Add moving author to the list of talents accomplished musician and songwriter Jessi Colter possesses. Her biography, An Outlaw and a Lady, is poignant and stirring. The book recounts her years growing up in Arizona, her hardworking parents, her introduction into the music business, and meeting and marrying her well-known husband, country singer Waylon Jennings. But it’s so much more than the journey of how she rose to stardom or her relationships with musical superstars. An Outlaw and a Lady is about Jessi’s relationship with God, her departure from her faith, and the journey back again.
Colter is candid and sincere about the happiness and strife she experienced during her thirty-plus years of marriage to the country superstar. Both had thriving careers to maintain, while running a household with children from her first marriage and from his three prior marriages. While Jessi sought to deepen her relationship with God, Waylon struggled with infidelity, drug and alcohol abuse, and issues with his health. It was during this time of deep pain she wrote one of her most popular tunes, “I’m Not Lisa.” The couples’ love of music and Colter’s love for the Lord saw the duo through a myriad of difficulties.
An Outlaw and a Lady is a treasure. It’s a powerful story of American music, a faith that sustains, and surviving the true love of your life.
Reviewed by Chris Enss, COWGIRL Book Editor, and a New York Times Best-selling author who writes about women of the Old West.