Light Storm Photography/Mike Brooks YouTube
Before Waylon Jennings passed away in 2002 at the age of 64, his eldest child, Terry, decided to write a book about their life together. Terry wanted the world to know about his unique relationship with his superstar father. Waylon: Tales of My Outlaw Dad details their family history, Waylon’s three divorces and ultimately finding lifelong love with Jessi Colter.
It also details how he followed in his father’s footsteps by living quite the colorful life. He dropped out of high school when he was just 15 years old to join his dad on the road and began selling t-shirts. He eventually worked his way up to becoming drummer Richie Albright’s tech and stage manager while taking advantage of his rock star lifestyle, which included partying and chasing women.
Along the way, Terry had children of his own. His eldest, a son named Whey, fell in love with music at a very young age during one of his “Grampa” Waylon’s shows.
“He was just a boy at one of his Grampa Waylon’s shows and his Grama Jessi had just left the stage after singing ‘Storms Never Last’ when she sat her mic in the chair backstage,” his band’s Facebook page states. “Young Whey picked up the mic and pranced out on stage and began singing ‘Mama’s [sic] Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys’. His Grampa then gave a, ‘Hey, hold up there hoss, wait for me’ and went to pickin and when the song was thru [sic] the crowd went nuts and it was on that day that Whey fell in love with music.”
During a performance in February 2016, Whey’s music career came full circle when he closed his show with a tribute song to his grandfather, who helped him discover his love for music.
Titled “Missing You,” Whey sang the song a cappella, which included the lyrics, “I would be lyin’ if I were to say, ‘You don’t cross my mind from day to day.’ Grampa Waylon, I’m missin’ you. You were my hero, the one I looked up to. You were an outlaw, but you were my grandpa too. Your voice led me to mine and I hope mine will lead me to you.”
The moving song had the crowd cheering and screaming, “Waylon!” Whey’s voice is raspy, rough, and has an outlaw edge that we know his grandfather would be proud of.
Watch his tribute to the late, great Waylon Jennings, “Missing You” below.