Another country music legend gone : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Just heard on the news that Waylon Jennings has passed away. What a lost it will be for country music

-- TomK(mich) (, February 13, 2002


I agree, and am so sad to hear about it. I was a big fan of dukes of hazards when I was a teen.

-- Kristean Thompson (, February 13, 2002.

It is so sad we are losing all the greats. I grew up on country music. My all time favorite is Loretta Lynn. I still find it hard to believe Tammy Wynette, Conway Twitty and others are gone. How I miss the country music I grew up on.

-- george nh (, February 13, 2002.

I has heard the Waylon Jennings was with BUddy Holy and the Cricketts,, he was one of the cricketts,, is that true>?

-- Stan (, February 13, 2002.

yes he was. and if memory serves Waylon gave up a seat on the plane that night so that the band laundry could fly on ahead. or something like that. RIP

-- B. Lackie - Zone3 (, February 13, 2002.

The way we heard it is that Waylon gave up his seat to the Big Bopper. He was on the same circuit as the others, but sang by himself. He flipped a coin or something with the Big Bopper and when he lost he took the bus and of course the rest is history. My husband is the one that gave me this information. It is too bad that they all died so young! 60's is sounding younger every day!

-- Nan (, February 13, 2002.

Just a little side note. One weekend in Jan. each year there's a "Buddy Holly Tribute" in Clear Lake, Iowa. They've had it for years and it used to be sold out a year ahead of time. I don't know if it still is or not. Lots of the 50's and 60's singers have appeared through the years. It has people from all over the world that attend. The plane was leaving Clear Lake after a concert there when it went down because of stormy weather.

-- Anna in Iowa (, February 14, 2002.

Waylon gave up his seat to another band member who was sick and didn't want to ride the bus to the next gig. The plane was American Pie, which Don McClane used in his song.

Waylon died as the result of complications of diabetes. Seems like more and more people are coming down with it these days. Or maybe its always been around, just people are getting tested now.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, February 14, 2002.

Country Great Waylon Jennings Dies at 64

By JIM PATTERSON .c The Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 13) - Waylon Jennings, whose rebellious songs and brash attitude defined the outlaw movement in country music, died Wednesday after a long battle with diabetes-related health problems. He was 64.

Jennings spokeswoman Schatzie Hageman said Jennings died peacefully at his home in Arizona.

Jennings, a singer, songwriter and guitarist, recorded 60 albums and had 16 No. 1 country singles in a career that spanned five decades and began when he played bass for Buddy Holly. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in October.

''Waylon was a dear friend, one of the very best of 35 years,'' said Johnny Cash, who recorded and toured with Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson as The Highwaymen. ''I'll miss him immensely.''

George Jones called it a ''great loss for country music,'' and Emmylou Harris said Jennings ''had a voice and a way with a song like no one else.''

''He was also a class act as an artist and a man,'' she said.

Jennings had been plagued with diabetes-related health problems in recent years that made it difficult for him to walk. In December, his left foot was amputated at a Phoenix hospital.

Jennings and his wife, singer Jessi Colter, sold their home in Nashville more than a year ago and moved to Chandler, Arizona. They held an auction before the move, offering up items like ''Leon,'' a wood carving of an Indian chief that was Jennings' stage mascot for 20 years.

In 1959, Jennings' career was nearly cut short by tragedy soon after it began.

He was scheduled to fly on the light plane that crashed and killed Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. ''The Big Bopper'' Richardson. Jennings gave up his seat on the plane to Richardson, who was ill and wanted to fly rather than travel by bus with those left behind.

With his pal Nelson, Jennings performed duets like ''Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,'' ''Luckenbach'' and ''Good Hearted Woman.'' Those 1970s songs nurtured a progressive sound and restless spirit embraced later by Travis Tritt, Charlie Daniels, Steve Earle and others.

His resonant, authoritative voice also was used to narrate the popular TV show ''The Dukes of Hazzard.'' He sang its theme song, which was a million seller.

''I aimed the narration at children and it made it work,'' he said in a 1987 AP interview.

He traditionally wore a black cowboy hat and ebony attire that accented his black beard and mustache. Often reclusive when not on stage, he played earthy music with a spirited, hard edge.

''For Waylon it was always about the music,'' said Joe Galante, president of RCA Records in Nashville. ''The only spotlight he ever cared about was the one on him while he was onstage. It wasn't about the awards or events.''

