The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Singles Going Steady #2


Waylon Jennings - Jole Blon b/w When Sin Stops
(Brunswick 9-55130; 1959)


Continuing in a Buddy Holly-related vein, this early Waylon Jennings single was the result of a friendship between the two Lubbock, Texas musicians, dating back to before Holly's days with the Crickets, when he was playing "western and bop" in the duo Buddy and Bob with Bob Montgomery.
"I got to know Buddy very well, and in fact knew him for six or seven years before I ever went to work for him. When the family moved to Lubbock, and while I was a disc jockey there, I became his protege. He produced the first record I ever had--paid for it and everything--on the Brunswick label. Buddy flew in King Curtis, the sax player, to my first session and we did one record, 'Jole Blon,' the Harry Choates cajun classic. We sat down and copied the words like we thought they sounded, and we did it with a rock and roll beat. A lot of people who heard the result got a lot of laughs out of it."

Holly actually flew Curtis in to Norman Petty's Clovis, New Mexico studio for his own tracks Reminiscing and Come Back Baby, but decided to share the wealth and got him to play on these two songs, on which Holly also plays electric guitar. The single's lack of success isn't too hard to understand; an aspiring country and western singer performing in a barely understood Cajun patois to a West Texas rockabilly beat with a New York R&B saxophone part on the side just didn't gel for listeners, and Jennings' voice doesn't sound as distinctive here as it would a few years down the road. A few months after the September, 1958 session, Holly would ask Jennings to be his new bassist on that fateful final tour, and one wonders if this single--which wasn't even mastered until the following March, a month after Holly's death--would have been released at all if it hadn't had that connection to the late singer.

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