Source: Waylon Estate Distances from Tribute Contributors

January 7, 2012 - By Trigger  //  News  //  29 Comments

Yesterday (1-6) the track listing and contributors for the second installment of the Waylon Jennings tribute “The Music Inside” was released to the public to a few grumbles from Waylon fans who were unhappy to see names like Colt Ford on the list, who is known for mixing country music with rap, and Justin Moore, who even legendary music journalist Chet Flippo who covered Waylon and the rest of the country music “Outlaws” back in the 70′s for Rolling Stone has inferred is a “fake Outlaw”.

Now Saving Country Music has learned from a reliable source close to Waylon Jennings’ estate that the estate has “distanced” from the choosing of some of the artists on the tribute, especially on the second disc. Waylon’s estate, made up of Waylon’s widow Jessi Coulter and his son and artist Shooter Jennings are said to have limited involvement in the project at this point, consisting of the tracks they have contributed themselves, and a few other “select choices”. Both Shooter and Jessi appeared on The Music Inside Vol.1 released in February, and Jessi appears on this second volume due out January 24th.

The Waylon Estate source also says the selection of the contributors has a lot to do with the labels releasing these volumes. Big Machine Records, Justin Moore’s record label released Vol.1, and label Average Joe’s Entertainment whose releasing Vol. 2 is home to Colt Ford and Montgomery Gentry. The Music Inside project is being managed by producer Witt Stewart (read interview with him here about the project).

There’s also questions about the timing of the release of The Music Inside, Vol.2. The series was always intended to be 3 volumes, and a total of 36 songs had been recorded by the time of the release of Vol. 1 in February. June 14th was supposed to be the release date for Vol. 2 (the day before Waylon’s birthday), and Vol. 3 was scheduled for October, along with a rumored “Christmas surprise” from the project. Now we won’t see Vol. 2 until late January, and physical copies won’t be available until February 7th. There is no updated release date for Vol. 3 currently.

Saving Country Music has learned the delay in the release occurred when the original label that signed on to release the albums, Big Machine, refused to release Vol. 2 after physical sales of Vol. 1 did not meet their expectations. Vol. 2 was picked up by Average Joe’s, but only with the stipulation that Colt Ford and Montgomery Gentry from their roster would be added as contributors. Justin Moore and Jewel were included to fulfill the project’s obligations to Big Machine, resulting in a list of contributors that looks to have more to do with Music Row politics than with who is best suited to pay tribute to Waylon Jennings. 

Neither Jessi Coulter nor Shooter Jennings have come out publicly against the project, and SCM’s source close to the Waylon Estate says the family still supports the release of these volumes, but if it was left to them, a different set of contributors would have been chosen. Shooter has said in some recent interviews that he, “appreciates that the records have given a podium to many artists from many different walks of life to express their love of my dad’s music”.

Both Shooter and Jessi showed apprehension to the project at first before finally giving approval, as they explained to The Tennessean back in February when the first volume was released:

(Jessi Colter) “Frankly, sometimes it hurts my heart to hear someone do his (Waylon’s) songs.” All of which is part of why Colter was reluctant to green-light a series of three Waylon Jennings tribute albums…If Colter was reluctant to participate in such a project, Shooter Jennings was downright apprehensive … “I was leery of it, and even more guarded than my mom was. I’ve seen people with pure intentions and unrealistic goals, and I’ve seen people with agendas. And I’ve seen a Nashville system that will happily milk the ‘outlaw’ image of Waylon and other people, just so they can sell garbage.”

Please stay tuned to Saving Country Music for more information on this developing story.

Track List:

Lonesome, On’ry and Mean – Dierks Bentley
Waymore’s Blues – Hank Williams, Jr.
Good Ol’ Boys – Montgomery Gentry
I Ain’t Living Long Like This – Justin Moore
Bob Wills Is Still The King – Jack Ingram
Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line – Colt Ford
Rainy Day Woman – Pat Green
Love Of The Common People – Josh Thompson
Mama – Jessi Colter
Dreaming My Dreams With You – Jewel

29 Comments to “Source: Waylon Estate Distances from Tribute Contributors”

  • This makes me sad! It could have been a really fabulous project with the right folks!!! I won’t be buying this.

