“I Think It’d Be Great To Have A Lady President” – Waylon Jennings On A Woman Being President In Never-Aired Interview

Waylon Jennings

Whether you loved him or hated him (although I don’t think many hated him) you could never fault Waylon Jennings for not speaking his mind.

The Littlefield, Texas native is easily one of the most recognizable names in country music history, forever tied to the outlaw movement which brought us other icons like Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, and Johnny Cash.

While his songs and the voice that sang them are enough to carry any conversation centering around him, the stories surround his music and life are maybe even more exciting.

Starting with his mother changing his name in protest to a Baptist College, to living with Johnny Cash and spending upwards of $1,000 a day on drugs, to his notable break from the preplanned Nashville formula that so many artists were sucked into and continue to be sucked into, you can spend days on end reading tales that seem to wild to be true about his larger than life character and still always be able to find something new.

Well, today I found one of those new stories and truthfully it changed my perspective on how I thought he would have viewed the world, especially being the face of a historically masculine genre, and being part of a rough and tumble outlaw sub-movement to boot.

While I can’t find a specific date for this interview, it was one of 14 done by The LeGarde Twins from Australia, who were sort of country music pioneers in their own right, bursting out of the land down under in the 1960’s and becoming a sizable touring act in the United States.

But country music wasn’t the only foray these twins were interested in. They decided to test their hand at being interviewers, probably in hopes of a show getting picked up by some cable news stations, and although this didn’t pan out, they did record 14 episodes of their interview program, titled Down Home Down Under, that were never aired on any TV or radio broadcast.

Fortunately for us, those tapes were brought out of their private collection a few years back and made available to the public though a YouTube channel called emerysmemories, which posts a collection of interviews done by Ralph Emory, but also releases rare and sometimes never before seen interviews like the 14 done by the LeGarde Twins.

Episode 2 of this series featured none other than Waylon Jennings and while there was plenty of talk about his records and the music industry as a whole, there was a very interesting segment when the twins asked him about his thoughts on potentially having a woman president.

One of the twins began a new segment (starting at 10:05 of the below video) by saying:

“Hey Waylon, we believe that you’re a great fan of Margret Thatcher, the Prime Minister of England. Could you, could you accept a lady president?”

Certainly seems like he was fishing for a bit of a soundbite here to get their show some notoriety, but I’m betting Waylon’s answer surprised them a bit:

“Oh I think it’d be great to have a lady president. Especially in America, let me tell you. Since you brought it up, let me tell you what I think…

I’ve known some of the presidents of the United States and they’re just men, you know? And I think a woman president would be great, one of the big reasons she would be great would be because of what she don’t have. And that is a male ego… 

You stop and think. You think about a man getting up in the morning and he’s president of the United States. He’s gotta meet with Congress and he’s fixing to have to give ground and he’s fixing to lose a battle and he knows it. Now the first thing he thinks is “Well, what is my family going to think? What are my children going to think of me if I lose this? What are women going to think of me? What are men going to think of me? What is America going to think of me? 

Now if you have the same situation with a woman, she wakes up in the morning, she’s president of the United States and she’s fixing to lose a battle, you know? She goes in the bathroom she puts that make up on and she really don’t care what anyone thinks, you know?”

Truthfully, not at all the answer I thought he was going to give, but hey, it’s hard to argue with…

He goes on to say Jessi Colter (his wife) is smarter than him and that it’s really women who are running all of the big office buildings around, and that most of the people on his team are women, which give some more weight to the words he just spoke.

One of the twins summed it up perfectly when he followed up with:

“One thing about you Waylon, they said never ask Waylon Jennings a question unless you want the truth”

Amen to that.

They certainly don’t make them like Waylon anymore, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have an empathetic, forward thinking side to match his rough one.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock