Waylon Birthday Bashes Join to Benefit Diabetes Research

May 21, 2012 - By Trigger  //  Causes  //  10 Comments

This upcoming June 15th would have been Waylon Jennings’ 75th birthday. The Littlefield, TX native died in 2002 from complications with diabetes, a disease he battled for years. Waylon fans have been celebrating Waylon’s birthday in informal “Waylon bashes” for years, from back porch picking sessions to full blown concert events in and around Waylon’s birthday. This year, The Waylon Fund, an extension of the TGen Foundation that is searching for a cure for diabetes is bringing a national focus to Waylon’s birthday bashes by organizing these various Waylon tributes into a national benefit.

From Nashville to New York, from Detroit to Seattle, fans will be getting together to raise funds for diabetes research and to pay tribute to one of country music’s biggest Outlaws. From Billy Don Burns to Shooter Jennings, from Rachel Brooke to Jackson Taylor, bands and artists will be giving of their time to help out a good cause.

“We have a built-in Waylon fan base here who are happy to support a progressive diabetes research fund in his name,” says Dana Armstrong the local organizer for the Waylon tribute scheduled for June 17 at the Yucca Tap Room in Tempe, AZ. “We have held Waylon tribute nights in the past, and if we can raise awareness and some funds for TGen in this way, I know we will have a good time doing it. Waylon’s music and pioneering spirit have always been influential to Valley Fever, and you’ll see that in a lot of the bands that play here…”

Support for The Waylon Fund from the 8 different tributes around the country happened organically. The idea started when one of Waylon’s relatives in his hometown in Littlefield contacted TGen to see if the birthday bash they were planning in nearby Whiteface, TX could go to benefit the foundation. Soon volunteers and organizers were popping up all over the country, ready and willing to help with the cause, including Muddy Roots that will be throwing the birthday bash in Nashville at Robert’s Western World, and the 3-day Honky Tonk Throwdown in Detroit.

And if you can’t make it to one of these benefits, you can do the next best best thing: put on a Waylon record and donate online.

Current List of Waylon Bashes benefiting The Waylon Fund:

Whiteface, Texas – June 16, 2012

Shooter Jennings
Whiskey Myers
Jimmy Miles
The Rowdy Johnson Band
William Clark Green
Jackson Taylor and the Sinners
Tommy Jennings
Sergio and the Outta Luck Band

Detroit, Michigan – Honky Tonk Throw Down
PJ’s Lager House – June 8- 9-10, 2012

  • Billy Don Burns
  • Chelsea Crowell
  • Clark Patterson
  • Rachel Brooke
  • Bull Halsey
  • The Orbitsuns
  • The Howling Diablos
  • Horse Cave Trio
  • Paul Lamb and the Detroit Breakdown
  • JJ and the BTs
  • Crooked Little Reasons
  • Alison Lewis
  • Ryan Dillaha
  • Afternoon Round
  • Desolation Angel
  • Pat V & The Detroit 3
  • Matt Dmits
  • Switchblade Justice
  • Bixy Lutz

Tempe, Arizona – Valley Fever Country Music Night

Yucca Tap Room – June 17, 2012

J.P. Harris and the Tough Choices
Ray Lawrence Jr
Tony Martinez
James Parks
Steve Larson
Hans Olson
Junction 10
DJ Dana
Johnny Volume

Seattle, Washington – High Dive – June 15, 2012

Fascination Nation
The Outlaws (a Waylon tribute)
Jeff Fielder’s Redheaded Step Children
Plus special guests!

Houston, Texas – Firehouse Saloon – June 16, 2012

Matt Harlan
Brad Boyer
Al Staehely

Nashville, Tennessee – Robert’s Western World
June 17, 2012 – 6-10 p.m.

The Silver Threads
Special guests to be announced

New York, New York – The Wayland – June 15, 2012

(More info coming soon!)

Crestview, Florida -Don’s Ice House
June 15-16, 2012

(more details coming)

10 Comments to “Waylon Birthday Bashes Join to Benefit Diabetes Research”

  • Triggerman, you are the greatest.
    I literally live a few blocks from The Wayland in Manhattan and had not heard of it (it used to be a great place called Banjo Jim’s, and I did not know it had reopened with new owners). Come here to read about good music and end up finding out about a cool new bar in my neighborhood. Can’t wait to celebrate Waylon there!
    Thanks for your work and for keeping the discourse civil.


  • No California shows? They kinda dropped the ball on that one.


    • Who is “they”?

      This is community, grass roots stuff man. If you see a need, rise up and fill it. The Waylon Fund, T Gen, nor Waylon’s estate planned any of these specific events. As highlighted in the article above, some of these events have been going on for years. It’s just this year they’ve decided to all band together for a cause. Maybe there is a Waylon birthday tribute in California, we just need to connect with it. Maybe there needs to be one, and we need to find the venue and the bands that want to play. There is no “they” man, there’s just “we”. This isn’t Lallapalooza where you just wait for it to roll into your town and show up with your nitrous balloons. We have to do it ourselves.

      Sorry man, I don’t mean to be jumping down your throat, but let’s not criticize, let’s organize. And now I totally sound like Zig Ziggler :D


      • Shit bro, this is the first I’ve heard about it and it’s kinda late in the game to do anything this year. If the schedules work out next year I could pretty easily get The Devil Makes Three, Larry and his Flask, Tater Famine and some other twang bangers to throw a party. We might even get DM3 to learn a new song for once…….


  • Thank you for posting this Triggerman. Good to see this happening.


  • This is my third year of throwing/planning/organizing/agonizing over the Honky Tonk Throwdown in Detroit. What started as an event based in anger and frustration in regards to the treatment of Detroit based acts in relation to the “new” country festival that occurs in Detroit at the same time(whose name I will not mention)and as a way to bring attention to some of the talents I had the pleasure of seeing and performing with around the country has become something more now, greatly due to TGEN.

    In a lucky coincidence, the date was pushed back to June this year, and fell in line with Waylon’s birthday–an event that I had regularly celebrated, and so, it was a perfect fit to join in this cause.

    We’ll be taking donations all weekend, and the Lager House is running a crawfish broil that’s proceeds will also be donated to the fund.

    What started from need and anger has become something for a cause–very motivating and inspiring to be involved.

    Thanks for spreading the word.


  • Thanks for posting this, it really helps us get the word out.


  • Great article trig! We are proud to be a part of the upcoming event, and hope that our community of talents continues to grow and network as such…


  • I wonder why Whitey Morgan wouldn’t be part of the Detroit show? There is no one out there right now that takes you back to the 70’s hey day of Waylon than Whitey…he’s phasered out to the gills…has the sound down. Odd that he wouldn’t be part of the Detroit show being so close to his hometown.


  • Diabetes is a horrible condition, but if you have it, you cannot drink alcohol or do drugs. Besides watching carbs and life style, and besides playing the music, education on diabetes and what causes the complications is a necessity.
    I’ve had it for 57 years, and I have no complications. When I got this condition, there were no glucometers on the market. So I only ate foods with very low carbs. It was a contiually bland diet. Just try to add some eduation explaining this. It will help many people if they understand what causes the complications that Waylon experienced.


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