  • Im glad to see that the estate is distancing themselves from this. My mother (she is 61 and has always loved Waylon) showed me the tracklist last night and I couldnt believe how terrible it was. I can only imagine how terrible the third disc will be. Can it be even worse than this?

  • This list is especially frustrating given that the choices for the first disc were mostly good.

  • I really like Shooter’s comment that he “appreciates that the records have given a podium to many artists from many different walks of life to express their love of my dad’s music”. I think it’s a very mature and diplomatic attitude. It must be heartbreaking to himself and his family that this kind of album will see the light of day, but I guess record company politics, greed and the law make it impossible for them to do anything to really stop something like this happening. They are just forced to sit back and watch it play out. I know how I’d feel if if was my dad being exploited in this way.

  • Well after reading the article on the Tennessean website it seems that Jessi and Shooter should have never signed a deal with corporate Nashville to do the album. Maybe I am reading it wrong but when they signed they knew that Big Machine Records was going to have their hand in it. If you look at the bands that are on Big Machine that should have been a red flag right there.

  • Someone should have called me. lol

    • I agree

  • There may be a way of rectifying this. Can’t say anymore at the moment.

    • ADAM! Hello there. Happy New Year …

      • Happy new year to you too! I’m still around and with Kyle’s blessing I’d love to comment more often on anything not directly related to XXX, MoonRunners, etc.

        • Sounds like a plan! And with Kyle’s blessing I think that’s a good one.

    • Maybe there is more to the politics and copywrites than anyone knows, but why doesn’t a guy like Shooter produce/lead a tribute project and hand pick guys for it? He says he was skeptical of this one, so why not do up your own?

      I know you can’t stop everyone else from doing something poorly, but seems he could pull together guys that deserve it and would respect it. Artists that might not only lend a voice but maybe the capital and studio time to get it done right?

      Or maybe the best way for an artist to pay tribute is just to drop some covers in an album like the Waylon covers Jackson Taylor and Jamey Johnson have in their albums. Not a full blown tribute, but a tune here and there.

      • We’re thinking something along those lines.

        • That would be great, although you don’t want to flood the market with tributes either, but there has to be a proper way rather than some label pulling strings on who sings on an album.

          What about re-releasing some of Waylon’s tunes (Waylon singing them) that would fit in todays market? Tunes like “Belle of the Ball” “Don’t Think Hank Done It This Way” “Are You Ready For The Country” “Breakin’ Down” “A Long Time Ago” etc, etc… I could go on.

          With the way country music is, Waylon Jennings…even his legacy is Lonesome, On’ry and Mean.

  • I’d say I’m more than a little confused with the “management” of the legacy of Waylon Jennings. There seems to be no legitimate “Waylon Jennings” website other than the rubbish put up for these albums…before that typing waylonjennings.com was bringing up a porn site. I distinctly remember a site several years ago but that must have been let out to pasture…

    Considering the potential value of “Waylon Jennings The Brand” I can’t believe it’s being left in the broom closet this way.

    Slapped together “tribute” records and half assed web sites miss an opportunity to pass on the music to new fans.

    Considering the fine effort Shooter Jennings is putting into his own website it would not seem to be a stretch to do justice to Waylon’s legacy using the same developers. Hell, even Jimmie Rodgers has a proper website and he’s been dead longer than most of us have been alive.

    • Well said Dan.

      I don’t know anyone personnally from the Waylon estate, but I don’t think the finger should be pointed a music row politics alone as suggested by this blog.

      Dan, you are correct there is nothing good in the way of a Waylon site for information/history/etc… The one a few years ago that shutdown said it shutdown to revamp/update, but it never really came back until the site about this project with the same domain name. The old site at least had some decent history and merch. like some sweet buckles and shirts. But that is all long lost.

      Wikipeida is the only page for any history on Waylon.

      You know what needs to happen, Hollywood needs to make a movie on Waylon. One that is done up for the theatres. See also “Walk the Line”. You get that out there and things will take off. Simply call it “Waylon” Don’t reference outlaw, don’t reference bad ass, just his name. His name for me, is a verb itself. (If I have my grammar right, which I certainly may not)

      Tributes like this one are fine. They aren’t earth shattering, but they aren’t the end of the world either. They might fire up some young “outlaw” that will start listening to Waylon and realize what is real and what is not.

