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An Outlaw and a Lady: A Memoir of Music, Life with Waylon, and the Faith that Brought Me Home

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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 s 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.


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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 s 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.

30 review for An Outlaw and a Lady: A Memoir of Music, Life with Waylon, and the Faith that Brought Me Home

  1. 5 out of 5

    Valerity (Val)

    3.5 of 5 stars When I ran across this biography of Jessi Colter awhile back I decided to grab it. I had seen both Jessi and her husband Waylon Jennings in concert in Gainesville, Florida with Jerry Reed at a small venue many years ago (‘82, ‘83ish) when I lived in Central Florida briefly the first time. I’ve always been curious to know more about all of them. This was an engaging memoir written by Jessi Colter, who was born Mirriam Johnson to an evangelist mother and a race car driver father. I f 3.5 of 5 stars When I ran across this biography of Jessi Colter awhile back I decided to grab it. I had seen both Jessi and her husband Waylon Jennings in concert in Gainesville, Florida with Jerry Reed at a small venue many years ago (‘82, ‘83ish) when I lived in Central Florida briefly the first time. I’ve always been curious to know more about all of them. This was an engaging memoir written by Jessi Colter, who was born Mirriam Johnson to an evangelist mother and a race car driver father. I found it to be a good account and a pleasing length. She shares her early years growing up singing and writing songs, and how she happened to come to be in the music business with her first husband Duane Eddy. Then how she met Waylon Jennings and their many years together, making music and being on the road and off. There is also a good bit in it about her faith at times, losing it while she was with her first husband, and eventually regaining it again later. This book would appeal to those who enjoy country music biographies and who don’t mind some faith talk and drugs talk thrown in also. First posted on my WordPress blog seen here: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog20...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cheyenne

    I grew up listening to Waylon Jennings but never knew much about his wife. Jessi is an amazingly patience and kind woman. Through torment and pain she came out strong. Devoted to loving Waylon and music she followed him through everything. Though she grew up a ministers daughter she loved to sing and travel. Many of her songs she wrote herself about life experiences and living with Waylon. Absolutely loved this book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rod Horncastle

    The wife of Country music outlaw "Waylon Jennings" tells us her side of the story. And it's nice to hear. She sounds like a lovely lady who put up with a whole lot of Crap. The first thing we learn is that Jessi Colter is not her real name. That was her given entertainment business name. I don't even remember her real name - she mostly never uses it. (I would find that really weird). we also learn that she married Duane Eddy (old school famous early Rock n Roll guitar player and producer). Of cou The wife of Country music outlaw "Waylon Jennings" tells us her side of the story. And it's nice to hear. She sounds like a lovely lady who put up with a whole lot of Crap. The first thing we learn is that Jessi Colter is not her real name. That was her given entertainment business name. I don't even remember her real name - she mostly never uses it. (I would find that really weird). we also learn that she married Duane Eddy (old school famous early Rock n Roll guitar player and producer). Of course: divorced soon after -- now with a daughter named Jennifer (who later goes on to sing back up for Waylon. I saw that on a 1989 Austin City Limits tv show. Best television show EVER!!!). Jessi wrote more than a few famous country and pop classics. I also think she put out over 10 albums on her own. I'll have to find some and give a listen. It's amazing how much drugs and stupidity she had to tolerate from her husband "Waylon". But he was this way when she met him: so it's her bad choice. But they endured. I think Waylon would have died decades earlier if not for Jessi's ability to manage things (and a healthy home). Waylon deserves a slap for all he put everyone through. But, at least he was mostly honest about it. Not exactly forthcoming though. He didn't deserve a great wife like her. This is a very spiritual book. Jessi's Mom was a revivalist preacher and their brand of Christianity runs through this tale (bit charismatic- bit crazy Cult on her Mom's part). We even get to hear about Waylon possibly becoming a Christian before his death. Although it seems he might have demanded Jesus meet him on his terms... Not sure it works that way Waylon. But I hope the best for him. I'm a huge fan after all. This book was a quick read: lots of empty pages and chapter heading pages. Oh well! It was a library book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mark Mortensen

    In her well written autobiography Jessie Coulter, with assistance of David Ritz, details her life along with her years with Waylon Jennings. It was not the first marriage for the country music stars but it would be their final one lasting over 25 years. As in most relationships, individuals do not change their strong core personalities. Their union would be tested but through love, close mutual friendships, music composition, duets and much faith, their years together were memorable.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

