Richie Albright , the drummer who doubled as Waylon Jennings‘ “right hand man,” passed away on Tuesday (Feb. 9). He was 81 years old.
“To many Richie was an Outlaw, legendary drummer and right-hand man to Waylon Jennings, but to those who knew him best he was a loyal friend, a tireless worker, a loving husband and a proud father,” read a statement on Albright’s Facebook page.
Albright, an Oklahoma native, joined Jennings’ band The Waylors in 1964. He was with Jennings for his early career success at Scottsdale, Arizona music venue JD’s and followed Hoss to Nashville in 1966.
Per the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Albright first suggested that Jennings incorporate rock elements he learned from Buddy Holly into country music. That suggestion found Jennings join Willie Nelson and others in popularizing outlaw country, which was more about creative freedom than tough guy posturing.