|Born||Waylon Arnold Jennings
June 15, 1937
Littlefield, Texas, U.S.
|Died||February 13, 2002
Chandler, Arizona, U.S.
|Occupation||Singer-songwriter, musician, actor|
(m. 1962â€“1967) Barbara Elizabeth Rood (m. 10/22/1967-1968)
(m. 1969â€“2002, his death)
4 biological – 3 adopted through marriage.
|Genres||Country, outlaw country, rock, rockabilly (early career)|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, piano, mandolin|
|Labels||RCA Victor, MCA, Epic|
|Associated acts||Jessi Colter, Willie Nelson, The Highwaymen, Buddy Holly, Andy Griggs, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Jr., Sturgill Simpson|
of Waylon Jennings
I love Johnny Cash, and I respect Johnny Cash. He's the biggest. He's like an Elvis in this business, but no, he's never been the rebel.
So I'm not very popular here with those inside the system, as you might guess. I never wanted to be.
But ya know what, I am a part of something that happened. I'm a part of the music that happened. My voice is one more instrument, is what it is. So that's the way I feel about people who play on sessions.
You know, in the days when I started, if you had Chet Atkins' name on your record as a producer and it was on RCA, you could work the road. It didn't have to be a big hit record, it just had to have that on it.
Mainly what I learned from Buddy… was an attitude. He loved music, and he taught me that it shouldn't have any barriers to it.
But you know, the system almost destroyed itself while it was goin' on trying to destroy us.
Jessi is a great person. She really is. She's been a friend to me all through all my bad times, and she's understood what I was doing. She came up with that one saying, which was great.
Now, I was on drugs, and that didn't help a whole lot. He hated that. That was part of where Chet and I had problems, so I take complete blame for that.
I mean, I think we're put here on earth to make your own destiny, to begin with. I don't think there's anything you can do this way or that way to change anything.
Finally, my manager negotiated a deal where I got to produce my own records.
I never have any problem getting enthusiastic with a good song and a good band.
It was all devastating. I'd never dealt with losing anyone close to me, and I didn't know where to put it in my life. I was very young then. Buddy taught me so much in such a short time.
Chet loved artists. He did. But he was caught up in the system. He had two hats. He had to have 'em because he did two things: he was an artist, and he was an executive.
Don't ever try and be like anybody else and don't be afraid to take risks.
Because Ritchie Valens WAS the real deal. He was only starting, but in the time he spent in the business, he made big impact. I don't know if anybody could have made a bigger one.
A lot of times they don't want to hear it. But you know, if some good is done to you, you should pass it on.
I was king of the mountain for a long time, well, I don't want that no more. I like to perform every once in a while for people who want to see me, and cut albums of music that is what I'm really about.
We did an album one time called White Mansions, about the civil war, but it was written by a guy from England. His looking at it from over there and it not being a part of his history made it so he could be objective.
Now, I don't know how they judge all that, but if anybody in the world deserves to be in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Ritchie Valens does.
But Buddy was an upper. He was happy. He loved music, and he was really happy. I don't know… I don't believe in reincarnation at all, but if all that stuff is true, then he might have been on his last time around.
And the whole thing is that you're treated like a step-child. Here it was down here, everything in the black, because they were stealing, basically. Stealing from us old country boys down here.
Besides that, I felt guilty. I thought for some reason… I was alive, and Buddy and those boys were dead, and I didn't know how, but somehow I'd caused it.
One thing is that I wasn't getting booked that well, and they had control over who got the awards, they had control over who sold. And they really did not want Willie or me, either one, to have a hit record. They wanted the money, but they didn't want us to be the ones.