Dierks Bentley Covers Waylon Jennings For Upcoming PBS Special Celebrating ‘Country Music’ [WATCH]
In 1975, Waylon Jennings provided other renegade songwriters and singers of his time with a statement of purpose: "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?" The homage to Hank Williams questioned the slick-sounding records and materialistic lifestyles then associated with Music Row. His plea for change rightly defined the still-misunderstood outlaw movement, his fellow outlaws' quest for creative freedom in an increasingly homogenized business.
Its larger meaning and standalone appeal as a great song made it ideal for the set list of the March 27 event Country Music: Live at the Ryman, a Concert Celebrating the Film by Ken Burns. The concert honors Ken Burns' much-awaited, star-studded docuseries, Country Music, which takes an in-depth look into each major era of the genre. On the night of the concert, Dierks Bentley lent his smooth vocal delivery to the Jennings classic, as fellow country great Vince Gill joined in as special guest guitarist.
Circumstantially or not, Jennings' first album, 1966's At J.D.'s, was recorded near Bentley's hometown of Phoenix, Ariz. Back then, Jennings and his band, the Waylors, served as a house band at a local bar. Although that may sound like humble beginnings, Jennings did quite well, earning $1,500 a week (over $11,000 in today's money) before relocating to Nashville.
The concert airs on PBS on Sun., Sept. 8, a week before Burns' eight-episode, 16-hour series debuts. The documentary's episodes, each two hours long, will be released across two Sunday-through-Wednesday blocks: Sept. 15-18 and Sept. 22-25.
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