Waylon Jennings

Induction Year: 1995

Birth Name: Waylon Arnold Jennings

Birth Date: 06-15-1937

Place of Birth: Littlefield, Texas

Death Date: 02-13-2002

Place of Death: Chandler, Arizona

Buddy Holly's bandmate. Moody Nashville Sound crooner. Telecaster-wielding Outlaw. Blood brother of Willie, Johnny and Kris. In his 40-year career, Waylon Jennings played a lot of roles, but there was always the sense that he was searching for something he couldn't find.

The wanderlust began early. Born into a dirt-poor family of cotton farmers in west Texas, young Waylon escaped as soon as he could, quitting school to hit the road. First as a DJ, then a guitar-playing sideman, Jennings chased the muse through bars and honky tonks, over years of one-night stands. One of his earliest gigs, touring with Buddy Holly, ended in tragedy when Jennings gave up his seat to J. P. "Big Bopper" Richardson on the plane that crashed in an Iowa cornfield. The incident added a psychic scar to Jennings' music that would give even his most celebratory songs a haunted, melancholy undertow. But the time with Holly also inspired an attitude that Jennings embraced. "Buddy taught me that music shouldn't have any barriers to it," he said.

Landing in Nashville in the mid-'60s, Jennings roomed with Johnny Cash, and for five years churned out Nashville Sound-style hits and won a Grammy, even as he chafed under the pop smoothness of it all. In the early '70s, he took a stand against Music Row, and along with his wife Jessi Colter and fellow renegades Willie Nelson, Tompall Glaser and Billy Joe Shaver, started what became known as the Outlaw Movement. Rowdy, reckless and romantic, the lean sound pared away all the sweeteners, and for Waylon, let his burnt-at-the-edges baritone shine. It brought out some of his best songs too. Songs that tackled the changing trends in country ("Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way"), the desperado mentality ("I've Always Been Crazy") and the thin line between image and reality ("Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit's Done Got Out of Hand")

As Waylon's platinum-selling popularity skyrocketed through the '70s, his excessive lifestyle and substance abuse caught up with him. When he eventually got clean, he went back to attain his high school equivalency diploma, and became a spokesman for the importance of staying in school.

In 2001, Waylon was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame (in typical rebel fashion, he didn't attend the ceremony). He died in 2002 of complications from diabetes. His son Shooter has carried on the Outlaw style that his father helped create.

"(My) Rough and Rowdy Days"

(written with Roger Murrah)

Waylon Jennings1987 #6 country

"Angels Love Bad Men"

(written with Roger Murrah)

Barbara Mandrell1988 #49 country
The Highwaymen1990 

"Anita, You're Dreaming"

(written with Don Bowman)

Waylon Jennings1966 #17 country
Vern Gosdin1978 

"Are You Sure Hank Done it This Way"

Waylon Jennings1975 #1 country,#60 pop
Hank Williams Jr.1981 
Leftover Salmon1999 
Cory Morrow & Pat Green2003 
Jack Ingram2003 
Uncle Tupelo2003 
John Mellencamp2003 
Robert Earl Keen2003 

"Bob Wills Is Still the King"

Waylon Jennings1975 
Clint Black & Asleep at the Wheel1999 
Jack Ingram2012 

"Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit's Done Got out of Hand"

Waylon Jennings1978 #5 country
James Hetfield2003 
James Otto2011 

"Down, Down Came the (my) World"

(written with Bozo Darnell)

Bobby Barnett1967 #52 country
Mel Tillis1967 
Wynn Stewart1968 

"Good Hearted Woman"

(written with Willie Nelson)

Waylon Jennings1972 #3 country
Mel Street1972 
Ernest Tubb1972 
The Everly Brothers1972 
Marty Robbins1973 
Charley Pride1973 
Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson1975 #1 country,#25 pop
Jack Clement1978 
Tina Turner1978 
Danny Davis & Willie Nelson1980 
George Jones1980 
Chet Atkins1984 
Eddy Arnold1995 
Guy Clark2003 
Deana Carter & Shooter Jennings2007 
Sunny Sweeney & Jessi Colter2011 

"I Can Get Off on You"

(written with Willie Nelson)

Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson1978 
Jason Boland & the Stragglers2003 

"I've Always Been Crazy"

Waylon Jennings1978 #1 country
Carlene Carter2003 

"If I Can Find a Clean Shirt"

(written with Troy Seals)

Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson1991 #51 country

"If Ole Hank Could Only See Us Now"

(written with Roger Murrah)

Waylon Jennings1988 #16 country

"It's the World's Gone Crazy"

(written with Shel Silverstein)

Glen Campbell1981 


Porter Wagoner1967 #15 country
Johnny Paycheck1974 

"Just to Satisfy You"

(written with Don Bowman)

Bobby Bare1965 #31 country
Duane Eddy1965 
Glen Campbell1967 
Jerry Reed1970 
Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson1982 #1 country,#52 pop
Barbara Mandrell1987 
John Hiatt & Waylon Jennings2011 

"Never Could Toe the Mark"

Waylon Jennings1984 #6 country
The Bleu Edmondson Band2003 

"Nothing Catches Jesus by Surprise"

(written with Tom Douglas)

John Michael Montgomery2000 #50 country

"Rainy Day Woman"

Waylon Jennings1974 #2 country
Pat Green2012 


Waylon Jennings1981 #5 country

"Somewhere Between Ragged and Right"

(written with Roger Murrah)

Waylon Jennings & John Anderson1987 #23 country

"The Conversation"

(written with Richie Albright, Hank Williams Jr.)

Waylon Jennings & Hank Williams Jr.1983 #15 country

"Theme From the Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol' Boys)"

Waylon Jennings1980 #1 country,#21 pop
Cross Canadian Ragweed2003 
Dale Watson2007 
Montgomery Gentry2012 

"This Time"

Waylon Jennings1974 #1 country
Marianne Faithfull1978 
Andy Griggs2003 
Jamey Johnson2011 

"Trouble Man"

(written with Tony Joe White)

Waylon Jennings1989 #61 country

"Tryin' to Get There"

(written with David Lee Murphy)

David Lee Murphy2004 

"Waymore's Blues"

(written with Curtis Buck)

Waylon Jennings1975 
Ray Wylie Hubbard2003 
Jim Rooney2003 
The Crickets2003 
J. J. Cale2007 
Hank Williams Jr.2012 

"Women Do Know How to Carry On"

Waylon Jennings1982 #4 country

"You Asked Me To"

(written with Billy Joe Shaver)

Waylon Jennings1973 #8 country
Billy Joe Shaver1978 #80 country
Elvis Presley1981 
John Hartford1987 
Alison Krauss2003 
Nanci Griffith2003 
Trace Adkins2011 

"You're the One"

(written with Slim Corbin, Buddy Holly)

Buddy Holly1964 
Billy Swan1975 
Roky Erickson1978 
Fleetwood Mac2001 

"Your Love Lingers On"

(written with Rory Lee Feek)

John Michael Montgomery1999 

Waylon Jennings

Induction Year: 1995