Waylon: An Autobiography (Hardcover)

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Enjoyable reading

by Billy Showers on 11/27/2008

One of the best autobiographies that I have read.

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Born dirt-poor (his family had the dirt floor to prove it), Waylon Jennings took all the grit of his hometown of Littlefield, Texas, into his soul and his sound. From childhood, this son of a farm laborer considered nothing else but playing music. Stubborn enough never to lose sight of his goal, dumb enough not to realize how long and hard the road, he started as a country disc jockey in Lubbock, then signed on as a protege of fellow Texan Buddy Holly, missing the plane crash that claimed Holly's life by an accident of fate. Cut in the mode of Hank Williams and Carl Smith, yet determined to infuse conservative country music traditions with the energy of rock and roll, Waylon broke the closed society of Nashville sessions in the sixties. Under the tutelage of legends like Porter Wagoner and Ernest Tubb, he shared living quarters with Johnny Cash, took songwriting tips from Roger Miller and encouragement (often unsolicited) from Willie Nelson, and hung out after hours with Kris Kristofferson and George Jones. In the wake of country's own distinctive counterculture, when southern-fried acid freaks met - and partied with - diehard good ol' boys, Waylon helped give America something genuinely new. His 1976 anthology album, Wanted: The Outlaws, was a stunning platinum success, heralding a sound and a mood that evoked the country's pioneer spirit, a restlessness always pushing at the horizon and looking toward the next ridge. But while the artist and performer devoured life and rewrote the rules of the nation's popular music, the star binged on an endless stream of cocaine and pills and staggered through three failed marriages. Ultimately - and inspiringly - Waylon triumphed over his drughabit, proving he would fight for the right to sing his song. At the same time, he ended his long search for the right woman and married Jessi Colter, a country-singing great in her own right and now Waylon's wife for more than a quarter of a century. Today, two-time Grammy winner and sixteen-time chart-topper Waylon Jennings keeps the country fires raging, joining fellow superstars Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson on their sold-out international tours as the Highwaymen.


Publisher Grand Central Publishing
Mfg Part# 9780446518659
SKU 33689442
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 0446518654
Release Date 4/10/2007
"This book transcends any music-biz bio....It's a wild ride."
"What a wonderful story of a country boy who despite hardships unimaginable attained success and stardom. A 'must read' for not anyone, but everyone."
"The evolution of Waylon Jennings from the angry, outlaw, rebel hero into the clear-eyed, clear-headed artist he is today is truly inspiring."
"Vast, comprehensive, revealing, exciting, and entertaining, it's an original in a room of carbon copies."
From the Publisher
Editors Note The country music singer traces his life and career, from his poor childhood to his battles with drugs and bankruptcy, his abortive early marriages, and his relationships with other country music figures
Annotation The hard livin', hard lovin' country music outlaw Waylon Jennings' reputation as a kind of cowboy Keith Richards was, in many ways, well deserved. His frequent brushes with the law (after one bust, the cops threw Jennings' marijuana stash away, saying the singer had enough problems already) and tumultuous love life make for some lurid reading and vicarious thrills in this colorful confessional, written with rock scribe and Patti Smith guitarist Lenny Kaye. Born into a dirt-poor farming family, Jennings got his first show business break as a DJ on KVOW, his local radio station. He befriended Buddy Holly and became his bass player, but his biggest break may have been giving up his seat on the plane that was later to crash, killing Holly, the Big Bopper, and Richie Valens. In the course of a wildly fluctuating career, Jennings seems at times to willfully court disaster. But by the time his natural wildness has become his public persona in the mid-1970s, he's had enough, quitting drugs--but tripling his intake of cigarettes. Jennings' mix of relish and regret in recounting his addictions, affairs, and roller-coaster career gives WAYLON an intriguing air of both tell-all and personal exorcism.
Product Attributes
eBooks Kobo
Book Format Hardcover
Number of Pages 0432
Publisher Grand Central Publishing

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Enjoyable reading by Billy Showers on Nov 27, 2008