National Obituary Review

Dead Person of the Day – February 13 – Waylon Jennings

0 Comments 13 February 2013

Goddam it Folks!

I’m so fired up about today’s DPD I ate a hotball before my Cheerios this morning.

Waylon Jennings may be the best personification of the American outlaw wahoo spirit we’ve ever seen. Looking at his list of associations bares a striking resemblance to thumbing through the vinyl collection at The Shade’s HQ. For example:

  • Jennings was discovered by Chet Atkins while recording with Herb Alpert
  • He toured and produced some of his best work with Willie Nelson – the Red Headed Stranger
  • Later in life Jennings championed younger writers, notably Kris Kristofferson, Alex Harvey and Mickey Newbury.
  • His resonant, authoritative voice also was used to narrate “The Dukes of Hazzard” and he also sang its theme song, which was a platinum single.

And to think we almost didn’t get to enjoy any of it. Yes sir. Because…

Waylon Jennings was first discovered by none other than that ahead-of-his-time hipster Buddy Holly. Jennings joined Holly’s touring group on bass guitar and took part in the fateful 1959 tour where Holly died in a plane crash. Jennings had intended to take the same flight but gave his seat up to another of the tour’s stars, Big Bopper because Bop had a cold and didn’t want to ride the bus with the rest of the low lifes. So Jennings gave up his seat and – luckily – didn’t play a role in The Day The Music Died.

So do yourself a favor and band down the gates of Americana by listening to a few Waylon Jennings cuts. This could also be a good start

Wrap this obit up in a stars and stripes bandana and say the pledge of allegiance.

Waylon Jennings

Rebel who revitalised country music and recorded Nashville’s first million-selling album

Waylon Jennings, the “outlaw” singer and composer who helped to revitalise country music in the 1970s, has died aged 64. A protégé of Buddy Holly and devotee of Hank Williams, he sold more than 40 million records in a career spanning six decades. Continue

- who has written 512 posts on The Shade.

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