In order to understand the influence that Waylon Jennings had on country music, one needs to look no further than today’s artists. Jennings’ songs, image, and life have inspired so many to chase their dreams in country music. Hence the reason why Jennings is mentioned by many of today’s country stars as one of their all-time favorite artists.
There were many hit songs that have contributed to Jennings’ lasting popularity, including his 1977 single “Luckenbach, Texas.” Released as the first single off of his album Ol’ Waylon, “Luckenbach, Texas” featured Jennings’ good friend Willie Nelson as a guest vocalist on the final refrain.
The song was a smash hit following its release. It ended up topping the country charts in both the U.S. and Canada. The song was a crossover success as well, and earned the 25th spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Luckenbach, Texas” and a handful of Jennings’ other big hits got the all-star treatment in 2015 when a group of artists gathered to pay tribute to Jennings. The tribute concert occurred in Austin, Texas, and now the greater public has the chance to see what took place that night.
The impressive cast of stars took individual turns performing some of Jennings’ signature songs, including “Are You Sure Hank Done it This Way” and “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys.” But the best part of the show had to be the finale, during which all of the stars came together on stage to sing “Luckenbach, Texas.”
— Buckles and Bulls (@BucklesandBulls) April 8, 2017
Jamey Johnson, Eric Church, Kris Kristofferson, Chris Stapleton, Alison Krauss, and more all teamed up for the epic tribute. A few stars, such as Johnson, got the chance to sing a short solo on part of the song. At one point, Toby Keith and Kacey Musgraves joined together on a sweet duet before the entire cast moved into the chorus.
We love the sound of all of those talented voices singing together! If you listen closely, you can start to pick out individual artists’ voices. One voice that sticks out loud and clear is Nelson’s. Since Nelson sang “Luckenbach, Texas” with Jennings, it seemed fitting that he was on stage for the tribute performance of the song. Not only that, but he was respectfully placed at center stage, holding the entire cast of singers together.
You’ll likely recognize a few other familiar faces on the stage. Jennings’ son Shooter can be seen at several points in the video, as well as his widow, country icon Jessi Colter.
Tune in below to watch this extraordinary tribute to one of country music’s finest. We bet Jennings would be proud of each and every one of them.