Outlaw Country's Queen
Jessi Colter is one of modern music's singular talents : a singer, a songwriter, an entertainer, an influence.
Jessi Colter was born with the name Mirriam Johnson in Phoenix. (She only adopted the stage name Jessi Colter after her great-great-great uncle who was in Jesse James' notorious outlaw gang.)
Jessi's mother became Sister Helen, an ordained Pentecostal minister. Jessi then became the church pianist at age 11. As a teen, her musical talent impressed rockabilly guitar star Duane Eddy, who produced her 1961 single "Lonesome Road." Jessi and Duane married in 1963. He wrote and recorded and instrumental, "Mirriam," while Jessi wrote some of his album tracks. At this time, Jessi also wrote "No Sign of the Living" for Dottie West. In 1967, Eddy and Colter recorded a duet single, "Guitar On My Mind." The following year, they divorced.
Jessi married Waylon Jennings on October 26, 1969 at her mother's church.
In 1975, Colter released a sizable country & pop hit wit with the self-penned "I'm not Lisa." That was followed a year later by the success of "Wanted!: The Outlaws." This collaborative record featured Jessi, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Tompall Glasers and it became the first Nashville album to sell over a million copies.
Jessi's best-known duets with Jennings are "Suspicious Minds" and her soothing composition "Storms Never Last."
Colter's discography included 10 studio albums, 3 collaborative albums, 2 compilation albums, and as of 2014, her very first live record.
Jessi's continuous re-emergence as a recording and concert artist bodes well for the future of popular music when it can surely use someone of her vision, originality, and accomplishment.