Influential drummer Richie Albright, best known as the founder of Waylon Jennings’ band The Waylors, died at age 81 on Tuesday (Feb. 9).
The Arizona native teamed up with Jennings in Phoenix nightclubs in 1964. They came to Nashville together in 1966, and Albright became the superstar’s producer on such hits as 1980’s million-selling “Theme From The Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol’ Boys).”
He was known as the “right arm” of Country Music Hall of Fame member Waylon Jennings (1937-2002). In addition to appearing on many million-selling Jennings LPs, Albright co-wrote the Jennings/Hank Williams Jr. duet hit “The Conversation” of 1983.
His career spanned more than 50 years and included backing such stars as Willie Nelson, Jessi Colter, Tompall Glaser, Johnny Cash, Tony Joe White, David Lynn Jones, Johnny Rodriguez and Billy Joe Shaver, as well as Jennings and Williams.
He also produced records for Williams, Colter and Shaver.
In 2019, Richie Albright was featured in the Country Music Hall of Fame’s “Nashville Cats” series.
He was responsible for the pounding “drive” in the Outlaw Sound of Jennings. Albright brought a rock edge to country music that has influenced the genre’s drummers ever since the 1970s.
“I have marveled at this man’s musicianship since I was a boy,” posted Jeff Stevens on Facebook. “He was at the heart of Waylon Jennings’ sound. His music will live forever as some of the best country music ever made. Godspeed Richie Albright.”
Albright is survived by his wife, Linda, his sons, Brian and Trey, his daughter, Richel, and his brother, Jerry. Funeral arrangements have not been announced.
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