Tritt tweeted a video of the two singing together. He captioned it: “For Travis Tritt Tuesday, here is a video of me and my buddy Waylon Jennings performing together at his final live concert. Enjoy!”
Travis Tritt Joined Waylon Jennings at Ryman Concert in 2000
The video is from Never Say Die: The Final Concert. And it was Jennings’ final major performance. He gave it in January 2000, at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium. And it definitely was a big party.
Tritt wasn’t the only country star Jennings invited to commemorate the moment. Jennings’ wife Jessi Colter was there, as was John Anderson and Montgomery Gentry.
One Early Tritt Song Even Had a Waylon Shout Out
Travis Tritt always has let it be known that he’s a life-long fan of Waylon Jennings. In fact, back in 1990, Tritt wrote a song with a shout-out to Waylon. Tritt loved the Outlaw sound and said he always caught grief from folks in Nashville for embracing it. He started performing with Jennings. And one night after a concert in Atlanta, Waylon had a come-to-Jesus moment with Tritt. And Tritt recalled that moment years later during an interview with Theo Von’s podcast, “This Past Weekend.”
“I loved everything about him,” Travis Tritt said of Waylon Jennings. “One of the things I loved about him was that he was not afraid to do things his way.”
Tritt said Jennings told him: “Listen, Hoss, I’ve been hearing all the stuff they’ve been saying about you in Nashville and on these radio stations. Let me just remind you that everything they are saying about you now, is exactly what they said about me, and about Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash, and Hank Williams Jr., and David Allan Coe.”
Tritt said that Jennings told him to focus on more important matters. Was he selling records? Yes. Were people paying money to hear him sing live. Well, yes. So Jennings said that’s what matters. Ignore the critics.
“Man that was like an epiphany for me,” Tritt said. “And it also took a tremendous amount of weight off of my shoulders because I realized at that particular point that Waylon and all the rest of those guys that were labeled as outlaws. They got that label by simply doing the same thing that I was doing, which is just wanting to do my music, my own way, and show my influences, all my influences, which were very widespread.”
‘I’ve Always Been Crazy’ Became Jennings’ Sixth No. 1 Hit
So let’s get back to the song Tritt and Jennings sang 22 years ago. It was the lead single from Jennings’ 1978 album “I’ve Always Been Crazy.” The album hit No. 1 on the country charts. And the single also became Jennings’ sixth No. 1.
It was the perfect song to perform at Jennings’ final major concert. Waylon died in his sleep two years later of complications from diabetes. But two decades later, his music still sounds fresh, strong and so very Outlaw.