Last week I brought up a couple of country songs that didn’t make the Top 40 in the spring of 83. Sometime in the next few weeks, I’ll have another piece up with that genre as one of its centers. In spite of that, with plenty of exceptions I’m honestly not too much of a fan. Waylon Jennings is one of those I like pretty well, though.
In high school and the years immediately after, I had several friends with pretty cool cars. Chris had a maroon Nova, Dwayne had a mighty nice late 60s Chevelle, also maroon, and Tony had a sweet black Trans Am (I started out driving the family’s navy Citation). When we went out cruising in these beasts, Waylon’s Greatest Hits was often in the tape deck. Ultimately, I succumbed and bought a copy of it for my own. I still dig “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way,” “Honky Tonk Heroes,” and especially “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love).” We were hardly (and never would be) the love-’em-and-leave-’em type, but “I’m a Ramblin’ Man” got adopted as a semi-theme song.
Tony, Bill, and I saw Waylon in concert in the summer of 84, at Riverbend just outside of Cincinnati. I don’t recall specifics now but I know we all had a great time. Sometime not long after that, I suppose I stopped paying much attention to him and his music. He died on my 38th birthday at age 64 of complications from diabetes.
Another of the classics from Greatest Hits and one of his numerous collaborations with Willie Nelson, “Good Hearted Woman,” is peaking at #25 on this show. Thanks much for the memories, Waylon; you made a lot of fine music in those extra 43 years.