Dedicated to culture and critical thought since 1998
2/14/2 Obit: Waylon Jennings

Waylon Jennings 1937 - 2002

by Lance Vargas

Country music lost one of it's finest yesterday when Waylon Jennings passed away from diabetes complications, leaving a tremendous void in the hearts of classic music fans.

Jennings was the defining member of country's "outlaws," a group of whiskey drinking, boot kicking and guitar picking hellraisers who count among their ranks such icons as Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson.

Through songs like "Amanda," "Lonesome, Ornery and Mean" and "Mental Revenge," Jennings mixed unwavering independence and deep devotion throughout much of his catalog. Reflective and unwavering at the same time, Jennings helped define the tortured cowboy spirit of classic country.

Jennings was also mindful of his influences. Songs like "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" and "Bob Wills Is Still The King" placed early western swingers on appropriate pedestals of reverence.

He received a great deal of mainstream media attention for his role as "The Balladeer" on the '80s television show, "The Dukes of Hazard." In addition to voiceovers and commentary, Jennings also sang the show's theme song.

Jennings battled drug addiction throughout much of his life and was arrested for cocaine possession in 1977. He claimed to spend 1,500 a day on his habit before kicking in 1984 for good.

In recent years, Jennings has endured numerous health problems His left foot was amputated due to after a lengthy struggle with diabetes in December of 2001.


He released a live album "Never Say Die" in October of 2001.

Jennings is survived by his wife, Jessi Colter and their son, Shooter.