    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 bu 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.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Little

    Where do I even begin. I have always loved Waylon which is what made me want to read this book. I was not prepared for the journey this book took me on. I laughed, cried, got angry and felt a spiritual release. Jessi is in my opinion the kind of woman I want to be. She showed such grace and strength throughout her life that is truly to be admired. I didn't want the book to end but it was worth it to get to the end. This book made me believe even more in our Lord's unwavering love. Thank you Jess Where do I even begin. I have always loved Waylon which is what made me want to read this book. I was not prepared for the journey this book took me on. I laughed, cried, got angry and felt a spiritual release. Jessi is in my opinion the kind of woman I want to be. She showed such grace and strength throughout her life that is truly to be admired. I didn't want the book to end but it was worth it to get to the end. This book made me believe even more in our Lord's unwavering love. Thank you Jessi for this journey through your life, what a ride!!!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Wonderful book. Waylon is my favorite singer of all time & I have loved Jessi Colter’s music. I grew up with their music & story. I have read all of the Waylon biographies & it was so wonderful to read about the story from Jessi’s point of view. It was a beautiful story & interesting to find out how Jessi’s adventurous life started. She is a strong woman filled with the love of God. I had no idea her faith was so strong This was a beautiful read told from a loving women who loved the path that G Wonderful book. Waylon is my favorite singer of all time & I have loved Jessi Colter’s music. I grew up with their music & story. I have read all of the Waylon biographies & it was so wonderful to read about the story from Jessi’s point of view. It was a beautiful story & interesting to find out how Jessi’s adventurous life started. She is a strong woman filled with the love of God. I had no idea her faith was so strong This was a beautiful read told from a loving women who loved the path that God lead her to take in life Highly recommend this book

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Albright

    [Note: This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/Thomas Nelson Publishing. All thoughts and opinions are my own.] Are you a fan of the Outlaw country sound of the 1970's, and want to know more about how it was like to live with Waylon Jennings? If so, this is a good book to read from someone who knew, namely his talented widow, the only woman to appear in the defining Outlaw album that gave a name to the movement as a whole, Jessi Colter, who happened to be the daughter of a molybdenum mi [Note: This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/Thomas Nelson Publishing. All thoughts and opinions are my own.] Are you a fan of the Outlaw country sound of the 1970's, and want to know more about how it was like to live with Waylon Jennings? If so, this is a good book to read from someone who knew, namely his talented widow, the only woman to appear in the defining Outlaw album that gave a name to the movement as a whole, Jessi Colter, who happened to be the daughter of a molybdenum miner and early race car driver (!) and his preaching wife. Do you like reading memoirs that discuss the connection between faith and life in the music industry [1]? If so, this is also a good book to read from someone whose career straddled the line between secular and religious music. Perhaps not coincidentally, this book also serves to promote an album of new material from Jessi Colter that is taken from the Psalms, which makes perfect sense given the contents of this book. This is a book written in such a way that it gives the reader exactly what you are looking for, an honest and faithful account of a dramatic life. It would be churlish to complain about getting exactly what you are looking for. In terms of its contents, this book offers few surprises. The narrative is chronological, beginning with a discussion of the backgrounds of the author's parents, their dynamic relationship together, as well as the author's childhood and how she basically lucked into a career as a professional musician thanks to the support of Duane Eddy, who became the author's first husband. The author talks about her life with Waylon, her love for him despite his lengthy drug habit, her own therapy through writing, her abandonment of the faith of her childhood and her recovery of that faith as a wife and mother. Throughout this book one can see the concern that Jessi has for her family and for her faith, and see that she is not particularly motivated by commercial gain. She appears to have enjoyed telling her stories and expressing her emotions through song, interpreting the songs of others, and in enjoying the fellowship of others of like mind and great talent through her own life so far. There is a great deal to praise in terms of this book. There are a lot of song lyrics and some thoughtful explanation of the tangle of confessional emotions that went into the writing of that song. Jessi Coulter really nails what it means to be a writer who pours fears and longing into writing without being able to verbalize such feelings in conversations with the people the song is about. Like my own writing, Coulter's was deeply personal and a form of indirect and implicit communication in the absence of frequent personal conversation. The co-writer of this book, appropriately, vanishes into the woodwork and lets Jessi tell her compelling and exciting story, and this book is remarkable and notable for its sense of honesty. Coulter is candid about her waywardness as a young person, refreshingly lacking in ego about her talents to the point of being self-effacing and diffident, honest about her failings as a wife to Duane Eddy and step-mother to Waylon's three children from previous marriages, and candid about her desire for romance even as a somewhat aged widow. Even though this is a book with few surprises, it delivers exactly what one wants and is a worthwhile and enjoyable and insightful read, one that is highly recommended for those who happen to like the material this book covers faithfully and candidly. [1] See, for example: https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2013...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Zachary Houle

