Outlaw country began, in typical fashion, as a rejection of the big-city corporate glam and glitz embodied by the flagbearers of the “Nashville Sound” (like Elvis). Wanting to take a less flashy, more gritty approach to the music, Outlaw found fertile soil around the American Southwest, and, particularly, in Texas. What a surprise.
Johnny Cash is, without a doubt, one of the most acclaimed musicians of the 20th century. People in the rural backwoods of Australia can probably recognize the name, if not his particular music. Combining his awe-inspiring talent and every stimulant known to man, Cash proved to be a prolific musician who left an indelible mark on mid-century America.
Waylon Jennings actually despised the Outlaw descriptor, probably because of it’s association with lawlessness. No doubt influenced by Cash, with whom he briefly lived, Jennings traveled practically the whole country trying to fit his sound in with the locals. The impact, of course, was positive, as can be seen in Country’s nationwide appreciation.