!!! He staid relevant though up through the 80’s and into the 90’s with his outlaw brand of music and style! Should always be talked about in the same vein of influencers of Country, and even rock music, with Willie Meldon, Johnny Cash and Hank Dr. and Hank Jr,!!! 
    LikeReplyReport 11 year ago
  • Brian Davidson
    As the lyrics in one of Hank Jr's songs, they'll play his songs till the end of time!
    LikeReplyReport 12 years ago

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