Waylon Jennings

Active - 1966 - 2000  |   Born - Jun 15, 1937 in Littlefield, Texas, United States  |   Died - Feb 13, 2002   |   Genres - Music

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Country-western star, onscreen from 1966.

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Factsheet

  • Was originally named Wayland, but his mother changed the spelling because a preacher assumed she named him after the local college. It was never changed on his birth certificate.
  • Started as a disc jockey when he was just 12 years old.
  • Gave up his seat on the airplane that would eventually crash and take the lives of the Big Bopper, Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens in 1959. 
  • Was a member of the Highwaymen, a band that also consisted of Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson; they were credited with bringing country back to its roots.
  • Sang the theme song for The Dukes of Hazzard and was the off-screen narrator for the show.
  • Struggled with a decades-long addiction to cocaine; claimed that he often spent more than $1500 a day to support the habit.
  • Earned his GED in 1989 at the age of 52.
  • Released a children's album, Cowboys, Sisters, Rascals & Dirt, in 1993.
  • His son Shooter Jennings played him in the 2005 movie Walk the Line.