      If anything, it just shows how far ahead of his time and how timeless Waylon was. His legacy still challenges music politics.

      There has to be something inside the estate, or whoever is the gaurdian of the Waylon brand, that isn’t directing things in the best way. Music row politics are just working with what they can work with. Who is allowing that is the one to point the finger at.

    • I will say this. I have had lots of folks contact me, concerned about the way Waylon’s internet properties are being managed, and it has gone as far as some folks even blaming me for not looking into it more or calling out whoever needs to be called out about it. And this has been going on for years now. As a journalist and writer, I am always for more information that less, and for that information to be easily accessible.

    • I have been wondering the same thing Dan. Shooter has a hell of a website and I think he does most if not all of the work himself. There has to be a logical reason why there’s no official Waylon site running right now but I can’t imagine what it is.

    • I was so glad to see this post from you. We think SO much alike!

  • Well,for whatever reason,I seen Jessi on CMT all afternoon promoting it with that old cooking woman they have on during a movie they were showing.

    • It’s times like these I’m glad I don’t have cable.

    • At least she’s on cmt. I’m surprised anyone at that network has heard of Waylon much less Jessi.

  • [...] Country Music reports that the estate of Waylon Jennings is distancing itself from the upcoming tribute album coming out in [...]

  • I want to publicly APOLOGIZE to Shooter for honestly just being completely confused on this whole thing. I’m a huge Waylon fan like anybody else, but I also wrote with his Dad and had discussions with him about the state of country music in 1997. I have said several times that the man wasn’t even a fan of Alan Jackson or Dwight Yoakam, although I hear he changed his mind on the latter. It just stands to reason if he disliked what he heard back then he would be pretty disappointed with a guy like Justin Moore on his tribute album. To me that’s common sense. Shooter released “Outlaw You” which I was excited about and it just didn’t jive with me what he was doing promoting this 2nd volume. I guess he was put in an impossible situation. I ended up being sort of looked at as a jackleg for even saying anything about it on the Waylon Lives Facebook page. At no time did I mean disrespect to The Jennings family, and Shooter if you read this, I apologize to you for questioning what you were doing. I’m always behind you 100%, but this one had me scratching my head and I jumped the gun. Last year I was very concerned that Scott Borchetta / Big Machine was involved in this project as I basically have zero respect for him but I still bought the record because Waylon was on it. I look forward to “Family Man” and saying goodbye to these outlaw posers running around. – JD

  • Instead of all of these “Tribute” albums to Waylon … I bought the first two in the heat of the moment, cringed when listening to some of the songs .. listened to them a second time, then put them on the rack, never to be imported to my computer or listened to again …

    why not do something totally unique and actually PLAY HIS MUSIC on the radio! Who wants to listen to an icky rip off of his songs, when it would be really great if the Man got the respect he deserves and HIS music got played! Just my thoughts on this whole mess …

    This is why I stay far away from Clear Channel Radio …

    • I agree with you Deb. I don’t know all the copywrites and politics behind it, but I think someone should put together an album for release of Waylon’s music that would be relevant to todays music climate.

      “Don’t Think Hank Done It This Way”
      “Belle of the Ball”
      Problem is, there would be a lot of money that would need to go into it and not much money to be made. Sure a few record sales maybe but not like you can tour it.
      So for it to be pushed out and make any kind of “noise”, would take someone with a lot of money backing them, not worried about return on investment, and then how to handle current artists that may appreciate Waylon, and they want to get in on things.

      Tough thing. That Waylon’s music could be played and fit into todays music climate and that a tribute album to him is so hard to live up to what he was, well that is the true timeless tribute.

  • The way that so many of these new artists say that Waylon was their Hero, they try to “be” him … I know nothing about the radio/music industry, but I just don’t understand why they can’t occasionally pull some of his songs from the archives and give them airplay. Maybe they’re afraid most everything else they would play that day couldn’t possibly compete with Hoss …

  • A wise man once asked me…

    “What would Waylon do?”

  • Jason Boland could do a hell of a lot more justice to Waylon than any of the names on this list.

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