    My knowledge of the country music of Jessi Colter is limited to the White Mansions album she made with her husband, Waylon Jennings, and a host of others in the late ’70s. My dad bought it and bequeathed it to me as an adult, but it is, alas, a bit unplayable as it skips. (However, the cover art of Civil War-era artifacts is amazing and lavish.) Similarly, I know next to nothing about Jennings’ work. That all said, I’m game for a good memoir, always, especially if it expands upon what I know abo My knowledge of the country music of Jessi Colter is limited to the White Mansions album she made with her husband, Waylon Jennings, and a host of others in the late ’70s. My dad bought it and bequeathed it to me as an adult, but it is, alas, a bit unplayable as it skips. (However, the cover art of Civil War-era artifacts is amazing and lavish.) Similarly, I know next to nothing about Jennings’ work. That all said, I’m game for a good memoir, always, especially if it expands upon what I know about music. But, as added bonus points, Colter’s memoir is just as much about faith as it is about music. You see, Colter was one who didn’t totally relish the spotlight. Even though reporters in later years would ask her what happened to her career, which really flourished only around the mid-‘70s as one of the few female faces in Outlaw country music, a subgenre that was branded for bad boys (and the odd girl) who were nonconformists of the era, she would often respond that her role was just as much to support her husband and children. So Colter didn’t have as much of a music career as she could have, but it turns out her life was just as adventurous on the sidelines as it was in the spotlight. Read more here: https://medium.com/@zachary_houle/a-r...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Martin

    I was so excited when I saw that this book existed -- I am a longtime fan. Her songwriting is so simply and lovely, but a bit idiosyncratic for country-western, which is why she fits well with Outlaw Country. However, the experience of reading this book was a bit dull. I wasn’t looking for any kind of tell-all about Waylon – that’s not what she’s about. She sees her life as fairly devoted to Christ, even though she did look outside of Christianity in her young adulthood. Because of this, there i I was so excited when I saw that this book existed -- I am a longtime fan. Her songwriting is so simply and lovely, but a bit idiosyncratic for country-western, which is why she fits well with Outlaw Country. However, the experience of reading this book was a bit dull. I wasn’t looking for any kind of tell-all about Waylon – that’s not what she’s about. She sees her life as fairly devoted to Christ, even though she did look outside of Christianity in her young adulthood. Because of this, there is not a lot of drama. Even Waylon’s late in life sorta-conversion was not very dramatic. She does not detail much suffering on her part because she managed to stay the course in her faith and her marriage. She’s a great lady, but that does not make for the most interesting read. I did enjoy her occasional discussion of her craft and her struggles in the music business. I just wish there was a little more to this book, but I’m not surprised that there isn’t. Prose may not be her strength, but the ghost writer should have pushed a little harder. I also did not enjoy his writing style of conversations which happened decades ago, as if there was a transcription of the dialogue. It seemed like lazy writing to me.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Linda Carlson

    I wanted to really like this book since I'm such a fan of both Waylon Jennings' and Jessi Colter's music. Ever listen to their duo of "Storms Never Last, Do They Baby? She wrote the song and originally asked "Do they, Waylon?" But he thought it was too specific so she changed it to "Baby." She actually doesn't live far from me and I've seen her perform locally and really enjoyed her. But in this book I grew weary of her standing by her man who was abusing drugs and was unfaithful to her for so m I wanted to really like this book since I'm such a fan of both Waylon Jennings' and Jessi Colter's music. Ever listen to their duo of "Storms Never Last, Do They Baby? She wrote the song and originally asked "Do they, Waylon?" But he thought it was too specific so she changed it to "Baby." She actually doesn't live far from me and I've seen her perform locally and really enjoyed her. But in this book I grew weary of her standing by her man who was abusing drugs and was unfaithful to her for so many years. Prior to Waylon, I didn't know that she was married at a young age to Duane Eddy. Their first date was dinner at the Pinnacle Peak Patio! They had a daughter but the marriage didn't last. Also I wasn't aware that she was the daughter of a minister. She goes into great detail about her religious beliefs and how that affected her life and her music. Of course it would. But I grew weary of that also. She does write glowingly about her love of the desert which I found enjoyable. I understood that part. But I didn't understand some of her other personal choices. Proud of her, though, for surviving it all and living to share it with the world. She definitely had a story to tell. And I don't think it is over yet.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    A beautifully written story of faith & love. I wanted to read this book for two reasons: I am a fan of the music of Waylon Jennings, and I just could never understand why Jessi stood by him after all he put her through. I understand now. I still know that I could not have done it, but I do understand.