Jennings' well-defined image matched his history of battling record producers to do music his way.

''There's always one more way to do something,'' Jennings said. ''Your way.''

Some of his album titles nourished his brash persona: ''Lonesome, On'ry and Mean,'' ''I've Always Been Crazy,'' ''Nashville Rebel,'' ''Ladies Love Outlaws'' and ''Wanted: The Outlaws.''

He often refused to attend music awards shows on the grounds that performers should not compete against each other. Despite those sentiments, Jennings won two Grammy awards and four Country Music Association awards. He did not attend his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame last year.

For about 10 years, he declined to appear on the Grand Ole Opry because a full set of drums was forbidden at the time. The rule was eventually dropped.

In 1992, he told the AP: ''I've never compromised, and people respect that.''

Of his outlaw image, he said: ''It was a good marketing tool. In a way, I am that way. You start messing with my music, I get mean. As long was you are honest and up front with me, I will be the same with you. But I still do things my way.''

Born in Littlefield, Texas, Jennings became a radio disc jockey at 14 and formed his own band not long afterward.

He and Holly were teen-age friends in Lubbock, Texas, and Jennings was in Holly's band. Holly also produced Jennings' first record.

''Mainly what I learned from Buddy was an attitude,'' Jennings said. ''He loved music, and he taught me that it shouldn't have any barriers to it.''

By the early 1960s Jennings was playing regularly at a nightclub in Phoenix. In 1963, he was signed by Herb Alpert's A&M Records, then was signed by RCA in Nashville shortly thereafter by Chet Atkins. In Nashville, he and Cash became friends and roommates.

His hit records began in the mid-1960s and his heyday was the mid- 1970s.

His ''Greatest Hits'' album in 1979 sold 4 million - a rare accomplishment in country music for that era.

In the mid-1980s, he joined with Nelson, Cash and Kristofferson to form the Highwaymen.

''I'd like to be remembered for my music - not necessarily by what people see when they see us - but what they feel when they talk about you,'' he said in 1984.

''Some people have their music. My music has me.''

His other hit singles included ''I'm a Ramblin' Man,'' ''Amanda,'' ''Lucille,'' ''I've Always Been Crazy'' and ''Rose in Paradise.''

He made occasional forays into TV movies, including ''Stagecoach'' and ''Oklahoma City Dolls,'' plus the Sesame Street movie ''Follow That Bird'' and the B-movie ''Nashville Rebel.''

He has said he spent 21 years on drugs and had a $1,500-a-day cocaine habit.

''I did more drugs than anybody you ever saw in your life,'' he told the Country Music Association's Close Up magazine in 1994.

In 1977, he was arrested at a Nashville recording studio and charged with conspiracy and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. The charges were later dismissed.

He kicked the habit in 1984 by leasing a house in Arizona and going cold turkey, he said.

He and Colter, his fourth wife, married in 1969. They had one son, Shooter.

AP-NY-02-13-02 2049EST

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, February 14, 2002.

Waylon had three more kids with different wives, Terry who was the oldest with Maxcine also Buddy, who was named after Buddy Holly and was also one of my best friends, a daughter Jennifer by another wife . I traveled with Waylon's band for a few trips around Nashville in the late 80's and early 90's as a gofer & hand. Look me up in BMI I wrote some songs back then with different ones including Tracy Lawerance. I now live in Fairbanks Alaska and am battling cancer

-- P.W.Jones (, February 14, 2002.

It's hard to believe. I grew up listening to them. Like Kristean, I loved the Dukes of Hazzard, and knew who was singing as soon as the first notes hit the air! Jennings and the others mentioned (Cash, Nelson, etc.) were real, problems and all, while some of the new singers are all fluff and no stuff!!

-- Christine in OK (, February 14, 2002.

I get the Nashville The Tennessean, so it follows country music (and the @$%#^&&*(@% SEC) extensively. Reports have been Johnny Cash is in and out of the hospital. Willie says he is dieting and has cut back pot to no more than a kilo a day. Loretta Lynn lives about four miles from me at Loretta Lynn's Ranch (haven't met her - we don't exactly run in the same circles). She has lead a quite life since Moony died. Heard the rumor she was going to marry the minister of her church. They hold good size concerts there a couple of times a year and she does preform a couple of her songs.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, February 14, 2002.

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