Dale Recommends: “T For Texas (Live)” by Waylon Jennings

Waylon has been around my life as long as I’ve been alive. When I was little, some of my first memories are driving around in my dad’s pickup (two-toned brown, me without seat-belt) and the song that stands out more than any other is Waylon off of his Waylon Live album doing Jimmie Rodgers’ classic, “T For Texas”. Waylon’s version is a near-magical update, full of all the outlaw spirit: loud guitars, Waylon’s unique lead playing, and a timeless sound that never ages. Now that I’m working on a podcast, Soutee, this song was one of the first I thought of to create that image of late 70s freedom.

Remember in this day of cookie cutter country, Waylon reinvented the genre with a blend of rock sensibility with a deep knowledge of the history of the music. The live album more than any explores that spirit of expanded possibilities that would have seemed impossible just a few years before, when ol’ hoss was about to quit that business until he decided to go for broke with an album that became his biggest hit. He had creative control, and he created something special.

Think of cowboy shirts with wide lapels, green shag carpeting and turning a speaker up too loud, hoping to capture the feeling of being in Texas in those heady mid-70s days. It never gets old to me.

(Song recommendation by Dale Wiley)

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