May
25

Waylon Jennings Is Still Alive in Littlefield, TX

May 25, 2011 - By Trigger  //  Outlaw History  //  39 Comments

A few days ago I found myself driving from Taos, New Mexico to Austin, TX; a junket I dubbed the “Waylon Jennings Historic Tour”. One of Waylon’s first big songs was “Taos, New Mexico” from the album Love of The Common People during his country folk days. Of course Austin is where Waylon reinvented himself as a country music Outlaw at the Armadillo World Headquarters and The Dripping Springs Reunion among other places. And if you draw a line between Austin and Taos, you darn near intersect right down the middle the towns of Lubbock (where Waylon got his start with Buddy Holly) and Waylon’s hometown of Littlefield, TX.

Pulling into Littlefield, there’s a sign announcing it as Waylon’s hometown out on the highway, but with no research or knowledge, I decided to pull into town to look for any other homages to the Flying “W”. As I drove in on Farm to Market road 54, I noticed the name change to “Waylon Jennings Blvd”, and when I reached the heart of town, at the corner of Waylon Jennings and Hall Ave., I found what I was looking for in the form of “Waymore’s”.

Waymore’s is a drive-thru liquor store converted from an old gas station, with the repair bay open on both sides. It is also a Waylon Jennings museum, opened by Waylon’s younger brother James Jennings a couple of years after Waylon’s death in 2002. Amongst the shelves of hard liquor are Waylon artifacts and memorabilia, most notably the platinum record from the first ever certified platinum album in country music, Wanted, The Outlaws, Waylon’s first guitar (and accompanying photo), the original poster for the movie Nashville Rebel starring Waylon Jennings from the Littlefield movie house, a black Southwestern-style wool coat custom made for Johnny Cash, and reams of photos, album covers, and other Waylon memorabilia from his extended family and associated acts.

Unfortunately James Jennings was not around, but his wife and Waylon’s sister-in-law Helen Jennings was, and acted as my personal curator. Apparently if you can catch James, sometimes he’s known to pull out a guitar and play you a Waylon song, or take you in his truck on a personal Waylon-themed tour of Littlefield.

Right down the road from Waymore’s, just past the Ace Hardware is the “Waylon Jennings Free RV Park”. Now when was the last time you heard of a free RV park? Waylon’s bootprints cast in a concrete block the shape of Texas christens the campground. I also found the strand of trees on Austin Ave. where according to Helen Jennings the boyhood home of Waylon once stood.

Littlefield is a dusty, sleepy, somewhat depressed-feeling town of the dry American plains, but it is great to see them embrace and preserve the heritage of their most-famous son. You may not be able to hear Waylon on the radio anymore, buy his legacy is still alive in Littlefield.

The back of "Waymore's" drive-thru liquor store

Names of Waylon Jennings songs adorn the outside wall of Waymore's

Waylon's sister-in-law Helen Jennings tending shop

The first platinum record in country music for "Wanted, The Outlaws"

Waylon Jennings' first guitar, and picture of him playing it

Original "Nashville Rebel" poster displayed at Littlefield movie theater

Johnny Cash custom-made wool coat

Waymore's on the corner of Waylon Jennings Blvd.

Waylon Jennings Boot Prints at RV Park

Plot on Austin Ave. (I think) that Waylon Jennings grew up on.

39 Comments to “Waylon Jennings Is Still Alive in Littlefield, TX”

  • Great Stuff. nothing better than a roadtrip like this.. thanks for sharing. I need to make the trek up there and check out this liquor store myself.

       3 likes

  • Hoss.

       2 likes

  • Great article, was really interesting!

       2 likes

  • pretty awesome..odd that it is in a liquor store, since waylon wasn’t much of a drinker..but, still very very cool.

       3 likes

  • Bad Fuckin Ass!

       1 likes

  • Cool! Thanks for sharing

       2 likes

  • Triggerman…you have shown us the way to the true Mecca of country music…we must all make our pilgramige now! Really cool man.

       3 likes

  • If I recall what I read, he used to pick cotton and was a DJ. Waylon’s life was highly colorful and he had a kingsized heart.

    Great blog Triggerman.

       2 likes

    • Denise, Waylon had a radio show in Littlefield. I have a reel to reel recording of one.

         2 likes

  • Good timing on this Triggerman. I needed a shot of Waylon! Great photos.

       2 likes

  • Waymore’s name should be this prevalent everywhere . Nothin but American spirit through perseverance comes from that goddamn name.

