Sept. 11: On the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, here’s the patriotic song that famed music journalist Chet Flippo says probably meant more to Waylon Jennings than anything he ever recorded.

Click to listen

Click to listen

In 1984, OI’ Waylon had seen a lot in his more than quarter-century in the music business: service in Buddy Holly’s band, a spot on the early roster of Herb Albert’s A&M Records, a long association with RCA Victor in Nashville, the “Outlaw Movement” and the excesses that went with it.

Flippo picks up the story, in a 2003 piece for

After almost 20 years with RCA Records, they were parting ways and for an anthem he [Jennings] wanted a special song. He later said he felt inspired by the 1984 Olympics and wanted to write a patriotic song but … “Everything I had was too corny and didn’t sound right,” he wrote in his autobiography, Waylon. Then he remembered a song he had been carrying around with him for years. It was “America,” by Sammy Johns.

“It wasn’t just flag waving,” Jennings wrote. “It was talking about the ideals we had fought for and the blunders committed in their name and the honor that lay behind our national character.”

Flippo called the video — one of country music’s first — “a quiet statement of pride in America.”

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