Waylon: Tales of My Outlaw Dad
Devoted country fans dedicate hours of their time to learning more about the music and lives of their favorite artists. But no amount of study can uncover the secrets known only by those closest to the stars.
As one of the greatest legends in country music history, much has been published about the life and career of Waylon Jennings. But none of those accounts can provide a more personal look at the real-life outlaw than the one written by Waylon’s own son.
Waylon became a first-time father at the age of 19 when his son, Terry Jennings, was born on January 21, 1957. Since they were so close in age, Terry and Waylon quickly developed a tight bond that lasted until the end of Waylon’s life.
When he was 15, Terry left school to join his dad on tour, and it was the experience of a lifetime. As the years passed, Terry was an immediate witness to all of the ups and downs in his father’s life, many which have gone unmentioned. Well, that is, until now.
After all of these years, Terry felt it was finally time to tell his father’s life story through his own eyes. His resulting story became the book Waylon: Tales of My Outlaw Dad, which was released on May 9.
Although Waylon wrote an autobiography before he died, Terry admits that it left out some major details about his life. Terry attributes this to the fact that his dad was “rushed to meet deadline,” so he hurried through his story in order to get the book out on time.
Now, Terry is aiming to fill in the holes to paint a complete picture of the life his father lived. But he also wanted that picture to be honest, which is why Waylon: Tales of My Outlaw Dad doesn’t shy from discussing the low moments of Waylon’s life:
“I witnessed the height of Dad’s career with a backstage pass, and I also observed much of the dark side of Dad’s life, particularly the drugs and womanizing,” Terry writes in press material for the book. “When it came to drugs, I actually was more than an observer—I often did drugs with my dad, starting with my own experimenting with pot at age thirteen.”
By discussing the darker moments in his father’s life, Terry hopes to finally give fans an accurate portrait of the man he was. It’s a portrait that even Waylon’s fellow country stars have managed to get a clearer picture of, all thanks to Terry.
Everyone from Willie Nelson to Dolly Parton has praised Waylon: Tales of My Outlaw Dad. Through the book, they have learned more about the man they knew as a friend, collaborator, and idol.
Keith Urban‘s words about the book are the ones that perhaps describe it best:
“It’s authentic, it’s raw, and it’s unapologetic in every way…and for a kid growing up on the other side of the world who never got to see Waylon ‘live’ or meet him, I feel like I’ve done both.”
You too, will feel like you know Waylon better than ever before once you finish reading Waylon: Tales of My Outlaw Dad.
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