Waylon Arnold Jennings (June 15, 1937 – February 13, 2002) was an American country music singer, songwriter, and musician. Jennings began playing guitar at 8 and began performing at 12 on KVOW radio. He formed a band, The Texas Longhorns. In 1958, Buddy Holly arranged Jennings's first recording session, of “Jole Blon” and “When Sin Stops (Love Begins).” Holly hired him to play bass. During the “Winter Dance Party Tour,” in Clear Lake, Iowa, Holly chartered a plane to arrive at the next venue. Jennings gave up his seat in the plane to J. P. Richardson, who was suffering from a cold. The flight that carried Holly, Richardson, and Ritchie Valens crashed. Following the accident, Jennings worked as a D.J. in Phoenix.
During the 1970s, Jennings joined the Outlaw movement. He released critically acclaimed albums Lonesome, On'ry and Mean and Honky Tonk Heroes, followed by hit albums Dreaming My Dreams and Are You Ready for the Country. In 1976 he released the album Wanted! The Outlaws, with Willie Nelson, Tompall Glaser, and Jessi Colter (Jenning's wife), his first platinum country music album. The success of the album was followed by Ol' Waylon, and the hit song “Luckenbach, Texas .” By the early 1980s, Jennings was struggling with a cocaine addiction, which he was able to beat. Later he joined the country supergroup The Highwaymen with Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and Johnny Cash. During that period, Jennings released the successful album Will the Wolf Survive.
Jennings also appeared in movies and television series. He was the balladeer for The Dukes of Hazzard; he composed and sang the show's theme song. In 2001 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
On February 13, 2002, Jennings died from complications of diabetes.