       1 likes

  • Thanks for sharing Trig! I’ll have to check it out if I’m ever that way. I’m a big music history buff too and have come across some really cool off the beaten path sites also. Actually driving from Champaign, IL to Kentucky Lake this weekend then next weekend heading to Galveston, TX for a week. I’m curious what I might come across.

       2 likes

  • Sweet pics man!

    The last time I heard of a free RV park? Walmart parking lots?

       1 likes

  • Great article dude. So good to see this stuff. Been there a lot, but it’s been about 5 years since I was there… Love the shots of “Waymore’s”. Awesome that you covered this!

       2 likes

    • From one of the bulletin boards at Waymore’s

         1 likes

      • Oh baby! Awwwww.

           1 likes

        • Those are great photos of the happy family! I just want to know when Santa Clause kidnapped my dog?

             1 likes

    • Shooter, I was raised in Littlefield and have several things that have Waylon. A reel to reel tape of one of his radio shows and he plays a record for his mother. A jingle he made for Pat’s Record Store in Littlefield. 1953 school year book where they spelled his name Wayland. Tommy Jennings is also in the book. I remember when Tommy had Gas Station on main street in Littlefield. There was a guitar in the station that had to be tuned with a pair of pliers. I used to put Waylon’s mother’s songs to music. She had a song about her late husband called “Last Rose On The Vine” that was really good.

         3 likes

      • Please digitize that! It would be incredible to hear it.

           2 likes

      • It is such a blessing that Waylon’s siblings thought about his future and especially his fans around the United States and the world. Thank you James Jennings and family members.

           0 likes

  • Littlefield looks like Paradise Valley / Mesa AZ quite a bit, Im thinkin Waylon did’t feel too far from home.

       0 likes

  • stopped in last year while down there on business…cool little spot, payin’ tribute and seeing “the MANS” stuff is always a good way to pass a few hrs

       1 likes

  • I wish I would have known you were driving through here! I coulda bought you some local grub or something. Did you drive through Espanola?

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  • The second photo in the video is of The Country Cavaleers. It was taken in 1970, on the day we introduced the outlaw image to Waylon at his house. He really dug our look. Take a listen to the true story in the Youtube Video below.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UtNbGAb5AY

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  • i have a waylon logo on my arm in orange for the dukes lol live in hobbs nm still havent made it to littlefield yet been all over tx just havent gotten there yet

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  • waylon 4 ever

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  • I grew up in Littlefield. I still remember Waylon coming back and doing free concerts for us. He was an outstanding man. He once bought me icecream :-)

       3 likes

  • Hi Nowlin, are you THE Nowlin Tubbs? Former bass player for Gatemouth Brown and musician/singer extraordinare? If so, pretty damn cool.

       0 likes

    • Jerry, that’s me!

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      • Hi I’m doing some filming in Littlefield and would like to speak with you for the piece I am doing is there a way to contact you?

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  • It’d make more sense if Waymore’s was a pharmacy instead of a liquor store…

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  • Great photos and story, thanks for sharing the Waylon road trip!

       1 likes

  • GREAT ARTICLE!!!

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  • Whoop Whoop !

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  • Cant wait to come Visit your store .Once we cross that old red river hoss.

       1 likes

  • I stopped/stayed here last year on my way to Killeen from Las Vegas. I use to work for a lady at Nevada State Bank who’s ex husband was in the music biz. She said she use to babysit Shooter was he was a young boy. I’m headed that way again next week and will definitely take a spin through the town. Can’t wait!!

       1 likes

  • All I can say about Mr.Waylon Jennings is God bless & Amen that’s how I feel.
    Best Regards,Mr.David Faas Duluth,Minnesota

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  • An interesting story. I too grew up in Littlefield and my mom sold her eggs at Jennings’ feed store next to Lymon’s Grocery. If you were lucky you could sometimes catch Waylon and his brother Tommy sitting on sack of feed, singing. At one time we were without a school bus driver and Waylon filled in for about 3 weeks or so. He was the only driver who sang as he drove. One of the younger girls kept begging for Waylon to sing a song for her on his next program. Sure enough, he sang, “I
    Didn’t Know God Made Honky-Tonk Angels.” We all loved it.

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  • I’m a truckdriver from Dallas and I knew Waylon was from Littlefield so I stopped by today on my way from Portales,N.M. to Houston. I bought a Coke and spent about 45 minutes looking at all the Waylon Memoribilia. Thanks Darla I really enjoyed my time there. Waylon was and still is my #2 all time favorite next to Conway Twitty. Thanks for all the great songs and God Bless You Hoss !

       0 likes

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