Today, June 15, marks what would have been Waylon Jennings’ 79th birthday. In honor of one of country music’s greatest outlaws, we’re taking a moment to look back at one of his most memorable career performances.
In 2000, he held what would be his final concert at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, which featured special appearances from his wife Jessi Colter, Montgomery Gentry, John Anderson and Travis Tritt. One of the stand-out moments of the show was his kick-off performance of “Never Say Die,” which would eventually become the title track of a live recording of the concert.
Even when his health had begun to fail him, Jennings was able to give his all during the show, which helped close the chapter on a truly incredible career. In 2007, the full footage of his final show was released both on DVD and CD format.
During his life, Jennings dealt with many health problems, some of which spawned out of years of drug use and smoking. After triple heart bypass surgery and having his left foot amputated, Jennings died of diabetic complications on February 13, 2002 at the age of 64. Although his life unfortunately ended far too early, his music continues to live on.