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Waylon Jennings - Biography, Career Highlights

nelson reshen jennings’ life

Waylon Jennings, a native of Texas taught himself how to play guitar at the young age of eight. Forming his first band at age ten, Jennings was employed as a DJ in his teens, finally withdrawing from high school to pursue his musical dreams. While employed as a DJ, Jennings met Buddy Holly who later asked Jennings to join his tour of the Midwest. Soon after, an airplane carrying The Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly crashed and all passengers were killed. Suffering from the flu, Jennings had given up his seat to Valens. In his biography published late in his life, Jennings described feelings of guilt at the fact that his life had been spared in the plane crash.

Following a hiatus, Jennings was signed to a contract at A&M Records, but was released soon after to sign with RCA. Waylon Jennings started to uses meth amphetamines at this time. Now an addict, Jennings was divorced by his second wife, Lynn Jones, in a settlement that left him in poverty. His third marriage to Barbara Rood caused a rift with his band because of her controlling management of his money and the two eventually divorced. He married his fourth wife, Jessi Colter in 1969.

New York business manager, Neil Reshen helped Jennings turn his life around. While recovering from hepatitis, Reshen decided it was a good idea to renogotiate Jennings’ contracts. Jennings introduced Reshen to Willie Nelson in 1972. Reshen agreed to manage Nelson as well. Four years later, Jennings and Nelson collaborated on the album, “Wanted: The Outlaws!” This album would eventually go platinum. Jennings beat his cocaine habit in 1984 and continued to record albums and tour throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s.

Jennings formed a group called The Highwaymen in the 1980s. Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson were also members. Because of his deteriorating health, touring was forced to come to an end. In 2001, Jennings’ left foot was amputated because of complications from his diabetes. Waylon Jennings passed away in 2002 from diabetic complications. He was buried in Arizona. waylon Jennings and fellow band member and friend Kris Kristofferson were inducted into Hollywoods’s Rock Wall in 2006.

Career Highlights

Highlights from Jennings’ career include the albums:
WWII (1982)
Will the Wolf Survive (1985)
The Eagle (1990)
Too Dumb for New York City, Too Ugly for L.A. (1992.)
Lonesome, Orn’ry and Mean and Honky Tonk Heroes (1973)
The Ramblin’ Man and This Time in (1974)
Dreaming My Dreams (1975)
Ol’ Waylon (1977)
I’ve Always Been Crazy (1978)
Greatest Hits (1979)
WWII with Willie Nelson (1982)
Will the Wolf Survive (1985)
The Eagle (1990)
Too Dumb for New York City, Too Ugly for L.A. (1992).
Old Dogs (1998)

Weather - Basic mechanism, Terrestrial, Forecasting [next] [back] Wayans, Damon (1960–)

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