Google+ Followers

Friday, 31 May 2013

Johnny Paycheck born 31 May 1938

Johnny Paycheck (May 31, 1938 – February 18, 2003) was a country music singer. He is most famous for recording the David Allan Coe song "Take This Job and Shove It".

Born Donald Eugene Lytle in Greenfield, Ohio, he began playing guitar by age six and made his first record at age 15. After a time served in the United States Navy (which included a court-martial for assault), he began performing under the name Donny Young.
The singer took a job with country music star George Jones, for whom he played bass and steel guitar for several years, co-writing Jones' hit song, "Once You've Had the Best." By 1964, he had changed his name to Johnny Paycheck, a name similar to Johnny Cash. Lytle reportedly re-named himself after the boxer, Johnny Paychek, who fought Joe Louis in 1940.
He recorded for tiny Hilltop Records, debuting on the charts in 1965 with "A-11." Johnny broke finally through six years later with the Top 5 smash "She's All I Got."

In 1972, "Someone To Give My Love To" also reached the Top 5, establishing him as a master of soulful, raw-edged country ballads.  A member of the Grand Ole Opry, Paycheck is best remembered
for his 1977 hit single, "Take This Job and Shove It" (written by David Allan Coe), which sold over 2 million copies and inspired a motion picture of the same name. "Colorado Kool-Aid" is another of his most famous songs. In his career, Paycheck recorded eleven songs that made it into country music's top ten chart, plus he co-wrote several successful songs for other country singers, including "Apartment #9," a hit for Tammy Wynette. He could write touching personal songs as well, like his 1986 hit "Old Violin," in which he compared himself to a used-up musical instrument, soon to be put away and never played again.

He appeared on the television show, The Dukes of Hazzard, as himself. The scene had him playing "Take This Job and Shove It" and arguing with Boss Hogg when the sheriff tried to give him a citation over the content of the song.

His life was often filled with turmoil and in 1985, he served prison
time again after shooting a man during a barroom argument in Ohio. The victim, Larry Wise, survived – with Johnny later insisting that Wise, little worse for the wear, returned to the bar later that evening with a simple Band-Aid over the wound. "Johnny Paycheck was country music,” noted Trace Adkins. “He didn't just sing it or perform it — he lived it." 

After his prison release from the Ohio shooting sentence in 1991, Johnny vowed to walk a straighter path. He cleaned up his high-octane lifestyle and became a born-again Christian. But in recent years, Johnny's life became overwhelmed with legal and health troubles. In 1990 he landed in bankruptcy, listing debts of
more than $1.6 million, most of it owed to the IRS. One of the few bright spots came in 1997 when he was welcomed as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Sadly, Johnny spent the last year of his life bedridden in a nursing home. In 2003, the singer died from complications due to asthma and emphysema at Nashville's Vanderbilt University Medical Center, age 64.  He was interred in Woodlawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Nashville. His burial was paid for by longtime friend George Jones. He left behind his wife
of 30 years, Sharon, and one son. 

There was never anything phoney about Paycheck’s music. He was one of those rare artists that wouldn’t sing it if he didn't feel it and acknowledged that much of his work was reflective of the life he lived. ‘That was me, them’s all life,’ he said a year before he passed away, ‘I regret a lot of that stuff I did.’ All too often Paycheck’s headline making exploits have over-shadowed his musical achievements. It is a great pity, for it just so happens that he was one of the mightiest honky-tonk singers of his era.

 He left a colourful legacy with some ace honky-tonk recordings. The ‘outlaw’ label he earned always transcended his legal troubles. ‘To me, an outlaw is a man that did things his own way, whether you liked him or not,’ he once said. ‘This world is full of people that want you to do things their way, not necessarily the way you want to do it. I did things my way.’ (Info edited from various sources mainly Wikipedia)


boppinbob said...

For the Greatest Hits of Johnny paycheck go here:

zephyr said...

Thank you Bob It took me a long time to like Johnny after Take thisjob song but since then I have learnt to really like him,I never relised he had died.