by Lance Vargas
Country music lost one of it's finest yesterday
when Waylon Jennings passed away from diabetes complications,
leaving a tremendous void in the hearts of classic music fans.
Jennings was the defining member of country's "outlaws,"
a group of whiskey drinking, boot kicking and guitar picking hellraisers
who count among their ranks such icons as Merle Haggard, Johnny
Cash, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson.
Through songs like "Amanda," "Lonesome, Ornery
and Mean" and "Mental Revenge," Jennings mixed
unwavering independence and deep devotion throughout much of his
catalog. Reflective and unwavering at the same time, Jennings
helped define the tortured cowboy spirit of classic country.
Jennings was also mindful of his influences. Songs like "Are
You Sure Hank Done It This Way" and "Bob Wills Is Still
The King" placed early western swingers on appropriate pedestals
He received a great deal of mainstream media attention for his
role as "The Balladeer" on the '80s television show,
"The Dukes of Hazard." In addition to voiceovers and
commentary, Jennings also sang the show's theme song.
Jennings battled drug addiction throughout much of his life and
was arrested for cocaine possession in 1977. He claimed to spend
1,500 a day on his habit before kicking in 1984 for good.
In recent years, Jennings has endured numerous health problems
His left foot was amputated due to after a lengthy struggle with
diabetes in December of 2001.
He released a live album "Never Say Die" in October
Jennings is survived by his wife, Jessi Colter and their son,