Early life Waylon Jennings was born on June 15, , on the G.
Early life Waylon Jennings was born on June 15, , on the G. Bitner farm, near Littlefield, Texas. The Jennings family line descended from Irish and Black-Dutch. Meanwhile, the Shipley family moved from Tennessee and settled in Texas. The Shipley line descended from Cherokee and Comanche families.
His name was changed after a Baptist preacher visited Jennings's parents and congratulated his mother for naming him after the Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas.
Lorene Jennings, who had been unaware of the college, changed the spelling to Waylon. Jennings later expressed in his autobiography, "I didn't like Waylon.
It sounded corny and hillbilly, but it's been good to me, and I'm pretty well at peace with it right now. Jennings used to practice with his relatives' guitars, until his mother bought him a used Stella , and later ordered a Harmony Patrician. He won a talent show at Channel 13 , in Lubbock, singing " Hey Joe ". He later made frequent performances at the Palace Theater in Littlefield, during local talent night. McShan, along with Emil Macha, recorded Jennings's performance.
McShan liked his style and hired him for a weekly minute program. Following this successful introduction, Jennings formed his own band. He asked Macha to play bass for him, and gathered other friends and acquaintances to form The Texas Longhorns. The style of the band, a mixture of Country and Western and Bluegrass music , was often not well received.
Upon leaving school, he worked for his father in the produce store, also taking temporary jobs. Jennings felt that music, his favorite activity, would turn into his career. Tired of the owner, and after a minor driving accident, Jennings quit.
Jennings played two hours of country classics, two of current country, and two of mixed recordings. The owner reprimanded him each time he aired the recordings, and when he then played two Richard records in a row, the owner fired him.
Corbin was impressed with his voice, and decided to visit Jennings at the station after hearing him sing a jingle to the tune of Hank Snow's " I'm Moving On ". They changed the format of the station to country, becoming the main competition of KDAV. The Corbins hired Jennings as the station's first DJ.
As their popularity increased, the DJs made public appearances. Jennings's events included live performances. During one performance, Buddy's father, L. Holley, approached them with his son's latest record, and requested them to play it at the station.
Problems playing this file? Holly took Jennings as his first artist. He outfitted him with new clothes, and worked with him to improve his image. Jennings stayed at Holly's apartment by Washington Square Park prior to a meeting scheduled at the headquarters of the General Artists Corporation , that organized the tour.
The amount of travel created logistical problems, as the distance between venues had not been considered when scheduling each performance. Adding to the problem, the unheated tour buses twice broke down in freezing weather, with dire consequences. Holly's drummer Carl Bunch suffered frostbite to his toes while aboard the bus and was hospitalized, so Holly made the decision to find another means of transportation.
Following the Clear Lake show which ended around midnight , Allsup lost a coin toss and gave up his seat on the charter plane to Ritchie Valens , while Jennings voluntarily gave up his seat to J. Richardson , who was suffering from the flu and complaining about how cold and uncomfortable the tour bus was for a man of his size. Holly jokingly told Jennings, "Well, I hope your ol' bus freezes up! Then, he returned to Lubbock.
This sense of guilt precipitated bouts of substance abuse through much of Jennings's career. Deeply affected by the death of Holly, Jennings's performance at the station worsened. He left the station after he was denied a raise, and later worked briefly for the competition, KDAV. Jennings also played during the intermission at drive-in theaters and in bars.
Musiel employed Jennings as his main artist and designed the club around his act. The singles were released between April and October After copies were sold at the club, another copies were pressed by the Sounds label.
When Willie and Waylon met, after talking about the possibilities and considering Waylon's profits at the club, Nelson suggested that Waylon should stay in Phoenix and not to move to Nashville.
Nashville Rebel was the soundtrack to an independent film of the same name , starring Jennings. During an interview, Jennings remarked that the song was a "pretty good example" of the influence of his work with Buddy Holly and rockabilly music.
After paying for the accommodation and travel expenditures, Jennings's profits were reduced, with him frequently requesting advances from the agency or RCA Records to play the next venue. While playing days on the road, Jennings's debt increased along with his consumption of amphetamines , as he believed himself to be trapped on the circuit.
The single that headlined the album became a hit for Jennings, and was his first approach to Outlaw Country. Over time, however, Jennings felt limited by the Nashville sound 's lack of artistic freedom. The producers did not let Jennings play his own guitar or select material to record. You had to dress 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.
Sick with hepatitis , Jennings was hospitalized. Afflicted by disease, and the music industry, he was considering retirement. Albright visited him and convinced him to continue. Albright talked to him about making Neil Reshen his new manager. After reviewing with Reshen, he rejected the offer and hired Reshen.
By the end of the meeting, Reshen had become Nelson's manager, as well. Now based in Austin, Texas , he had made inroads into the rock and roll press by attracting rock audiences.
The release of these albums heralded a major turning point for Jennings, kicking off his most critically and commercially successful years. The title tracks of both albums topped the Billboard Country singles chart, with the self-penned "This Time" becoming Jennings's first no. Dreaming My Dreams , released in , included the no. After a month, Jennings presented the master tape to Chet Atkins , who decided to release it.
The album hit number one on Billboard's country albums three times the same year, topping the charts for 10 weeks. In , Jennings released the album Wanted! The album was the first Country music album certified platinum. The only episode to feature him in person was " Welcome, Waylon Jennings ", during the seventh season.
Jennings played himself, presented as an old friend of the Duke family. For the show, he also wrote and sang the theme song " Good Ol' Boys ", which became the biggest hit of his career. Released as a single in promotion with the show, it became Jennings's 12th single to reach number one on the Billboard Country Singles chart. It was also a crossover hit, peaking at no. Ironically, after Jennings left the session, the idea was dropped at the prompting of Stevie Wonder , who pointed out that Ethiopians did not speak Swahili.
His first release, The Eagle , became his final top 10 album. In the movie, he plays a turkey farm truck driver who gives Big Bird a lift. In , after the Lollapalooza tour, he decreased his tour schedule and became centered on his family. The group recorded a double album of songs by Shel Silverstein. Consisting primarily of former Waylors, the member group performed concerts from to To create his sound, he used a pronounced 'phaser' effect see 'Modulation Effects': He combined hammer-on and pull-off riffs, with eventual upper-fret double stops and modulation effects.
Jennings's bandmates adorned his guitar with a distinctive leather cover that featured a black background with a white floral work. He was first married to Maxine Caroll Lawrence in at age 18, with whom he had four children: They divorced in He next married Barbara Elizabeth Rood in He composed the song "This Time" about the trials and tribulations of his marriages and divorces.
Colter had one daughter, Jennifer, from her previous marriage to Duane Eddy. In the early s, Colter and Jennings nearly divorced due to his addiction to drugs and other forms of substance abuse. However, they remained together until Jennings's death in In , he gave up touring to be closer to his family. Addiction and recovery Jennings started to consume amphetamines while he lived with Johnny Cash during the mids.
Jennings later stated, "Pills were the artificial energy on which Nashville ran around the clock. A private courier warned the Drug Enforcement Administration about the package sent to Jennings by a New York colleague that contained 27 grams of cocaine.
The DEA and the police searched Jennings's recording studio.
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