Waylon Jennings Influences

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Most americans have probably heard the phrase, “Mamas don’t let your babies to grow up to be cowboys.” That phrase is one from one of Waylon Jennings most prominent songs. Jennings was one of the many country music stars that started the outlaw country music movement. Outlaw country was not recognized by most country music enthusiasts but it soon took over and swept them off their feet. Jennings also incorporated rock into his music, which opened the door to a wide variety of genres and listeners. Waylon Jennings left an everlasting impression on country music which earned him a name as one of the greatest country music stars. Traveling back in time to when only music only listened to on the radio, Waylon Arnold Jennings was born. Jennings was born on June 15th, 1937, about 25 miles west of the small town Lubbock, Texas. Music was alway important to Waylon ever since he was a child: his “dad played like Jimmie Rodgers and we would sit around and sing some of his songs,” (Dansby). His father would even run booster cables from his truck to the house radio so that young Waylon and his family could listen to broadcasts of the Grand Ole Opry. It wasn’t long until Jennings learned how to play the guitar. At the age of 10, he received his first guitar from his parents (Dansby). Jennings had many influences as a young artist. His biggest influence was the one and only, early rock star legend Buddy Holly. Jennings dropped out of school and moved to Lubbock in 1954. KLL, Lubbock's local radio station, hired Jennings as a disc jockey (Biography). This is where Jennings and Holly met and befriended each other. They assembled a small back up band named the “Crickets.” This group disbanded fairly quickly, but Holly soon requested Jennings... ... middle of paper ... ...f the greatest legends as members. They had many hits including “Highwayman,” but the song that proved themselves was “Desperados Waiting on a train,” (Dansby). They split up for a couple years, but reconvened and re-formed the Highwaymen once again. The Highwayman only came out with two albums, Highwaymen and Highwaymen II, but the second one wasn’t as successful as the first one. Waylon Jennings died on February 13, 2002 at his home in Arizona, due to his health complications. Waylon battled with diabetes for many years, and it finally caught up with him. Many country music singers to this day still look up to Jennings. He had his own style of music and voice which changed how music is made and listened to. Jennings incorporated pop and rock into country and excelled extremely well with crossover success. Waylon Jennings left a life long impact on country music.

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