WATCH: Waylon Jennings Opens Up About What Willie Nelson Is Like Behind-the-Scenes in ’80s Interview

by Joe Rutland

Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson are names people in country music connect with “Outlaw Country” music. But what was Nelson really like?

Jennings, in an interview alongside his wife Jessie Colter from the 1980s, talks about Nelson after speaking a little about a then-new song he’d just written called “The Latest News From Nashville.”

He laughs and responds, “I like that song. I wrote most of that song in the studio. You know, I just started writing on it and it came out.

“I think it’s funny,” Waylon Jennings said, “I think it’s good, and I’m just trying to see if cowboy singers still have a sense of humor about themselves.”

Waylon Jennings Says Willie Nelson Is ‘Never Any Different’

“Do they?” he asked. “Some of them do, some of them don’t ’cause the ones that don’t don’t matter anyway,” Jennings replied.

The interviewer asks what Willie Nelson thinks of the song.

“Willie grins on everything,” Jennings said, putting a grin on his own face for emphasis. “Willie loved it, he did, and he likes things like that.

“Willie’s great,” Waylon Jennings said. “Willie’s the same, you know. What you see with Willie, that Willie, is the Willie. He’s never any different.”

Take a listen to Jennings and Colter answer questions not only about Nelson but their songs and careers in this flashback interview.

Jennings And Nelson Shared Voices On ‘Luckenbach’ Classic

Many country music fans know that Waylon Jennings and Nelson were part of a group which chose to strike out beyond the “normal” Nashville music scene.

They were termed “outlaws” for going against the grain, seeking to return country music to its traditional roots and sound.

Back in 1977, Jennings recorded “Luckenbach, Texas (Back To The Basics Of Love).” The song reached the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot Country singles chart and No. 25 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart.

The song appears on Jennings’ album “Ol’ Waylon.”

Written by Chip Moman and Bobby Emmons, the song reflects the sentiment of a married couple having trouble with good living and high-society problems. Waylon Jennings sings about slowing down and moving to a quieter place like Luckenbach.

Before writing the song, neither songwriters nor Jennings had ever been to Luckenbach. Jennings wrote in “Waylon: An Autobiograhy,” which came out in 1996, that “I knew it was a hit song, even though I didn’t like it, and still don’t.”

You can hear Nelson’s voice on the song’s final verse.

Waylon and Willie were lifelong friends until Jennings’ death in 2002.