Wednesday, June 21, 2017

REVIEW: An Outlaw and a Lady by Jessi Coulter

About the Book

Renowned songwriter, singer, and wife of Waylon Jennings writes an intimate, enormously entertaining memoir of American music, of life with Waylon and the Outlaws, and of faith lost and found.

The daughter of a Pentecostal evangelist and a race-car driver, Jessi Colter played piano and sang in church before leaving Arizona to tour with rock-n-roll pioneer Duane Eddy, whom she married. Colter became a successful recording artist, appearing on American Bandstand and befriending stars such as the Everly Brothers and Chet Atkins, while her songs were recorded by Nancy Sinatra, Dottie West, and others. Her marriage to Eddy didn’t last, however, and in 1969 she married the electrifying Waylon Jennings. Together, they made their home in Nashville which in the 1970s, was ground zero for roots music, drawing Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Shel Silverstein, and others to the Nashville Sound. And Jessi was at the center of it all, the only woman on the landmark Wanted: The Outlaws album, the record that launched the Outlaw Country genre and was the first country album to go platinum. She also tasted personal commercial success with the #1-single “I’m Not Lisa.”

But offstage, life was a challenge, as Waylon pursued his addictions and battled his demons. Having drifted from the church as a young woman, Jessi returned to her faith and found in it a source of strength in the turmoil of living with Waylon. In the 1980s, Waylon helped launch the super group The Highwaymen with Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson, and the hits kept rolling, as did Waylon’s reckless living. Amid it all, Jessi faithfully prayed for her husband until finally, at Thanksgiving 2001, Waylon found Jesus, just months before he died. 

An Outlaw and a Lady is a powerful story of American music, of love in the midst of heartache, and of faith that sustains.

My Review

An Outlaw and a Lady is the memoir of a country girl who fell in love with one of the most famous stars of Country music, Waylon Jennings. An Outlaw and a Lady tells the story of Jessi's early life at home and her early years in church. Jessi describes her own mother as an amazing servant of God. Yet some how when Jessi got older she found herself walking away from the faith. The book goes on to tell how she met Waylon and them falling in love and marrying. Their life together and family they built is also talked about. 

Jessi also goes on to talk about her husband's struggles. To be specific, his drug and alcohol struggles. But in all the craziness she stayed with Waylon, through thick and thin. And many years into their marriage Jessi found herself running back to God. And thankfully, describing how Waylon returned to faith in God not long before he passed away.

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