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Published: 2016/06/21
by Larson Sutton

Terry Jennings
Waylon, Tales of My Outlaw Dad

As one of the charter members of the Outlaw Country music movement that took root in the early 1970s in transitional cow towns like Austin and Phoenix, Waylon Jennings became a worldwide legend. And, not just for the songs. In Waylon, Tales of My Outlaw Dad, son Terry verifies and expands upon the womanizing, self-medicating troubadour’s reputation, providing a first-hand account as both an offspring and employee. Having joined his dad’s road crew as a teenager, Terry Jennings not only witnessed Waylon’s wild side and subsequent dark slide, he actively pursued one of his own. Objectively, it reads at times as a kind of co-dependent dysfunction, with Waylon providing high-grade contraband and advice on its administration, lest his band and roadies resort to deadly street dope. Yet, from Terry’s albeit subjective perch, it’s just the matter-of-fact trials and triumphs of a family, and nothing more. Insight into quirkier aspects of Waylon’s life and career, like his deeply religious upbringing or his stint as the balladeer on the hit TV show Dukes of Hazzard, end up being more interesting and memorable than the seemingly endless lines of coke and one-nighters that litter the Highwayman’s travels. As the truth through his eyes, Terry’s account of his time with his father comes from a blunt, reliable, and ultimately adoring beholder.

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