The year 1977 marked Waylon Jennings’ heydays as an outlaw country artist. The previous years though shouldn’t be discredited as they’ve served as his stepping stones to greater success. Much of such materialized in 1977. Particularly, during this year, Waylon released his soon to be fourth studio album that topped the country charts. Entitled Ol’ Waylon, the album did not only enjoy a thirteen-week chart reign atop but also went on becoming platinum certified. And that would eventually earn Waylon his reputation as a solo artist to produce the first platinum album in country music.
The 41-Year-Old Platinum Album
It’s exactly 41 years ago today when Ol’ Waylon landed the top of the chart. Barely two months after its release, the album skyrocketed to fame and established itself as country music’s first million-selling LP. Undeniably, the phenomenal hit and the album’s first track “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)” contributed much to this reaching. Though the late singer didn’t initially like the song, he did recognize its huge potential of becoming a major hit. And it did! In fact, it became the biggest hit single of Waylon’s career.
In addition to the notable song, Ol’ Waylon also included cover versions of several major singles of other artists. Among them Kenny Roger’s “Lucille,” Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” and some medley songs of Elvis Presley that Arthur Crudup originally composed. The album’s track listing also features a cut of Jimmy Webb’s song “If You See Me Getting Smaller.” Addressed to his fellow Wanted! The Outlaws star, Willie Nelson, this single spurred curiosity among the audience. Whether the song is Waylon’s acknowledgment of his friend’s seizing success or his own flight to drug addiction, only him knows.
Waylon recorded Ol’ Waylon with producer Chips Moman. It was also Moman who penned the album’s most successful track. On this day, Moman would have turned 81. To commemorate these milestones, let’s once again listen to the song that catapulted both Waylon and Moman to success.
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