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The Essential: Waylon Jennings

Waylon Jennings

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Album Review

Any 20-song collection of Waylon Jennings would be woefully inadequate and this one is no exception, but that doesn't make it without merit. Jennings' career with RCA was a long one and he recorded dozens of records for the label. This collection focuses on the period between the late '60s through the early '70s but goes somewhat beyond as well. Opening with "Only Daddy That'll Walk the Line," you hear Jennings as he was beginning to emerge from the long shadow Nash Vegas producers had cast over him. There are many fine cuts here, including "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" as well as "Waymore's Blues," "Ladies Love Outlaws," "Amanda," and "Rainy Day Woman." This is an excellent collection that will hold no interest for hardcore fans, but is a fine introduction to the sound Waylon developed into a movement.

Biography

Born: 15 June 1937 in Littlefield, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

If any one performer personified the outlaw country movement of the '70s, it was Waylon Jennings. Though he had been a professional musician since the late '50s, it wasn't until the '70s that Waylon, with his imposing baritone and stripped-down, updated honky tonk, became a superstar. Jennings rejected the conventions of Nashville, refusing to record with the industry's legions of studio musicians and insisting that his music never resemble the string-laden, pop-inflected sounds that were coming...
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