The year was 1955, and country singer-songwriter Waylon Jennings had only just become a robust young 18 year-old musician in Littlefield, Texas. Back then, the forthcoming Outlaw Country head managed a half-hour radio show on KZZN, during which he played songs and exchanged stories with a few local music artists.
It’s tough to think that all of the reel-to-reel records gathered throughout Waylon’s time on the air wound up, wait for it… under Waylon’s sibling’s bed. Thankfully these were recently retrieved by Waylon’s son, Shooter Jennings.
Shooter’s recording label, Black Country Rock, not too long ago produced the complete recording, known as Waylon 55 Live, on vinyl.
“It’s very strange to hear this captured moment in time so early in his life,” Shooter said to Rolling Stone during his latest interview. “He’s 18 and fired up about everything.”
He says, “[Waylon]’s hosting the show, getting each guy to play, pulling all this weight, and he was going for it… He knew how to move the show along.”
You’ll see a unique clip from the old records, featuring Waylon playing Little Richard’s well-known ‘Slippin and Slidin’.’ The song was eventually recorded by the iconic Buddy Holly, whose band Waylon would eventually be a part of several years after the recording in 1958.
After that song, Waylon dedicates the extraordinary version to Maxine Lawrence, who would end up becoming his first wife later on that year.
Make sure to watch this incredible 1987 performance of “Good Hearted Woman,” featuring Waylon and Willie Nelson.