John L. Smith, ed. The Waylon Jennings Discography. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1995. xxiii + 366 pp. $69.50 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-313-29745-8.
Reviewed by Robert G. Weiner (Mahon Library, University of North Texas)
Published on H-PCAACA (December, 1996)
After entering his fifth decade of recording music, Waylon Jennings has become a true country music legend. It seems only fitting that a recording reference source documenting these decades be compiled. The Waylon Jennings Discography by John L. Smith extensively documents Jennings' career. He has recorded over 600 songs and done over 850 studio sessions. Smith divides the discography into recording sessions, official record releases, and both the pop and country billboard chart listings. Also included is a session and release index.
The bulk of the volume is devoted to Jennings' session work and makes The Waylon Jennings Discography unique from other discographies. Session listings are arranged chronologically beginning with 1958's "When the Sin Stops" recorded with Buddy Holly to 1994's Highwayman sessions with producer Don Was. Session listings are annotated giving detailed information; each of the entries contains data about the various session musicians and their roles in the recording process. Jennings' guest appearances on other people's recordings are also mentioned.
The Waylon Jennings Discography is the history of an artist in the recording studio. Smith's attention to detail is commendable. The volume stands as a fine tribute to an important artist. Libraries with strong country music collections will want to purchase it. The foreword by Johnny Cash describes Jennings as an "American Original..." The Waylon Jennings Discography proves that.
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Robert G. Weiner. Review of Smith, John L., ed., The Waylon Jennings Discography.
H-PCAACA, H-Net Reviews.
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