Six Waylon Jennings releases to be reissued
Thursday, October 8, 2009
– The late 1960s albums of Waylon Jennings on RCA will receive the reissue treatment from a California-based label in November.
Collectors' Choice picked six of Jennings' releases and will put out three twofer CDs: "Folk Country/Waylon Sings Ol' Harlan," "Love of the Common People/Hangin' On" and ""Waylon/Singer of Sad Songs" on Nov. 24, 2009. Grammy Award-winning annotator/historian Colin Escott wrote the liner notes.
In the 1950s, Jennings was a Lubbock DJ and fledgling singer whose first record was produced by Buddy Holly for whom he briefly played. In 1963 Jennings, then living in Phoenix, signed to A&M for one LP that tanked and was advised by Bobby Bare, for whom he'd co-written a hit, that he should head to Nashville. RCA Nashville A&R head/producer Chet Atkins invited Jennings to sign.
Escott wrote in the liner notes for "Folk Country/Waylon Sings Ol' Harlan," "Waylon, remembered by many these days as a grizzled cowboy stoner, was young once. Most artists dismiss their old work, but Waylon thought he was as good as he could be during every phase of his long career, and the evidence bears him out." The two albums, coupled onto one CD, document the 1966-67 period as Jennings made his way about Nashville.
"Folk Country" was so named because Atkins wanted to attract the folk hootenanny crowd, but the record was mainstream country. Howard wrote most of the songs. The album included Jennings' first hit, That's the Chance I'll Have to Take.
One year, two LPs and a movie later ("Nashville Rebel," 1966), Jennings returned to the studio for his fourth RCA album, "Waylon Sings Ol' Harlan," cut in '66 and released in '67. Included were Howard songs Busted, Tiger By the Tail, She Called Me Baby, Foolin' Around and In This Very Same Room.
The second CD combines "Love of the Common People" (1967) and "Hangin' On" (1968). Early in his career, Jennings released three LPs a year featuring old songs, then-current songs that moved him and his most recent hits. Included on "Love of the Common People" Lennon/McCartney's You've Got To Hide Your Love Away, Mel Tillis' Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town and Young Widow Brown, later recorded by Frankie Miller. In the fall of 1967, Harlan Howard's The Chokin' Kind became Jennings' biggest hit, peaking at 8 on the country charts. It appeared on "Hangin' On" and later became a number one soul hit for Joe Simon. Atkins, said Escott, "didn't care too much about albums. Singles were his business." "Hangin On" came out of several sessions between February and September 1967.
Jennings grew tired of the Nashville way of making albums. As Escott points out, "It was an assembly line, and after five years, Jennings was beginning to resent it. He wanted less quantity and more quality. He wanted albums to be personal statements, not assemblages of songs from different sessions. And he wanted to work with his road band, not session men. Rock singers had achieved that level of autonomy but country musicians were still locked into Nashville's old ways."
The third CD twofer includes two 1970 LPs. It was a big year for the artist as six of his songs appeared in the Mike Jagger movie "Ned Kelly," A&M Records released a compilation of his early recordings, and RCA released a greatest hits collection. He also produced an album by his wife, Jessi Colter. Jennings was assigned a new producer, Danny Davis, which didn't go well. "I would go into the studio and do tracks," Jennings wrote, "and when I came back, I wouldn't recognize the same song."
But heir first collaboration, "Waylon," yielded a number three hit, a cover of Chuck Berry's Brown Eyed Handsome Man. Also included were Mickey Newberry's stoner anthem Thirty-third of August and All of Me Belongs to You and a re-record of Yellow Haired Woman.
"Singer of Sad Songs" was produced by the late Lee Hazelwood in Los Angeles. Sidemen included Randy Meisner (Poco), and future New Riders of the Purple Sage members Allen Kemp and Patrick Shanahan. Material ranged from Hazelwood's She Comes Running to Chris Kenner's R&B hit Sick and Tired, plus songs by Tim Harden, Tom Rush and the Louvin Brothers. The release was a commercial failure. Escott wrote, "Within couple years, however, Waylon Jennings would be making albums that are even now considered unapproachable classics...Waylon was in search of something and he was beginning to discover what it was. We'd all find out soon enough."