  13. 5 out of 5

    tanya oltz

    Amazing!! If you're a fan of Waylon Jennings you need to read this it doesn't disappoint at all. Jessi Colter did an amazing job writing this book . Amazing!! If you're a fan of Waylon Jennings you need to read this it doesn't disappoint at all. Jessi Colter did an amazing job writing this book .

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Too much Jesus, not enough country music gossip.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Billye

    I bought the hardback edition of this book in the bargain section of the legendary independent bookstore Small World Books in Venice, California. I was interested in it because it was a sort of tabloid story that I had always wondered about. It has some great photos and I am happy that I own it. The writing took me in right away. The intelligence and soulfulness of the writing came through immediately. Three chapters in, I decided I NEEDED to have the audiobook version! This is not a tabloid stor I bought the hardback edition of this book in the bargain section of the legendary independent bookstore Small World Books in Venice, California. I was interested in it because it was a sort of tabloid story that I had always wondered about. It has some great photos and I am happy that I own it. The writing took me in right away. The intelligence and soulfulness of the writing came through immediately. Three chapters in, I decided I NEEDED to have the audiobook version! This is not a tabloid story or a story about fame and celebrity. This is the story of a spiritual journey and an illustration of the responsibilities, challenges, hardships, and rewards of true commitment. It is a wonderful side bonus that this journey includes tons of fascinating, famous people. I would recommend this book to anyone who is on a spiritual path and needs reassurance that even the most talented and successful among us experience doubt, confusion, and loss. I liked the audiobook production. The performance by Devon O'Day is solid, but I thought it was an odd choice to hire a narrator instead of having Jessi read it herself. She has a beautiful singing voice - I would imagine her speaking voice is fine, too. At times, she does get a little preachy but most importantly, she seems to keep everything in perspective. I would recommend this book to fans of Waylon and Jessi who are also religious.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gary Anderson

