August 16

How Waylon Jennings Became a Country Outlaw


“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.”

-Waylon Jennings

Waylon Jennings praised and appreciated the works of Nashville, but he and Willie Nelson had their own ideas. He fought hard with his belief that everyone has his own way of doing things and that he should at least try to materialize them. Not surprisingly, he shrugged off all perceived control over his works. Temporarily, it was a setback for him and his career. He got broke and became ill and was even contemplating retirement. Albright convinced him otherwise and upon meeting his new manager, Neil Reshen, he got back on his toes. It was to his manager’s credit that he had his signature image of long hair, beard, black hat and velvet vest on every appearance on TV and concert shows. More than that, he gained what he craved the most; artistic freedom.

Instead of having his career dissolved and him becoming a faded artist, outlaw country has become prominent in the 1970s to early 1980s.

(Clip below is one of his songs that Nashville objected to because of its rock and roll beat.

They were not out to destroy Nashville, but rather, they just wanted to have a chance to play their own music, and that is where Outlaw Country is today. Anyone could be part of it and have the chance to experiment their tunes and styles.

(lifted from Wikipedia)

Jennings’s music had a major influence on several neotraditionalist and alternative country artists, including Hank Williams, Jr.,The Marshall Tucker Band,[125] Travis Tritt, Steve Earle, Jamey Johnson, John Anderson, his son, Shooter Jennings, Sturgill Simpson, and Hank Williams III.

How Waylon Jennings Became a Country Outlaw 1
(source: pinterest)


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