Willie Nelson's distinctive braids realise $25,000 in Waylon Jennings auction

A pair of Willie Nelson's distinctive braids have sold for $25,000 in a sale of Waylon Jennings memorabilia held by Guernsey's.

Jennings (1937-2002) was a legendary star of the country and western scene who was as well known for his hell raising offstage antics as for his music.

Willie Nelson braids
Willie Nelson cut off his braids to encourage Waylon Jennings to stay sober

Guernsey's commented on the lot: "Among the excesses of life on the road, drugs and alcohol were a part of Waylon's life until 1983, when he saw the light and gave up his cocaine habit. Johnny and June Cash held a "sobriety party" for Waylon in honour of the occasion.

"To cheer on his friend, Willie Nelson cut off his trademark braids and gave them to his wife, Connie, who then presented them to Waylon as a gift."

An original 1989 contract forming country super group The Highwaymen realised $18,000 at the  October 5 sale at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix.

The band featured Jennings alongside Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson (the contract displays signatures from each). They recorded three albums together before splitting up in 1995.

Jennings wrote of the band's working relationship in his autobiography: "We know the same songs, but we sing them from different perspectives. We can blend the early country of the Carter Family with Texas swing, southern gospel, and rockabilly, and each of us feels comfortable singing real slices of life.

"There's not one of us who hasn't come face to face with his own struggles and survival together."  

We have a fascinating selection of music memorabilia available, click here to take a look.

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