    #CybilsReaddown book 3

  17. 4 out of 5

    Paige Gordon

    I really liked this book and Jessi's way of telling her story. I grew up listening to country and specially liked Ole' Waylon and his fellow Outlaw's as well as Jessi's smooth voice. I played my tape of the Outlaws until it was worn out. I admire the way she hung in there through all of his dark days and how her faith eventually brought him to Christ in his dying days. If you were a country fan you shouldn't miss this one! I really liked this book and Jessi's way of telling her story. I grew up listening to country and specially liked Ole' Waylon and his fellow Outlaw's as well as Jessi's smooth voice. I played my tape of the Outlaws until it was worn out. I admire the way she hung in there through all of his dark days and how her faith eventually brought him to Christ in his dying days. If you were a country fan you shouldn't miss this one!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    The Amazing Life of Jessi Colter and Waylon Jennings! PLEASE READ THIS REVIEW ON MY BLOG: http://bookreadingtic.com/2017/06/01/... THANK YOU! Waylon Jennings. Even if you think you don’t know his music, if you ever watched the television show, The Dukes of Hazzard, you heard him sing the theme song, and play the part of the narrator. In this book, his wife Jessi Colter (also known as Miriam Eddy) tells what life was like living with him. She also shares her life story as well. Waylon was a trial to The Amazing Life of Jessi Colter and Waylon Jennings! PLEASE READ THIS REVIEW ON MY BLOG: http://bookreadingtic.com/2017/06/01/... THANK YOU! Waylon Jennings. Even if you think you don’t know his music, if you ever watched the television show, The Dukes of Hazzard, you heard him sing the theme song, and play the part of the narrator. In this book, his wife Jessi Colter (also known as Miriam Eddy) tells what life was like living with him. She also shares her life story as well. Waylon was a trial to live with, and he didn’t try to hide the one night stands he sometimes indulged in—especially when he was on the road. He was a drug user, especially “pep” pills and cocaine. Although Jessi loved him deeply, and he loved her, that wasn’t enough to give her the strength to be married to him. In fact, she did separate from him once, and spent much time in prayer about whether or not to stay in the relationship. Jessi knew that if she went back to him, she would be going back to stay with him for life. Ultimately, she did make the decision to reunite with Waylon. She returned to a life that had some amazing experiences but also some really rough times. Jessi credits two things for getting through it. Number one was having faith in God along with His help. The other thing was expressing her feelings through music that she was creating. Jessi is a singer and composer in her own right. She might be best known for the song, “I’m Not Lisa,” which was a huge hit in the 1970’s. But she is a prolific writer of many other songs, and has recorded a number of albums. She was part of albums that included Waylon and many of their famous friends. Many well-known people have also sung her songs. Over the years, they often rubbed shoulders, along with calling them friends, with such people as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson—just to name a few. The journey Jessi was on after she made the decision to stay married to Waylon would include his attempts to give up using drugs, and his great desire to have a child with her. Waylon had some very big musical successes during this time, and she often toured with him around the world. However Jessi’s one desire was that Waylon would accept Jesus Christ as his savior, and become a born again Christian. This book tells the story of whether or not Jessi got her heart’s desire, along with a whole lot more about their life together--because when she returned to Waylon, she stayed married to him. I was intrigued by the story of Jessi and Waylon’s relationship, and believe anyone else would be as well. I really appreciated the Christian aspect that Jessi included in this book, and the importance she placed on Waylon’s salvation. Anyone who likes biographies, stories about popular entertainers, or literature written from a Christian viewpoint will enjoy this 5-star book. Thomas Nelson Publishers has provided bookreadingtic with a complimentary copy of An Outlaw and a Lady, for the purpose of review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Faye

    Jessi Colter famous singer, song-writer, child of God, and love of Waylon Jenning’s life, tell her story in this autobiography that tells of her childhood, meeting and loving Waylon, and rediscovering her faith in God. Born Mirriam Johnson, to a Pentecostal preacher and a racecar driver, she sang in church and her family knew that she was something special. At 17 with her family’s blessing she recorded her first record and met Duane Eddy whom she later married. Those were troubled years, though s Jessi Colter famous singer, song-writer, child of God, and love of Waylon Jenning’s life, tell her story in this autobiography that tells of her childhood, meeting and loving Waylon, and rediscovering her faith in God. Born Mirriam Johnson, to a Pentecostal preacher and a racecar driver, she sang in church and her family knew that she was something special. At 17 with her family’s blessing she recorded her first record and met Duane Eddy whom she later married. Those were troubled years, though she seemed to have everything she could have wanted a supportive husband, daughter, and a song-writing career, something was missing. She explored the New Age worldview, liking the self-empowering messages, but finding them oddly empty, soon after her marriage failed and she was divorcee at 24. It was then that she met Waylon Jennings the enigmatic country rocker, who didn’t like to play by the rules. He was a hard living, woman loving man, with a pill problem, just coming out of his third divorce at 31. But when they met they were smitten. Uncertain years of up and downs followed, Mirriam took the professional name Jessi Colter and had many successes of her own, touring with Waylon on and off, and going to the top of the charts with her song “I’m Not Lisa” as well as with a few other songs that she sang herself, or that were cut by other artists. And even though she lived for loving Waylon, something was still missing. I've been a long time fan of country music, so this book caught my eye when I saw that it was about the woman who new Waylon best. I realized as I read how little I knew about Jessi beyond her songs. Jessi was a strong woman, and though success came and went through the years her love was always with her family. I liked her honesty as she told her story, she didn't sugar coat Waylon's past and the hurt that he had caused her, despite being the love of her life. It's so cool to see looking back how God was working in her life even when she seemed to be running away from Him. Through everything she stayed true to her husband and to the God that gave her strength to keep going and inspired her music. I learned so much about the rich history of outlaw country and the woman beside one of country music's greatest legends and rule breakers. Overall all it was a wonderful read and a great intimate look at the life of Jessi Colter and her famous husband Waylon Jennings, and the life that they found together. Highly recommend for fans of Jessi and Waylon, or anyone who enjoys reading about a real life love story. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ash Wilson

