This Week's R E V I E W ...

Waylon Jennings
Only Daddy That'll
Walk The Line:
The RCA Years

© RCA

May 1 - 7, 2022

Year of Release: 1993
Rating:
Disc One:
  • Stop The World (ANd Let Me Off)
  • Nashville Bum
  • Nashville Rebel
  • Green River
  • Love Of The Common People
  • Walk On Out Of My Mind
  • Only Daddy That'll Walk The Line
  • Just To Satisfy You
  • Willie And Laura Mae Jones
  • Six White Horses
  • The Taker
  • Lovin' Her Was Easier
    (Than Anything I'll
    Ever Do Again)
  • Good Hearted Woman
  • Black Rose
  • Lonesome On'ry And Mean
  • Honky Tonk Heroes
  • You Asked Me To
  • It's Not Supposed To Be This Way
  • This Time
  • I'm A Ramblin' Man
    Disc Two:
  • Amanda
  • Rainy Day Woman
  • Are You Sure Hank Done It
    This Way
  • Dreaming My Dreams With You
  • Waymore's Blues
  • T For Texas
  • Bob Wills Is Still The King
  • Are You Ready For The Country
  • Jack-A-Diamonds
  • Luckenback Texas
    (Back To The Basics
    Of Love)
  • Don't You Think This
    Outlaw Bit's Done
    Got Out Of Hand
  • The Conversation
  • I Ain't Living Long Like This
  • Clyde
  • Theme From The
    Dukes Of Hazzard
    (Good Ol' Boys)
  • Storms Never Last
  • Shine
  • Lucille (You Won't Do
    Your Daddy's Will)
  • Never Could Toe The Mark
  • Looking For Suzanne

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    It's hard to believe, that Waylon Jennings has been gone now for 20 years. At age 64, Waylon left us on February 13, 2002. Although he's been gone those many years, we still enjoy his music. Country Music. One of the true Outlaws, Waylon has left behind a legacy of great country music from his career. This week's review covers his 2-disc compilation, Only Dadd That'll Walk The Line: The RCA Years. Of course, the 1970s were the peak years, and his most memorable hits. This compilation begins in 1966 and ends in 1984. What is interesting to hear are the much younger years, before he became well-known with most of the songs from the 1970s and even part of the 1980s. And, since he was Buddy Holly's band as his guitar player, and had played with him before that unfortunate date, in which Buddy, J.P. Richardson "The Big Bopper" and Ritchie Valens were killed in a plane crash. Making that date, February 3, 1959, the day the music died.

    This compilation credits the years as 1965 to 1985. Disc One contains tracks from 1966 to 1974. Stop The World (And Let Me Off)" (1966) sounds like more of a song recorded by Buck Owens & His Buckaroos. But then whe hear Waylon's distinctive voice. And from seeing the pictures from his early years here, he is clean-shaven, and having the Elvis hairstyle. "Nashville Bum" (1966) has a style of Merle Haggard, and Waylon's voice is quite young in sound. "Nashville Rebel" (1966) is starting of what would be the Waylon sound we would enjoy in his later years. Again, his voice is quite young here, and it would just a matter of time for him to become a Country legend.

    "Green River" (1966) is more of a soft ballad, and it works well with Waylon's voice. "Love Of The Common Man" (1967) is another song, distinguishing that great "Waylon style" in its humble beginnings. Those humble beginnings continue, with "Walk On Out Of My Mind" (1967).

    And from this point on, we are now encountering THE Waylon that we are all familiar with: His voice, and his style. 1968 sees that coming into place, with "Only Daddy That'll Walk The Line." "Just To Satisfy You" (1968 version) is the "Waylon version" here, as many would remember this song most popular along with Willie Nelson in the next decade. (NOTE: The first 8 tracks songs were produced by Chet Atkins... No wonder these songs are great; a great producer working with an up-and-coming future Country star.) "Willie And Laura Mae Jones" (1969) has Waylon's voice different in places, yet you know it's him. Again, it's a legend in the making, on this one. "Six White Horses" (1969) is another softer sounding song, and again, it's putting Waylon as a future Country star in the making. Likewise, "The Taker" (1970) and "Lovin' Her Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again)" (1970) are both songs in the building of a future Country star.

    "Good Hearted Woman" (1971) -- like "Just To Satisfy You," this is the "Waylon version." Co-written by Waylon & Willie, this song would also be another future popular Waylon & Willie favorite. "Black Rose" (1972) and "Lonesome, On'ry And Mean" (1972) surely now has Waylon in top-notch Country style.

    "Honky Tonk Heroes" (1973) -- ahhhh, this is the Waylon I remember... This song was from the Outlaws album, along with Willie, Jessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser. Pure Country gets "You Asked Me To," (1973) as it sounds more like a Willie tune, as in "Whiskey River." And speaking of Willie, he wrote the next track, "It's Not Supposed To Be That Way" (1973), as it is another softer sounding track, and, like the others, it works just great for Waylon. "This Time" is another great Waylon tune, and Disc One ends with the Waylon classic, "I'm A Ramblin' Man."

