An Autobiography
By Waylon Jennings, By Lenny Kaye


432 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $19.99 (US $19.99) (CA $26.99)

ISBN 9781613744697

Rights: US & CA

Chicago Review Press (Sep 2012)

Price: $19.99
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I love this book. Vast, comprehensive, revealing, exciting, and entertaining, it’s an original in a roomful of carbon copies. You’ll love it.”  —Johnny Cash

Outlaw, renegade, legend, Waylon Jennings blazed a stellar career from honky-tonk roots through the rock 'n' roll fifties and four decades of country music. In Waylon he tells the story of a man who made music that fired up millions.


Born dirt-poor, Waylon Jennings took all the grit of his hometown of Littlefield, Texas, into his sound. He shared living quarters with Johnny Cash, took songwriting tips from Roger Miller and encouragement from Willie Nelson, and hung out after hours with Kris Kristofferson and George Jones. His 1976 anthology album, Wanted: The Outlaws, was a stunning platinum success.

            But while the performer rewrote the rules of the nation's popular music, the star binged on an endless stream of cocaine and pills and staggered through three failed marriages. He kept the country fires raging until the end, joining Willie Nelson, Cash, and Kristofferson on their sold-out international tours as the Highwaymen.

            Waylon is Jennings's no-holds-barred, tell-it-all story, overflowing with the honesty, humor, and down-home charisma of a honky-tonk hero.


"As good a book about American popular music as one is likely to find."  —Washington Post


"Folksy, funny, spirited. . . . There are plenty of Waylon moments to be enjoyed . . . loving, insightful . . . filled with backcountry humor. . . . Unflinchingly, the book reads true to the man: if you like Waylon, you'll love Waylon."  —Fort Worth Star-Telegram

"Well-turned, sometimes salty . . . refreshing . . . candid . . . poignant . . . An honest spotlight on a passel of colorful characters . . . . One of the best of country's tell-alls, as warm, peculiar, and individualistic as Jennings's music itself."  —Entertainment Weekly

“What a life! And what a wonderful story of a country boy who despite hardships unimaginable attained success and stardom. A 'must read' for not anyone, but everyone."  —Chet Atkins


"Finally, here is the autobiography we've all been waiting for!"  —Willie Nelson


"Read Waylon if you love country music. And read it if you admire renegades who throw away the formula and play it the way they hear it in their heads . . . . Eminently readable . . . . Mr. Jennings tells his tales with humor and detail."  —Dallas Morning News


"A no-holds-barred, tell-it-all story, overflowing with the honesty, true humor, and down-home charisma of an authentic honky-tonk hero down to the very last page."  —Music City News


"Essential reading for country fans."  —Publishers Weekly


Author Biography

Waylon Jennings was an American country music singer, songwriter, and musician. Lenny Kaye is an acclaimed music writer whose work has appeared in Crawdaddy, Creem, Hit Parader, Rolling Stone, and Village Voice. He is the author of You Call It Madness: The Sensuous Song of the Croon and has been playing guitar for Patti Smith since 1971. He lives in New York City.