NPR logo

Waylon Jennings, a Country Legend

Only Available in Archive Formats.
Waylon Jennings, a Country Legend

Waylon Jennings, a Country Legend

Waylon Jennings, a Country Legend

Only Available in Archive Formats.

Country music star Waylon Jennings died this week at the age of 64. Born in 1937 in Littlefield, Texas, he was a disc jockey at 14, and had already formed his own band at the age of 12, making guest appearances on local station KDAV's Sunday Party, where he met Buddy Holly in 1955. Jennings became Holly's bass player. It was Jennings who gave his seat up to the Big Bopper on the plane that crashed and killed Buddy Holly. In 1975, Waylon was named the Country Music Association's Male Vocalist of the Year, and in 1976, he helped found the "Outlaw Movement." In that year, Waylon, Willie, Jessi Colter (who married Waylon in 1969) and Tompall Glaser teamed up for Wanted: The Outlaws that became the first platinum (one million units) album ever recorded in Nashville. Waylon, the authorized autobiography, was written with writer-musician Lenny Kaye in 1996.

Related NPR Stories

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.