    Disc Two - 1974-1984: Classic, Ultimate, Waylon

    Disc Two has the great songs of Waylon, most of them reached #1 Country. Eight out of the forty tracks were #1: "Amanda," (1974), "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way," (1974), "Luckenback Texas (Back To The Basics Of Love)" (1977), "I Ain't Living Long Like This," (1979), "Theme From The Dukes Of Hazzard (Good Ol' Boys)" (1980), "Lucille (You Won't Do Your Daddy's Will)" (1983) - ALL #1's; the others were from Disc One: "This Time" and "I'm A Ramblin' Man."

    "Rainy Day Woman," (1974) "Waymore's Blues" (1974) definitely have that great waylon sound, where the softer side of Waylon is heard on "Dreaming My Dreams With You" (1974). "T For Texas" is from the Waylon Live album (1974), a song that I remember well, by Grandpa Jones, from Hee Haw fame. The next track is also from that live album, as Waylon sings tribute to Bob Wills, one of the founding fathers in the beginnings of Country music - "Bob Wills Is Still The King." Classic Waylon best describes "Are You Ready For The Country" (1976). A much better question at the time, would be "Are You Ready For The Waylon." "Jack-A-Diamonds" (1976) is another great, cool Waylon track.

    By 1978, Waylon was an "Outlaw," and his song asks the question, "Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit Done Got Out Of Hand" (?) For many, that answer would be "No," as the Outlaw image is what made Waylon (and his fellow Country music "Outlaws" famous. "The Conversation" (1978) was co-written by Waylon, Hank Williams Jr. and Richie Albright. From Waylon's album Waylon And Company, it's quite obvious, his "Company" helping him out, is -- Hank Williams Jr., another future Country legend, as Hank Jr. was getting quite popular towards the end of the 1970s, and into the next decade.

    That new decade would be the 1980s, as the year 1980 saw the release of his Music Man album, and from it, these songs makes this compilation: "Clyde," the #1 "Theme From The Dukes Of Hazzard (Good Ol' Boys)" and "Storms Never Last." Two years later, 1982 saw the release of Black On Black. From that album, "Shine" appears on this compilation. (NOTE: The review link is for BOTH Music Man and Black On Black albums.)

    1983 saw his take on Little Richard's "Lucille" where Waylon gives it a whole new approach: Titled as "Lucille (You Won't Do Your Daddy's Will)" -- it gives a Rock and Roll (Little Richard) classic into a great Country sound. The results of Waylon's version would become another #1 hit to his credits. Ending this great compilation set are two songs from 1984: "Never Could Toe The Mark," and "Looking For Suzanne." To sum up these two songs, there is a great mention in this compilation's liner notes:
    ONLY DADDY THAT'LL WALK THE LINE: THE RCA YEARS concludes with two songs that find Waylon taking on new challenges. "Looking For Suzanne" (1984) is a sharp Paul Kennerley tune that showcases Waylon's ability to be contemporary without condesceding to fashion. And "Never Could Toe The Mark" (1984) is classic Waylon, his full-throated baritone wrapping around an undeniable beat. Here, he's restless again, looking for new mountains to climb. It's likely he'll never stop searching.

    In the 1990s, Waylon would release a total of seven studio albums, and one final studio album in the 2010s. More live albums would also be released, after his death. Waylon still could produce more music after this compilation was released (1993). But it was the 1970s and 1980s decades that truly defined his signature Outlaw style. Yet, he was still "searching" in the 1990s and onward, he was still achieving more music for his fans and Country music.

    Also to mention, his son, Shooter Jennings has an incredible catalog of music. One of his albums is Fenixon, released in 2014. It was recorded by father and son, when Shooter was 16. in 1996. It was never released on CD, as it was a limited vinyl-only album, as the album's content focused on the industrial sound. This was by far way different for Waylon, being a Country musician. Read more here. From these recordings, Shooter and his band would rework some of the songs into Waylon Forever, released in 2008. Both of these are hard albums to find. It would be interesting, if this album would be re-released, and not only hearing both father and son together, but hearing Waylon attempting on a different musical style. Shooter Jennings has recorded 10 studio albums, as of 2005 to 2022, and has released live albums as well.

    There were many other popular recordings from Waylon, especially those he recorded with Willie Nelson. There are no duets from Waylon & Willie here on this compilation (although Willie is heard on "Luckenbach, Texas") Only Daddy That'll Walk The Line: The RCA Years focuses on Waylon, and Waylon only, likewise, his recordings from the RCA label. (He moved to the MCA label in 1986, and other labels in the 1990s.) And the earliest recordings from the 1960s makes this compilation even better, as we listen to a legend in the making. We can only imagine if there were to be another future "Outlaw" - Buddy Holly, had he lived. I'm sure Waylon would have had Buddy, along with Willie, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson. Or, maybe Buddy would have been with Waylon and not the others? Or, Buddy as a Country music singer himself? Or Not? So many questions, we'll never know the answers...





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