Stylistically, Jennings certainly is a country artist. But his material is culled from a variety of sources, and the lyrics are a cut above most c-&-w tunes…. That he uses rock sources and has a rock audience is not really surprising, considering … that youthful association with Buddy Holly….
He has actively sought to raise the level of the material he performs, and he has shown that he wants to reach as wide an audience as possible while retaining an authenticity and flavor that are beyond dispute.
He has often been compared with Kris Kristofferson, who, some say, cares more about his new rock audience than about the country crowd that gave him his start. But Jennings seems determined to remain a country artist, convinced that broad-based audiences will continue to seek him out. He thinks the people who really listen to what he does won't care who else likes to listen to him. Waylon Jennings is perhaps as good an indicator of the true appeal of country music as you can find, and he's been right so far. (p. 64)
Allan Parachini, "Waylon Jennings," in Stereo Review (copyright © 1974 by Ziff-Davis Publishing Company), Vol. 32, No. 2, February, 1974, pp. 63-4.