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Country’s Greatest Love Stories: Waylon Jennings & Jessi Colter

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Waylon Jennings & Jessi Colter

There’s nothing like the love of a good woman to help an outlaw tame his demons. With wife Jessi Colter at his side, Waylon Jennings was able to overcome his addictions and lead a loving, fulfilled life until his death on February 13, 2002.

A Phoenix native, Jessi was first married to rockabilly guitar legend Duane Eddy. After she and Duane divorced, she met Waylon. They married on October 26, 1969 in the Phoenix church where her mother served as the minister. The iconic couple became key figures in country music’s outlaw movement. In 1976, ‘Wanted! The Outlaws’ featuring Waylon, Jessi, Willie Nelson and Tompall Glaser, became the first Nashville album to sell a million copies, but Waylon and Jessi’s greatest collaboration was their son, Shooter, born May 19, 1979.

Jessi and Shooter have lent their voices and their blessing to ‘The Music Inside: A Collaboration Dedication to Waylon Jennings,’ a three CD collection on Big Machine Records. Volume 1 released on February 8, 2011, with subsequent CDs to be issued later this year.

“He is missed,” Jessi says of her late husband. “There will never be another one like him. He gave me a great life and so many people so many hours of happiness. He played for the people. I loved him dearly.”

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