An outlaw and a lady- book review

Colter’s often touching memoir is a fast-paced chronicle of her life, loves, and Christian faith. Colter gained fame as the wife of hard-drinking, wild-living country music outlaw Waylon Jennings, but music flowed in her life long before she met him. 

Born the sixth child of a car repairman father and a preacher mother, Colter learned to love music very early, writing melodies on an upright piano in her mother’s church. Eventually she met and married rock guitarist Duane Eddy, who took her to Nashville to meet musician Chet Atkins. He got her songs recorded by country artists such as Dottie West and pop singers such as Nancy Sinatra. 

After her divorce from Eddy, life moved quickly: she married Jennings, changed her name to Jessi Colter, and released her first album. 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.”

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