More news for Waylon Jennings
CD reviews for Waylon Jennings
The Lost Nashville Sessions
One of the original icons of the so-called Outlaw Country movement, Waylon Jennings left behind any number of contemporary classics and albums that still resonate in Americana realms. Yet, when he passed away prematurely in 2002, one couldn't help get the impression there was more material yet to be discovered. These sessions, rescued from some dusty vaults, add to that legacy, if only for the historical importance gained through hearing them in retrospect. Originally recorded for a series »»»
Goin' Down Rockin - The Final Recordings
The title of this posthumously released 12-song set would suggest that Waylon Jennings let out one last howl of fury and rebellion before he passed away in early 2002. In actuality, these recordings feature the famed country music outlaw in a more sober and reflective mood. Whether writing fresh tunes for the occasion or drawing on underappreciated songs from his past, Jennings seems to be summing up the issues of his life before chucking it all in.
Recently overdubbed by »»»
Waylon Jennings will always be considered among the elite of country music. He was equally appealing as both a traditional country artist and that of a renegade, and this posthumously released CD done in conjunction with his son Shooter and his backing band The .357's can only attest to that point. It is a wonderful outing indicative of Jennings range from that of a rogue as on both Lonesome On'ry and Mean and Are You Ready for the Country to the reflective observer on the pristine Jack of Diamonds. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk
When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Carlile warms hearts with empathetic thoughts
Brandi Carlile, dressed festively with a Santa hat, began her mid-week concert set with Joni Mitchell's "River" and closed with the carol "O Holy Night." In between, she sang about an equal measure of old and new songs. And on this first night of a short acoustic tour, Carlile was both in fine spirits and voice.... »»»
Concert Review: Daniels wears out bows, but music endures
After each of the first few songs Charlie Daniels played, his 'fiddle tech (?)' exchanged his bow. Is this because he was playing particularly hard? Perhaps. Whatever the case, Daniels and his five-piece band clearly appeared to be giving it their all during the act's hour-and-a-half set.
As it is the Christmas month, Daniels sang a... »»»
Country News Digest
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn have powerhouse individual talents; each has followed an estimable career path to where they find themselves today: making complex, but spare, records, writing music together and touring with their son Juno. Their new release, "Echoes In The Valley" features mostly songs written by Fleck and Washburn, banjos, Washburn's strong vocals and very little else.... »»»
Legends don't come any more legendary than Chris Hillman. The roll call of bands that comprises Hillman's half century in music reads like a wing exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, the Souther Hillman Furay Band, the Desert Rose Band,... »»»
William Shakespeare noted a few centuries back that a rose by any other
name would be equally aromatic, and that general idea has musical
implications as well. The Cadillac Three knows a thing or two about maintaining
a sonic identity after a name change;... »»»
Those aware of the late Owsley "Bear" Stanley likely know him for one of two reasons - his pioneering work manufacturing lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in San Francisco during the mid-to-late 1960s and his role as an innovative sound engineer. Most notably, Bear worked...... »»»
Headed into 2015, Imelda May was on a hit streak. Her rockabilly career was in full swing, nurtured by the likes of former Squeeze keyboardist Jools Holland and guitar icon Jeff Beck. Her albums routinely topped the charts in her native Ireland.... »»»
Walker Hayes has a lot of Sam Hunt in his music, in that he mixes a lot of hip-hop in with his country. Traditionalists will have trouble with his unorthodox approach. Kids, though, raised on just as much Drake as Paisley, will likely eat it up. »»»
From A Room: Volume 2
There is no bigger artist in country music today, perhaps even in American music, than Chris Stapleton. His appeal reaches beyond just the commercial country fans for his gritty bluesy approach. 2015's "Traveller" set a high bar, which was met by this year's release of "From A Room: Volume 1," which won Album of the Year in the 51st CMA Awards. »»»
Down Home Sessions EP
Upon first glance at the track list of Cole Swindell's fourth installment of the "Down Home Sessions" series, one may get the impression that it is a covers EP. It features several chart toppers from other artists, including Luke Bryan's "Roller Coaster" and Thomas Rhett's "Get Me Some Of That." »»»
The Rest of Our Lives
The first full album from Tim McGraw and Faith Hill is an inspired effort, even though some of its songwriters may surprise you. The title cut, for instance, features pop ginger Ed Sheeran on its credits, while Meghan Trainor contributed to "Roll the Dice." »»»
Bloodshot Records' 13 Days of Xmas
Label holiday albums can sometimes be like office white elephant gift exchanges because there's a little bit of everything on the table. Some stuff you like, while other things may have been better left unwrapped. »»»
Blake Shelton's 11th studio album finds The Voice advisor in a contented, one might even say homey, frame of mind. The opening track and first single "I'll Name the Dogs" sets the tone. It's a rollicking ode to domesticity that manages to make household chore distribution ("You find the spot and I'll find the money / You be the pretty and I'll be the funny") both romantic and amusing. »»»