    I enjoyed this book. It wasn’t over the top amazing for me and it wasn’t bad. It kept my attention all the way through and was very sentimental. I love Jessi and I loved Waylon and his music. I read his autobiography earlier this year and I was really looking forward to her side of the stories and memories that he had shared. Their timeless love is so glaringly evident in both books through all the hard times and struggles they shared together. Jessi came off to me as being very real and honest a I enjoyed this book. It wasn’t over the top amazing for me and it wasn’t bad. It kept my attention all the way through and was very sentimental. I love Jessi and I loved Waylon and his music. I read his autobiography earlier this year and I was really looking forward to her side of the stories and memories that he had shared. Their timeless love is so glaringly evident in both books through all the hard times and struggles they shared together. Jessi came off to me as being very real and honest and also a deeply religious woman, which I couldn’t quite relate to as I am not overly spiritual myself. But for the most part, I felt that she conveyed her strong sense of faith without being preachy or turning you off to what she was saying. I also enjoyed learning about her life apart from being Waylon Jennings’ wife. I enjoyed reading about her pre-Waylon years and post-Waylon years since his passing in the early 2000s and how she and their family have carried on his legacy. I also enjoyed reading her words about Arizona as I am a Prescottonian born and raised in Arizona, myself.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mazzou B

    I love autobiographies. They are a wonderful view into a person's life. When autobiographies are co-written by a slightly less biased author, they are really enjoyable to read. This one was written by Jessi Colter with the help of David Ritz and was extremely interesting. Whether you are familiar with the singer and songwriter Jessi Colter and/or Waylon Jennings or, like me, had never heard of them before, you will find this book interesting. I must add however that although I had an easy time r I love autobiographies. They are a wonderful view into a person's life. When autobiographies are co-written by a slightly less biased author, they are really enjoyable to read. This one was written by Jessi Colter with the help of David Ritz and was extremely interesting. Whether you are familiar with the singer and songwriter Jessi Colter and/or Waylon Jennings or, like me, had never heard of them before, you will find this book interesting. I must add however that although I had an easy time reading this book, I was confused about the spiritual transformations supposedly experienced by both Jessi and Waylon. In contrast with other autobiographies I've read, the author in this book didn't write much about her own heart change and new spiritual life. She did include much about Waylon's reformation. Considering the church beliefs of the couple, I am left in slight confusion as to what they really believe about true Christianity. However, this was, as I've stated in the start, interesting to read. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nikole Tower

    I knew nothing about Jessi Colter nor Waylon Jennings when I started reading this book. I quickly grew to love them both as Jessi told her story. As an Arizona native, I found her descriptions of the state to be extremely accurate and it made me love the desert a little bit more. I loved reading what it was like to grow up in Mesa (where I grew up) in the 40s and 50s. Her marriage with Waylon did not come across easy in the slightest but her overwhelming compassion and patience was respectable. I knew nothing about Jessi Colter nor Waylon Jennings when I started reading this book. I quickly grew to love them both as Jessi told her story. As an Arizona native, I found her descriptions of the state to be extremely accurate and it made me love the desert a little bit more. I loved reading what it was like to grow up in Mesa (where I grew up) in the 40s and 50s. Her marriage with Waylon did not come across easy in the slightest but her overwhelming compassion and patience was respectable. I think her relentless spirit to not give up hope when her husband's stubbornness got the best of him might come across as her being naive (maybe enabling him in a way by not lashing out or running away when he did something wrong) but I recognized her strength. Her spirituality and relationship with God wasn't something I could relate to, but I found the beauty in it nonetheless. I started listening to her music and knowing the stories behind the words makes them all the more emotional. I'm not a big nonfiction reader, but I was able to fall into her story effortlessly.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    Read the full review here: http://cookscrapcraft.blogspot.com/20... Read the full review here: http://cookscrapcraft.blogspot.com/20...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    AS A MUSIC FAN, THANK YOU I have been a fan of your music all my life. Raised on Country Music, there was never a time when my Mom didn't have the radio on. We went to a campground where you and Waylon performed many summers through my childhood. My father was a over the road trucker, he had all the greats on 8-track tapes!!! My father was a lot like Waylon, he was my Moms problem. But like you, she never let on. He was the love of her life and in loving him, she gave him, his best life until the AS A MUSIC FAN, THANK YOU I have been a fan of your music all my life. Raised on Country Music, there was never a time when my Mom didn't have the radio on. We went to a campground where you and Waylon performed many summers through my childhood. My father was a over the road trucker, he had all the greats on 8-track tapes!!! My father was a lot like Waylon, he was my Moms problem. But like you, she never let on. He was the love of her life and in loving him, she gave him, his best life until the end. He was a wonderful father. He passed on, when he took God's hand in 2013. Like you wrote, my Mom also had to have great patience. Your story so touched my heart. I'm glad that you are living in the glory of God. To any fan of the Outlaw Country Music. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK!!!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lovely Loveday

