Fast Facts

  • Was originally named Wayland, but his mother changed the spelling because a preacher assumed she named him after the local college. It was never changed on his birth certificate.
  • Started as a disc jockey when he was just 12 years old.
  • Gave up his seat on the airplane that would eventually crash and take the lives of the Big Bopper, Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens in 1959. 
  • Was a member of the Highwaymen, a band that also consisted of Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson; they were credited with bringing country back to its roots.
  • Sang the theme song for The Dukes of Hazzard and was the off-screen narrator for the show.
  • Struggled with a decades-long addiction to cocaine; claimed that he often spent more than $1500 a day to support the habit.
  • Earned his GED in 1989 at the age of 52.
  • Released a children's album, Cowboys, Sisters, Rascals & Dirt, in 1993.
  • His son Shooter Jennings played him in the 2005 movie Walk the Line.

Awards

  • 1969, Grammy — Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal: Winner
  • 1978, Grammy — Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal: Winner

Relationships

  • Lorene Beatrice Shipley Jennings — Mother
  • Julie — Daughter
  • James Jennings — Brother
  • Tommy Jennings — Brother
  • Tomi Lynn — Daughter
  • Phillip Jennings — Brother
  • Jessi Colter — Wife
  • Jennifer Jennings — Stepdaughter
  • Shooter Jennings — Son
  • Barbara Rood — Ex-wife
  • Deana — Daughter
  • Terry — Son
  • Maxine Carroll Lawrence — Ex-wife
  • Bo Jennings — Brother
  • William Jennings — Father
  • Lynn Mitchell — Ex-wife
  • Buddy — Son

Details

  • Birth Name: Wayland Arnold Jennings
  • Birth Place: Littlefield, TX
  • Birthday: June 15, 1937, Gemini
  • Died: February 13, 2002
  • Profession: Country musician, Songwriter

Trending TonightSee all »

Watch This

Chris Geere and Aya Cash
The You're the Worst cast can act, but can they draw? (Nope!)

We challenged Chris Geere, Aya Cash, Kether Donohue and Desmin Borges to draw 45-second portraits of each other and the results were... interesting