Book Review: An Outlaw And A Lady | Edge Induced CohesionSara Teasdale, an American poet, wrote some lines of haunting verse in , a generation before my parents left Indiana at the beginning of the Great Depression and headed west, thus marking the start of the bold adventure that has led to this history of my heart. The moon is a charring ember Dying into the dark; Off in the crouching mountains Coyotes bark. The stars are heavy in heaven, Too great for the sky to hold — What if they fell and shattered The earth with gold? No lights are over the mesa, The wind is hard and wild, I stand at the darkened window And cry like a child. I invoke the poet's heart because she sets the stage so beautifully. The stark and breathtaking landscape of Arizona is the essential backdrop to this story.
An Outlaw and a Lady: A Memoir of Music, Life with Waylon, and the Faith That Brought Me Home
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. 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. 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.
Add moving author to the list of talents accomplished musician and songwriter Jessi Colter possesses. Her biography, An Outlaw and a Lady, is poignant and stirring. The book recounts her years growing up in Arizona, her hardworking parents, her introduction into the music business, and meeting and marrying her well-known husband, country singer Waylon Jennings. Colter is candid and sincere about the happiness and strife she experienced during her thirty-plus years of marriage to the country superstar. Both had thriving careers to maintain, while running a household with children from her first marriage and from his three prior marriages. While Jessi sought to deepen her relationship with God, Waylon struggled with infidelity, drug and alcohol abuse, and issues with his health. An Outlaw and a Lady is a treasure.
All thoughts and opinions are my own. 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! Do you like reading memoirs that discuss the connection between faith and life in the music industry ? 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.