On this date in 1937, the legendary Waylon Jennings was born in Littlefield, Texas.
Credited as one of the pioneers of the Outlaw Country movement, and according to the loyal Whiskey Riffers, an artist that deserves a spot on the Mount Rushmore of Country Music, Waylon is one of the most important artists the genre has ever had to offer.
During the course of his career, Waylon personified the “outlaw” term and naturally had some badass moments along the way. I mean,
Today, on what would’ve been his 84th birthday we’ll take a look at his five best.
Number 5: 1970 CMA Awards
In 1970, Waylon Jennings walked out of the CMA Awards. He was scheduled to perform “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line” but when the show was strapped for time they wanted him to cut the song short.
Instead, Waylon made it easier on them and decided to just leave.
Number 4: Walking Off The Tom Snyder Show
In 1998, later in life for Waylon Jennings he was going to appear on Tom Snyder’s late show. Waylon was supposed to share the show with Dr. Laura, which he didn’t like to begin with.
When her time began to cut into his, Waylon just walked out.
Back in 1975 Waylon Jennings was up for “Male Vocalist of the Year” so he reluctantly returned to the CMA’s (more on that later). When he gave his acceptance speech he kept it short and sweet. “They told me to be nice, thank you.” and the legend walked off.
Why did he do that? Well, someone spoiled the results for him and told him that his wife, Jessi Colter didn’t win anything this year. He also wrote a pretty nice note on the Citation of Merit for Album of the Year.
“When it came time for Best Male Vocalist, Tanya Tucker and Tammy Wynette made a great show of opening the winner’s envelope. I tried to be nice in my acceptance speech, thanking everybody for their support, though I knew that block voting and mass trading between the big companies—we’ll give you two hundred votes for your artist if you give your four hundred votes to our writer—probably had more to do with it than anything else.
At least Glen Campbell, the host, was happy. “All I can say, Waylon, is it’s about damn time.” Predictably, the CMA got a few letters protesting Glen’s use of profanity.
I was happier watching Charlie Rich get drunk and burn up the Entertainer of the Year award, holding a cigarette lighter to the envelope, please. They went to grab him, but when Charlie was drunk, it was best to stay out of his way… Oh, yeah. John Denver won Entertainer of the Year. Now that’s what I call country.”
And they wonder why awards show rating are plummeting? Bring back the real deal country.
On his birthday in 1979, Waylon Jennings was gifted Buddy Holly’s 1958 motorcycle. Cricket Joe B. Mauldin left the bike in Waylon’s hotel room as a surprise. When Waylon returned to his hotel room around midnight to discover it, hoss started up the engine in the hotel room.
Certainly a bike echoing off the walls of a hotel room is exactly what the other guests would like to hear.
“I walked into my hotel room after the show and saw it sitting there. What else could I do? I swung my leg over it, stomped on the kick starter, and it burst into roaring life. First kick.
It was midnight, and it sounded twice as loud bouncing off the walls of that hotel room. I knew Buddy wouldn’t mind.”
It was down to a $25,000 sum, and they we’re not going to give it to me. He wanted it. We were sitting there, not a word spoken, and the silence got unbearable. After a while, I couldn’t take it anymore.
“Chet,” I said, reaching over to a bowl on his desk, “where’d you get these peanuts?’” Neil glared at me. “Shut up, Waylon.”
You could hear a clock tick in the room. It got even quieter. Minutes passed. I rose up, never said a word, walked out. I went to the bathroom to take a leak. When I came back, Neil greeted me in the hall. “You’re a fuckin’ genius,” he said.
“Walking out like that. That sewed it up.” He was positively gleeful. “Where’d you go?”
“I had to take a piss.”
“That’s a $25,000 piss,” said Neil.
They asked me where you went and I told them I didn’t know. “Waylon’s mad, I’m sure. He’s crazy. He’s liable to do anything.”
“Will he be back?” they wanted to know, and I shrugged. “I guess he’s gone, so we may as well call this to a close.” And that when they gave us the money.
And boom… Waylon got PAID.
Happy birthday legend!
Thanks for the legendary music and the bad ass moments.