DEAD: Waylon Jennings

DEAD: ON THIS DATE

Waylon Jennings (aged 64)

American country music singer, songwriter, and musician

Waylon Arnold Jennings (June 15, 1937 – February 13, 2002) was an American singer, songwriter, and musician. Jennings began playing guitar at eight and began performing at 14 on KVOW radio. His first band was The Texas Longhorns. Jennings worked as a DJ on KVOW, KDAV, KYTI, and KLLL. 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. In Clear Lake, Iowa, the story is told that Jennings gave up his seat on the ill-fated flight in 1959 that crashed and killed Holly, J. P. Richardson, Ritchie Valens, and pilot Roger Peterson.

DEATH: Jennings’s health had been deteriorating for years before his death. After quitting cocaine, he ended his habit of smoking six packs of cigarettes daily in 1988. The same year, he underwent heart bypass surgery By 2000, his diabetes worsened, and the pain reduced his mobility, forcing Jennings to end most touring. Later the same year, he underwent surgery to improve his leg circulation. In December 2001, his left foot was amputated at a hospital in Phoenix. On February 13, 2002, Jennings died in his sleep of diabetic complications at the age of 64, in Chandler, Arizona. He was buried in the City of Mesa Cemetery, in Mesa, Arizona. At the funeral ceremony, on February 15, Jessi Colter sang “Storms Never Last” for the attendees, who included Jennings’s close friends and fellow musicians.

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