Dreaming My Dreams (Waylon Jennings album)

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Dreaming My Dreams
Studio album by Waylon Jennings
Released June 1975 (1975-06)
Recorded February - July 1974 at Glaser Sound Studio in Nashville, Tennessee
Genre Country, outlaw country
Length 31:33
Label RCA Victor
Producer Waylon Jennings, Jack Clement
Waylon Jennings chronology
The Ramblin' Man
(1974)
Dreaming My Dreams
(1975)
Wanted! The Outlaws
(1976)

Dreaming My Dreams is the twenty-second studio album by country music singer Waylon Jennings. Co-produced with Jack Clement, the release was recorded at Glaser Sound Studio in Nashville, Tennessee between February and July 1974.

Following the 1972 renewal of his contract with RCA Records, Jennings gained artistic freedom. He started to produce his own records, while he changed his image inspired by the ongoing outlaw movement. Jennings recorded the critically acclaimed Honky Tonk Heroes and the commercial success This Time.

Jennings left the recording studios of RCA and moved his operation to the Glaser Sound Studio. After producer Jack Clement married his sister-in-law and they became acquitted, Jennings was inspired to record an album upon hearing Allen Reynolds "Dreaming My Dreams With You" during a demo session hosted by Clement. Upon its release, the album received highly positive reviews from publications such as Rolling Stone, with critics praising the choice of songs and Jennings' vocals.

The singles "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" and "Dreaming My Dreams With You" peaked at number one and ten respectively on Billboard's Hot Country Songs. Released in June 1975, Dreaming My Dreams topped the country albums chart, while it peaked at forty-nine on the Billboard's Top LPs & Tapes. It was certified gold by the RIAA and Jennings won the Male Vocalist of the Year Country Music Association award.

Background[edit]

Jennings circa 1973-4

In 1972, Jennings' new manager Neil Reshen renegotiated the contract of the artist with RCA Records. Under the new deal, Jennings received complete artistic control.[1] To follow the start of the Outlaw movement, Jennings changed his image. He grew his beard, while he started to wear jeans, a hat and leather vests during live performances.[2] On his next album, 1973's Lonesome, On'ry and Mean Jennings produced himself; while the same year he released the critically acclaimed Honky Tonk Heroes, composed mainly of songs by then unknown songwriter Billy Joe Shaver.[3]

Recording at RCA's Nashville studios with the label's personnel did not please Jennings. During the sessions for This Time, he moved his operation to Glaser Sound Studio. RCA initially denied to release the record, citing their agreement with the Engineers Union. The deal established that RCA artists could only record on the company's studio with label engineers.[4] On a September 1973 interview with The Tennessean, Neil Reshen claimed an RCA Records violation of Jennings' contract. Reshen also pointed to possibly signing the singer to another label. RCA Nashville director Jerry Bradley decided along with New York label executive Mel Ilberman to allow Jennings record at Glaser Sound, and broke the deal with the Engineers Union.[5] Citing Jennings as a precedent, RCA artists requested to record in external facilities. Eventually, the label sold its Nashville studios. Jennings' This Time topped Billboard's Top Country Albums chart.[6]

Recording[edit]

After Jack Clement married Waylon Jennings' sister-in-law, Clement invited him to a Thursday night demo session that he held in his personal studio.[7] Clement's friend, Allen Reynolds, gave Jennings his recently written "I Recall a Gipsy Woman", and later his co-composition with Bob McDill "Dreaming My Dreams With You". The latter inspired Jennings to record an album.[8] Co-producing with Jack Clement, Jennings was backed by session musicians and his band members: drummer Richie Albright, bassist Duke Goff and steel-guitarist Ralph Mooney.[9]

Jennings started with the recording of "I Recall a Gipsy Woman", followed by "Dreaming My Dreams With You". Then Jennings cut "Waymore's Blues", a song he co-wrote with songwriter Curtis Buck, inspired by Jimmie Rodgers songs.[8] Due to miscommunication with Jennings, and problems caused by his drug use, the sessions were halted. While recording "Waymore's Blues", Clement tried to clear Jennings' wife and her sister from the control room. Confused by Clement's gestures, he assumed that the producer was distracted talking to the women, instead of following the session.[10] The singer left the studio for two weeks, and was convinced to return after having dinner with Clement and his wife.[11]

The album's hit single topped Billboard's Hot Country Songs

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Songwriter Billy Ray Reynolds, who had befriended Ernest Tubb's bassist, told Jennings of an expression The Texas Troubadours used. During breaks from the Midnight Jamboree, moving from Tubb's Record Shop to the air-conditioned bus, the musicians would ask if "Hank done it this way".[10] While driving to the sessions for Dreaming My Dreams, inspired by the line and Hank Williams' influence, Jennings wrote on an envelope the lyrics to "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way". He recorded the song upon his arrival to the studio.[12] Jack Clement provided backing vocals to his original composition "Let's All Help the Cowboys (Sing the Blues)" and Autry Inman's "She's Looking Good".[13] The last addition to the LP, "Bob Wills Is Still The King" was recorded live in Austin, Texas, on September 27, 1974.[14] The production of the record lasted six months, between February and July 1974.[9]

Release[edit]

"Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" backed with "Bob Wills Is Still The King" was released in August 1974,[15] while "Dreaming My Dreams With You" backed with "Waymore's Blues" was released in April 1975.[16] "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" topped the Hot Country Singles chart, while "Dreaming My Dreams with You" peaked at number ten.[17] Dreaming My Dreams was released in June 1975. It topped the Billboard's Top Country albums and peaked at forty-nine on Billboard's Top LPs & Tapes.[18]

It became Jennings' first album to be certified gold by the RIAA,[19] while he was elected Male Vocalist of the Year by the Country Music Association in 1975.[18] In his 1996 autobiography, Waylon, Jennings called the album his favorite among the ones he recorded. The liner notes, that stated that "the human voice is the only instrument that manages to give a glimpse of (Jennings') soul", were written by Neil Diamond.[20]

Critical Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Rolling Stone Favorable
Billboard Favorable
Stereo Review Favorable
The American Home Favorable
Allmusic 5/5 stars link

Tony Glover of Rolling Stone described Jennings as "an ultimate performer". Comparing his studio recordings with his live performances, Glover described that his work on the studio "seems to aim more for the midnight mind".[21] Billboard praised Jennings' blend of Country music with other genres. The review remarked: "but the show belongs to Jennings' powerfully distinctive voice and the excellent production of the artist and Jack Clement". It called the recordings a "solid mix of ballad and rockers, some straight country and lots that cannot be classified", while it declared Jennings "One of the few artists whose voice is immediately recognizable."[22]

Stereo Review praised the album, while it called Jennings "one of the rare good singers capable of playing his own lead guitar", and qualified the instrumental breaks as "witty and surprising".[13] The American Home delivered a favorable review, noting that the release "features fine interpretive material".[23] Allmusic rated the album with five stars out of five. Critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine called it "(Jennings') best album since Honky Tonk Heroes, and one of the few of his prime outlaw period to deliver from beginning to end".[24]

Personnel[edit]


Overdubbed and session musicians

Track listing[edit]

Original release[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way"   Waylon Jennings 3:02
2. "Waymore's Blues"   Curtis Buck, Jennings 2:47
3. "I Recall a Gypsy Woman"   Bob McDill, Allen Reynolds 3:01
4. "High Time (You Quit Your Lowdown Ways)""   Billy Ray Reynolds 2:48
5. "I've Been a Long Time Leaving (But I'll Be a Long Time Gone)"   Roger Miller 2:45
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Let's All Help the Cowboys (Sing the Blues)""   Jack Clement 3:19
2. "The Door Is Always Open"   Dickey Lee, Bob McDill 2:44
3. "Let's Turn Back the Years"   Hank Williams 2:32
4. "She's Looking Good"   Autry Inman 2:32
5. "Dreaming My Dreams with You"   Allen Reynolds 2:27
6. "Bob Wills Is Still the King (Live)"   Waylon Jennings 3:36

2001 reissue[edit]


Chart positions[edit]

Album[edit]

Chart (1975) Peak
position[18]
Billboard Top Country Albums 1
Billboard Top LPs & Tapes 49

Singles[edit]

Song Chart (1975) Peak position[17]
"Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
"Dreaming My Dreams With You" Billboard Hot Country Singles 10

Footnotes[edit]

References[edit]

  • Albertson, Chris (1975). "Waylon Jennings: One Cowboy Who Needs No Help With His Hits". Stereo Review (CBS Magazines) (35). 
  • American Home Staff (1975). "New Music Releases". The American Home (Doubleday & Doran, inc) (78). 
  • Billboard staff (1975). "Top Album Picks". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc) 87 (25). ISSN 0006-2510. 
  • Ching, Barbara (2003). Wrong's What I Do Best: Hard Country Music and Contemporary Culture. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-195-16942-3. 
  • Country Music Foundation (1994). Country. The music and the musicians: from the beginnings to the '90s. Country Music Foundation. ISBN 978-1-558-59879-9. 
  • Diamond, Neil (1975). Dreaming My Dreams (LP). Waylon Jennings. RCA Records. APL1-1062. 
  • Erlewine, Stephen Thomas; Bogdanov, Vladimir; Woodstra Chris (2003). All Music Guide to Country: The Definitive Guide to Country Music. ISBN 9780879307608. 
  • Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2008). "Waylon Jennings - Dreaming My Dreams". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  • Glover, Tony (1975). "Dreaming my Dreams". Rolling Stone (Wenner Media LLC). 
  • Jennings, Waylon; Kaye, Lenny (1996). Waylon: An Autobiography. Warner Books. ISBN 978-0-446-51865-9. 
  • Neely, Tim (2005). Goldmine Price Guide to 45 RPM Records. Krause Publications. ISBN 978-0-873-49840-1. 
  • Petrusich, Amanda (2008). It Still Moves: Lost Songs, Lost Highways, and the Search for the Next American Music. Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-86547-950-0. 
  • Streissguth, Michael (2013). Outlaw: Waylon, Willie, Kris, and the Renegades of Nashville. Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0-062-03820-3. 
  • Whitburn, Joel (2005). Joel Whitburn's Top Country Songs: 1944-2005, Billboard. Record Research. ISBN 978-0-898-20165-9. 
  • Wolff, Kurt (2000). Country Music: The Rough Guide. Rough Guides. ISBN 978-1-85828-534-4.