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I've Always Been Crazy

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The Outlaw persona that Waylon Jennings created in the early '70s reached its peak on August 24th, 1977, when federal agents stormed a Nashville recording studio and arrested Jennings for conspiracy and possession of cocaine. Jennings addressed the controversy with the two brilliant autobiographical songs that open I’ve Always Been Crazy. “I've been busted for things that I did, and I didn't do,” he sings in the title song. “Don’t You Think This Outlaw Bit’s Got Out of Hand” is even more pointed and hilarious: “I'm for law and order, the way that it should be / This song's about the night they spent protecting you from me / Someone called us outlaws in some ol' magazine / New York sent a posse down like I ain't never seen.” Jennings was clearly fed up with the hoopla — the rest of the album delivers a solid set of songs that emphasize Waylon’s fundamental strengths. A medley of hits by Buddy Holly (Waylon’s former employer) brings out the excitement of Jennings’ roadhouse revue, and his reading of Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line” is superlative. His recent tribulations coax from the song new tones of struggle and disappointment.


Born: June 15, 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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