Country star Travis Tritt paid tribute Wednesday to the late Waylon Jennings drummer Richie Albright in a touching Twitter post.
Travis Tritt Pays Tribute to Richie Albright
“This is such sad news,” Tritt wrote of Albright’s passing. “Richie Albright was truly one of the greats and was largely responsible for the iconic Waylon Jennings sound that millions like me fell in love with the first time we heard it. #RIPRichieAlbright”
Albright died on Tuesday at age 81. His band, Waymore’s Outlaws, confirmed his death on Wednesday.
A Rich Musical Career
Besides Jennings, Albright had worked with musicians like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Jessi Colter, Billy Joe Shaver and Hank Williams Jr.
But the Tennessean called him Jennings’ “musical consigliere,” and it was his suggestion that Jennings infuse some rock-n-roll into his music.
Jennings honored his drummer by naming his son Waylon Albright “Shooter” Jennings. And the boy grew up to be a second-generation musician, per the Tennessean.
In 2007, musician Bronson Herrmuth asked Albright if he ever had an inkling that his drumming would prove to be so influential.
“I knew that I was playing with a very dynamic, just outrageous, great singer and guitar player, that’s what I knew,” Albright said. “You know when magic happens it happens a lot so that was a good barometer. I knew he was going to be big. I was just there for the ride, man.”
Despite Albright’s modesty, Jennings credited Albright as his “right hand” and the force behind his signature sound. He marveled at their musical chemistry in his 1996 autobiography Waylon, according to Rolling Stone.
“I’d turn around and look at Richie and we’d be going off on this tangent, jamming, letting the song carry us along, and a smile of satisfaction would spread across our faces,” he wrote. “I just knew musically we fit.”
A Loving Husband and Father
Albright’s family was heartbroken at the news of his death.
“To many Richie was an Outlaw, legendary drummer and right-hand man to Waylon Jennings, but to those who knew him best he was a loyal friend, a tireless worker, a loving husband, and a proud father,” read a statement on his Facebook page. “Richie’s first love and passion was music, which he was blessed to spend more than 50 years devoting his life to.”
Albright’s drum kit remains in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. He is survived by his wife Linda and three children.