3 Books Every Waylon Jennings Fan Should Read

Over two decades have passed since the death of Waylon Jennings, but his impact on country music is more apparent than ever. His contributions to the rise of “outlaw country,” a sub-genre that offered an alternative to the pop-centric sounds of the 1970s, cemented his place in history.

Videos by American Songwriter

He formed the genre’s first supergroup, The Highwaymen, with Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson in the 1980s. During his influential career, Jennings earned 16 No. 1 hits, released more than 40 studio albums, and received a rightfully earned induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

[RELATED: 5 Foot-Tapping Live Moments in Honor of Waylon Jennings]

From a personal retrospective to reflections from his equally talented life partner, these three Jennings books offer a deeper look into his extraordinary life and career.

1. Waylon: Tales of My Outlaw Dad

Written with best-selling author David Thomas, this 2016 release from Jennings’ son, Terry, offers an alternative perspective on his father’s many career achievements and dark personal struggles. Waylon: Tales of My Outlaw Dad peels back the layers, giving an honest look at the beloved country star’s wins and missteps through the years. 

2. An Outlaw and a Lady: A Memoir of Music, Life with Waylon, and the Faith that Brought Me Home

Although her contributions to the outlaw country movement are often overlooked, Jessi Colter was one of the era’s most important figures, becoming the only woman featured on the historic compilation Wanted: The Outlaws. In her captivating memoir, Colter looks back at those years, her marriage with Jennings, and the many ups and downs they encountered together.

3. Waylon: An Autobiography

If you’re looking for a first-hand account of Jennings’ journey from a burgeoning, polished rock and roll artist to a country music superstar, this 2009 memoir is an essential read. Waylon: An Autobiography recounts many of Jennings’ most difficult life chapters, from the loss of his close friend Buddy Holly to his struggles with addiction. It also serves as a tribute to Colter, who helped inspire him to improve his life.

(Photo by Beth Gwinn/Getty Images)

One Comment

Leave a Reply
  1. Waylon Jennings is one of those artists who’s more than iconic.
    His take on music wasn’t only in his lyrics and compositions but it was deeply seeded into his life.
    RIP to one of the greatest of our time.

Leave a Reply

Caroline Jones

Caroline Jones Recruits Vince Gill, Zac Brown Band for New Album ‘Homesite’