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Outlaw Country Music

By the 1970s, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson had had it with the control that producers had over their music. Jennings demanded creative control over his recordings, and his label relented. He replaced the clean-playing session musicians with his much rawer road band, recorded some Billy Joe Shaver tunes and Outlaw Country was born. Meanwhile, Nelson fled to Austin and devised his own slow-burning, back-to-basics cowboy style on albums like Red Headed Stranger and Phases and Stages.

The outlaw movement culminated in a 1976 compilation album Wanted! The Outlaws that featured Jennings, Nelson, Tompall Glaser and Jessi Colter, but many of the original "outlaws" continue to tour and record. Alt-Country and Americana radio would be nowhere without the pioneering work of these country upstarts.

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