Catherine J Flanagan
Waylon Jennings was only 19 years old when he became a father to Terry Jennings, the first of Waylon’s seven children. The fact that Waylon was so young allowed Terry to have a unique relationship with his father…one that he wanted to share. Terry recently fulfilled a promise he made to his legendary dad by writing a book he called “Waylon: Tales of My Outlaw Dad”.
“It started with a conversation we had,” says Terry Jennings, 59, told The Tennessean. “Then, when he finished his autobiography, he sent me a book and put in a note that said, ‘I did the best I could. Now it’s your turn.’”
In the book, released today (April 19), the younger Jennings details his father’s three divorces, seven children, drug use, and marriage to Jessi Colter. Terry also used the book to address his father’s outlaw image.
“Today, this Outlaw thing has really gotten out of hand. Some of these younger guys — and I’m not putting anybody down; to each their own — but for some reason they think ‘Outlaw’ means you have to cuss and flip people off.”
Terry goes on to say that the so-called Outlaw Movement should have been named the Survival movement because that’s what his father and the rest of the dubbed outlaws including Colter, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Merle Haggard were trying to do…survive.
“They had been trying to do it Nashville’s way so long that they just wanted to do it their way,” Terry Jennings said. “[Waylon] did it his way and it worked.”
For that reason, Jennings believes his father wouldn’t criticize today’s country music if he were still alive.
“People come up with these memes all the time with all of that hateful stuff that Dad never said or couldn’t have said because he didn’t know these artists,” he says. “I don’t have anything to do with them because I don’t believe in hate. Dad once said, ‘You don’t bash the things you hate. You support the things you love.’”
Terry Jennings joined his famous dad on the road when he was 15 and has carried on Waylon’s legacy as a vital member of the country music community. He is now CEO and founder of Korban Music Group LLC, a music management and publishing company.
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