The Highwaymen were a country music supergroup composed of four of the genre's biggest artists well known for their pioneering influence on the outlaw country subgenre: Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson. Active between 1985 and 1995, these four artists recorded three major label albums as The Highwaymen: two on Columbia Records and one for Liberty Records. Their Columbia works produced three chart singles, including the Number One "Highwayman" in 1985.
Between the years · Willie Nelson of 1996 and 1999, Nelson, Kristofferson, Cash, and Jennings also provided the voice and dramatization for the "Louis L'Amour Collection", a four CD box set of seven Louis L'Amour stories published by the HighBridge Company, although the four were not credited as "The Highwaymen" in this work.
Besides the four formal members of the group, only one recording vocal artist ever appeared on a Highwaymen recording: Johnny Rodriguez, who provided a Spanish vocal on 'Deportee', a Woody Guthrie cover, from "Highwayman". The four original members have also starred in only one movie together: the 1986 film Stagecoach.
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Formed in 1985, the group did not have an official name when they released their first album on Columbia Records. The album, entitled Highwayman, was credited to "Nelson, Jennings, Cash, Kristofferson". The single "Highwayman", a Jimmy Webb cover, became a #1 country hit. Their cover of Guy Clark's "Desperados Waiting for a Train" reached the Top 20. (Clark is frequently referred to as "The Fifth Highwayman".) The album was produced by Chips Moman.
In 1990, the group reunited for a second effort, titled Highwayman 2, which reached #4 on the country album chart. The Lee Clayton-penned song "Silver Stallion" was the first single and made the country Top 40. The album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Collaboration. Highwayman 2 was produced, once again, by Moman. Six of the songs were written or co-written by members of the group.
The Road Goes on Forever
The group's final release prior to Jennings's death in 2002 was the 1995 Don Was-produced album The Road Goes on Forever, (a Robert Earl Keen cover), with the single, "It Is What It Is". The four singers then returned to their solo careers. A tenth anniversary edition of The Road Goes on Forever appeared in 2005, with several bonus tracks added as well as, in some versions, a DVD containing the music video for "It Is What It Is" and a documentary entitled Live Forever - In the Studio with the Highwaymen.
The band continued to tour into the late 1990s, before Jennings and Cash both started to decline in health, which prevented them from maintaining a full touring schedule. All four continued to perform as solo artists, with Jennings briefly joining Old Dogs; Jennings died in 2002 and Cash died in 2003.
"Those tours and the records we made were a great time," recalled Kristofferson in 2010.
"I just wish I was more aware of how lucky I was to share a stage with those people. I had no idea that two of them would be done so soon. Hell, I was up there and I had all my heroes with me. These are guys whose ashtrays I used to clean. I'm kinda amazed I wasn't more amazed."
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Wikipedia: This page was last edited on 24 June 2018, at 05:06 (UTC).