Tossing Salt Book Review
An Outlaw And A Lady – Jessi Colter
February 11, 2018
Good morning and welcome to the Tossing Salt Review Center. Today on the agenda, I have a recently released book by a very talented and iconic singer / songwriter who just happens to be the widow of country music legend Waylon Jennings and the mother of a man named Shooter, the one and only Jessi Colter. The name of the book is “An Outlaw and A Lady: A Memoir of Music, Life With Waylon , and the faith that brought me home.”
Written by Jessi and co-writer David Ritz, this book is Jessi talking about so many things. You can hear her voice in your mind as she talks about her first marriage to singer Duane Eddy, how they grew apart as her career as a singer and songwriter, under the guidance of Chet Atkins, began to take off. She talks about growing up the daughter of a race car driver and an evangelist, singing and playing piano in the church as her mother spoke the words of God. She talks about leaving Arizona to enter the world of touring and performing. And she talks about Waylon.
One of the best lines in the book, describing her life and relationship with everyone’s favorite Outlaw was, “Before Waylon, I saw myself living on a cloud. After Waylon, lightning struck – and kept striking for thirty-three years.” There is no doubt that Waylon and Jessi were meant to be, true soulmates from the time they met until Waylon’s passing on February 13, 2002. Her love for Waylon is evident in every word, every sentence and every paragraph and if you ever watch any videos of the two performing together, his love and passion for her was obvious in every glance and on his face.
But despite their love, the journey together was anything but easy and Jessi describes some of the craziness, the cheating and drugs and madness that they endured, not with bitterness or contempt, but just bluntly and matter-of-factly. It happened and they dealt with it, in their own ways, Waylon with his music and Jessi with her music and more importantly, her faith and they made it through. Jessi’s song, “Storms Never Last”, which has been recorded by dozens of other artists, pretty much explains it all very well.
One thing about this book that I like is while Jessi doesn’t sugarcoat anything about her life with Waylon, or any part of her life, and believe me, this lady has been through a lot, she doesn’t seem bitter and I’m sure, if she had the chance to do it again and change anything, she probably wouldn’t. Her love for Waylon is so powerful and the magic that they had together comes out and it’s obvious that her faith was strong, kept her strong, and keeps her going today.
Since Waylon’s passing, Jessi has released two albums, “Out Of The Ashes” back in 2006, which is an incredible tribute to Waylon in many ways and strongly illustrates Colter’s skills as a singer, a songwriter and a musician. And more recently, in 2017, an album based on Bible verses called “The Psalms” came out. I’ve listened to the first album many times and it’s truly one of my favorites. I’ve yet to listen to the entire “Psalms” CD, but I’ve ordered it and it should be here later this week. I’ve listened to a few tracks on YouTube though and listening to Colter recite these verses, with the piano providing the music, is so enticing and captivating. I am strongly looking forward to listening to the whole CD and will probably do a review of that sometime in the near future.
As for this book, if you’re looking for dirt and scandal, don’t waste your time. If you’re looking for the story of a strong and amazing woman, one of the most gifted and talented singer / songwriters in music and how her faith in God kept her going while having to deal with the most trying of times and trying of persons, someone who fascinated and frustrated her at the same time and who was truly the love of her life, this book is one you must read. Waylon was the “star” of the family, but she was the rock and foundation that kept it all going. A great book from a truly incredible woman. Read it. You’ll be glad you did.
And there you go. Thanks for reading. Comments and thoughts are welcome and appreciated. Let me know what you think of Jessi, her music, her book, her life with Waylon, etc. Do you know of a book, movie or CD I should review? Let me know that too. Have a great one and I’ll catch you later. Take care.