Waylon Jennings Bob Allen - Essay

Bob Allen

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Over the years, Waylon has … developed into a songwriter of considerable scope and talent. Though his original songs lack the endurance or universality of many of the songs from the early Willie Nelson catalog, they have nonetheless supplied him with a number of hits, and they have been recorded by many other artists as well. While Willie has often written outside of the style of music in which he was most actively working (i.e. country music), Waylon, on the other hand, seems to use his writing talents to create songs that are perfectly tailored to his own unique personal style. They are often explicitly autobiographical. (p. 106)

To many, [Dreamin' My Dreams] marks a turning point for Waylon: the assimilation of his various musical influences into what is widely considered to be his best album ever. It features the haunting Jennings original, "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way," which is the closest thing that Waylon has to an anthem. Sweeping and powerful, this song sums up the frustration and desperation of Waylon's first decade in the music business…. It is as compelling and powerful a personal statement as almost any country or rock song that has ever been recorded. (p. 113)

Bob Allen, in his Waylon & Willie: The Full Story in Words and Pictures of Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson (copyright © 1979 by Quick Fox), Quick Fox, 1979, 127 p.