    An Outlaw and A Lady: A Memoir of Music, Life with Waylon, and the Faith that Brought Me Home by Jessi Colter was published on April 11, 2017 by Thomas Nelson. I really enjoyed reading this amazing story of love and faith between two wonderfully talented people. When I saw this book, I knew immediately that I wanted to read it because I am a fan of Waylon Jennings. The love that he shared with Jessi was nothing short of amazing. Through all the ups and downs of life they remained together with f An Outlaw and A Lady: A Memoir of Music, Life with Waylon, and the Faith that Brought Me Home by Jessi Colter was published on April 11, 2017 by Thomas Nelson. I really enjoyed reading this amazing story of love and faith between two wonderfully talented people. When I saw this book, I knew immediately that I wanted to read it because I am a fan of Waylon Jennings. The love that he shared with Jessi was nothing short of amazing. Through all the ups and downs of life they remained together with faith being the center of their relationship. This is a beautifully written story that I highly recommend. **

  26. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    Memory of an outlaw I put religion aside but truly admire her faith. Waylon was my favorite singer and still is to some extent. Like him I opened myself to other kinds of music. The members of The Highwaymen will always be my favorites. I loved the stories and they were expanded upon by Jessie. I was happy to get to know her as I had always found her to be both beautiful and an angelic voice. I opened up to Shooter's music as well as Lukas Nelson's and others. I was sadden at end of Waylon's life Memory of an outlaw I put religion aside but truly admire her faith. Waylon was my favorite singer and still is to some extent. Like him I opened myself to other kinds of music. The members of The Highwaymen will always be my favorites. I loved the stories and they were expanded upon by Jessie. I was happy to get to know her as I had always found her to be both beautiful and an angelic voice. I opened up to Shooter's music as well as Lukas Nelson's and others. I was sadden at end of Waylon's life but happy he had Jessie and Shooter. He also had a multitude of friends non closer then the Highwaymen. Through that I reminded of my friendship and value it even more.

  27. 4 out of 5

    James Hysell

    I bought this book to read about one of my heroes, Waylon. What I took from it was so much more. I have struggled with my relationship with Christ, and have been blessed with a wonderful woman in my life. Who like Jessi is loving, caring and patient with me. God definitely spoke to me through the words of Jessi Colter. This is an amazing book, with three amazing stories. The story of a legend, an outlaw and a gifted singer. The story of the amazing and equally gifted woman who patiently loved an I bought this book to read about one of my heroes, Waylon. What I took from it was so much more. I have struggled with my relationship with Christ, and have been blessed with a wonderful woman in my life. Who like Jessi is loving, caring and patient with me. God definitely spoke to me through the words of Jessi Colter. This is an amazing book, with three amazing stories. The story of a legend, an outlaw and a gifted singer. The story of the amazing and equally gifted woman who patiently loved and nurtured him through the roughest of storms. And the loving God who proved that with him that storm wouldn't last.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Delores Thomas

    Jessi Colter wrote about her life story and especially about her time with Waylon Jennings. She grew up with a Pentecostal preacher as her mother and a copper miner as her father. She began singing with her mother in church and as she grew her music tastes expanded. At age 19 she married but they divorced and soon she was totally and fully in love with Waylon. She tells the good and bad of trying to live with Waylon. All the details are here.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dayle

    Interesting good read. This story was very interesting. I know she could have told many more heart wrenching stories of her life with Waylan. I respect her for telling her story with truth. She could have been vindictive but was not . I appreciate the way she shared her faith in GOD.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jodell

    Jessi suffered so much in loving Waylon Jennings. Lots of women who love bad boys suffer the consequences of their significant others actions. Someone told me once that Love should not hurt so bad. I was shocked.

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