Former Waylon, Willie Manager Reshen Dies

Neil Reshen, 75, former manager for Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, died in New York City’s Bronx borough from complications of Alzheimer’s disease Dec. 6.

Photo: Reshen Family
seen with Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson

Reshen has been credited with nothing less than changing the landscape of Nashville music, having fought passionately to get artistic freedom for his two clients who, in the early ’70s, were lesser names in the country music scene and at the mercy of record label executives.

Although Reshen’s fearless dedication to his clients helped create the Outlaw sound, he eventually was fired by Jennings and Nelson. Nelson blamed Reshen for his famous tax troubles and the two men sued each other. In 1977, a package from Reshen to Jennings was intercepted by federal agents.

The package, which contained cocaine, led to the arrest of Reshen’s assistant, Mark Rothbaum, who served several months in jail. Rothbaum eventually became Nelson’s manager.