On This Date: Waylon Jennings Was Topping The Charts With His 24th Studio Album, ‘Ol Waylon,’ In 1977

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Even though Waylon Jennings hated one of his biggest hit songs, “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love),” it helped him earn one of the highest-selling albums of his career.

In April 1977, he released his 24th studio album, ‘Ol Waylon, which was his fourth solo album in a row to reach the top of the country charts. It hit #1 on May 27 and stayed at the top of the charts for 13 weeks to became country music’s first platinum album by any single solo artist.

In addition to his aforementioned signature song, the tracklist included a cover of the Neil Diamond song “Sweet Caroline,” a version of Kenny Rogers’ “Lucille” and a medley of the two Arthur Crudup songs previous recorded by Elvis Presley.

Though there are some lighthearted moments on the album, a common theme on the record is Waylon’s admission that he sometimes struggled internally with the success he had at this time in his career, which is most evident on songs like “This Is Getting Funny (But There Ain’t Nobody Laughing)” and “I Think I’m Gonna Kill Myself.”

Waylon also picked up a bad cocaine habit around this time, replacing amphetamines he’d been using for years on the road in the 1960s and early 70’s, which likely only amplified a lot of those thoughts and feelings.

And I know he hates it, but featuring some background vocals from his old pal Willie Nelson, “Luckenbach, Texas” has to be one of the best and most recognizable songs from the outlaw movement in country music:

“Sweet Caroline”

“Lucille”

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