Waylon Jennings :: Honky Tonk Heroes (1973)

Waylon Jennings :: Honky Tonk Heroes

The great Texas singer-songwriter, Holden Rushing, first turned me on to this album in his Venice beach abode during his three year stint out here in Los Angeles. Much obliged, Holden. Upon the receipt of the record, I was also told a tale that seemed to blur the line between fact and legend; a story about Waylon Jennings, Billy Joe Shaver and the genesis of the project that became Honky Tonk Heroes. From what I remember, it went something like: one night in a bar, Waylon drunkenly offered to record a album’s worth or Shaver’s tunes, only the next time the two men saw one another, a now sober Jennings had completely forgotten any such agreement, to which Shaver promptly (and forcibly) reminded him, hence Honky Tonk Heroes.

Anyhow, bullshit story or not, it is my absolute favorite Waylon album, and more than a must have for anyone who likes hard country. Also, if you know this legend to indeed be a myth, keep it to yourself, as I like the backstory, fable or not…

MP3: Waylon Jennings :: Honky Tonk Heroes
MP3: Waylon Jennings :: You Ask Me To
Amazon: Waylon Jennings – Honky Tonk Heroes

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9 thoughts on “Waylon Jennings :: Honky Tonk Heroes (1973)

  1. I would give anything to get my hands on a copy of the soundtrack to that western movie he did in the 70’s.

  2. Thanks for the reminder. I just bought the MP3s at Amazon.

    Have you ever read Waylon’s autobio? I read it about ten years back and really loved it. One of the best music autobios I’ve ever read. If you didn’t know that it was his fault Buddy Holly got on that plane with the Big Bopper I suggest you check it out.


  3. That’s what I’m talking about . . . there isn’t a more solid country album in existence. Waylon’s greatest hits collections never did it for me; this album is what won me over. It roars, it’s no frills, it’s tough, it’s sensitive with some nice ballads . . . like a no bullshit version of Shotgun Willie, which came out the same year. Hats off to Shaver for giving Waylon something he could really work with.

  4. Amazon says the drunken promise occurred at Willie Nelson’s 4th of July picnic party. And the legend grows…

  5. As great as this album is, Waylon Live … released in 1976, but recorded in 1974 … is probably a better showcase for not only Waylon’s versatility as a singer and songwriter, but how red hot his backing band, The Waylors, really was. The star of the band was probably Wynn Stewart’s old steel player, Ralph “Moon” Mooney, but you will rarely hear a more deep-in-the-pocket rhythm section and few recordings better capture Waylon’s shredability with the Tele.

  6. Ralph Mooney is to Waylon what Robin was to Batman. The man mastered “hot licks” that made Waylon shine like the sum. There are 2 musicians I could listen to until they stopped playing: Marty Stuart and Ralph Mooney. The cream always floats to the top. Those two are the “cream of the crop.” I miss you Waylon.

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