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02/08/2020

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I too enjoyed Country Music special on PBS. I have been into that genre most of my adult life . One singer/songwriter that Burns failed to feature was David Alan Coe.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Allan_Coe

" Coe was born in Akron, Ohio, on September 6, 1939. His favorite singer as a child was Johnny Ace. After being sent to the Starr Commonwealth For Boys reform school at the age of 9, he spent much of the next 20 years in correctional facilities, including three years at the Ohio Penitentiary. Coe claimed he received encouragement to begin writing songs from Screamin' Jay Hawkins, with whom he had spent time in prison."

" After concluding another prison term in 1967, Coe embarked on a music career in Nashville, living in a hearse which he parked in front of the Ryman Auditorium. He caught the attention of the independent record label Plantation Records and signed a contract with the label."

He is a rare talent. Coe has unfairly been labeled a racist. A few of his songs are X-rated but on balance, although never fully embraced by the mainstream, he did have a modicum of commercial success and one of his hits, " You Never Even Called Me by My Name " reached # 8 on the charts in 1975.

Here, enjoy the " Perfect Country and Western Song ".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAOVRkSCWmg

Here is another one of his remarkable hits . ( "If That Ain't Country " ) Listen.... and you'll learn something about country music you didn't see on the PBS series.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tScA5iZg81I

And finally " Long Haired Redneck " is a classic. After hearing about his life and career I feel sure you will appreciate it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3_qUDwF-Ns

I saw him at Ziggy's in Winston-Salem decades ago. An unforgettable experience.


Fred, I'm glad you got to see him live. Thanks...

Some more history about this not so mainstream country entertainer, for those of you interested .

"By 1976 the outlaw country movement was in full swing as artists such as Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson were finally enjoying massive commercial success after years of fighting to record their music their own way. Coe, however, was still somewhat of an outsider, almost too outlaw for the outlaws, a predicament summed up well by AllMusic:

His wild, long hair; multiple earrings; flashy, glitzy rhinestone suits; Harley Davidson biker boots; and football-sized belt buckles had become obstacles to getting people to take him seriously as a recording artist. Other singers continued to record and succeed with his material, but the author himself – who was as good a singer as almost anyone and better than most – languished in obscurity. Rather than tone it down, Coe characteristically shoved the stereotypes in their faces. He retired the Mysterious Rhinestone Cowboy persona and billed his new album as "David Allan Coe Rides Again as the Longhaired Redneck," something equally off-putting to institution types.

Longhaired Redneck was Coe's third album for Columbia in three years and the first where he wrote or co-wrote all the songs, and the outlaw country zeitgeist was summed up well in the title track, which recounts playing in a dive "where bikers stare at cowboys who are laughing at the hippies who are praying they'll get out of here alive." The song, which has an unmistakable rock swagger, features Coe performing an impressive imitation of Ernest Tubb, making it irretrievably country as well, illustrating the dichotomy of what was being referred to as "progressive" country music. Coe later explained, "It was terminology that I'd made up at the time. I was trying to tell people that not everybody with long hair was a hippie. Not everyone was the kind of person that thought you could punch them out, take their money and that they'd say, 'I won't do nothin' about it.'"

By 1977, the outlaw movement was nearing its apex, having seen the release of Willie Nelson's blockbuster LP Red Headed Stranger and Wanted! The Outlaws, country music's first platinum selling album. Coe considered himself as integral as anyone in the evolution of the outlaw country genre, and began saying so in his music. As noted in AllMusic's review of the album, "On Rides Again, by trying to make a conscious outlaw record and aligning himself with the movement's two progenitors on the opening track, 'Willie, Waylon, and Me'... Coe already set up self-parody unintentionally – something that continued to curse him." The songs on Rides Again crossfade without the usual silences between tracks, which was unusual for country music, and feature Coe's heavily phased guitar. Coe was also permitted to use his own band on several tracks, a major concession for Columbia at the time. Some of his peers, however, resented Coe placing himself in such exalted company, and felt he was exploiting his relationship with his fellow outlaws. Jennings drummer Richie Albright called Coe "a great, great songwriter. A great singer. But he could not tell the truth if it was better than a lie he'd made up. Waylon didn't make him comfortable enough to hang around. But Willie did. I was around Willie quite a bit and David Allan was with him eighty percent of the time. Willie allowed him to hang around." Coe managed to maintain friendships with both Waylon and Willie, despite Jennings's cool treatment of him at times. In his autobiography, Jennings mentions Coe once (in a chapter titled "The Outlaw Shit"), calling him "the most sincere of the bunch"[13] of bandwagon jumpers, but contends "When it came to being an Outlaw, the worst thing he ever did was double parking on Music Row," adding:

He wrote a song called "Waylon, Willie, and Me" at the same time he started taking potshots at us in interviews, saying that Willie and Kris [Kristofferson] had sold out, that I was running around wearing white buck shoes, and none of us were really an Outlaw. He was the only Outlaw in Nashville…I saw him in Fort Worth and I put my finger right up to his chest. "You gotta knock that shit off," I told him. "I ain't never done anything to you." "They just set us up," he protested. "You know I love you, Waylon"…He could drive me crazy, but there was something about David that pulled at my heartstrings.

Throughout the rest of the decade, Coe released a string of strong recordings, some of which, like Human Emotions (1978) and Spectrum VII (1979), were concept albums with each side of the LPs given their own theme. 1978's Family Album contains Coe's rendition of "Take This Job and Shove It," a song he composed which had been released by Johnny Paycheck in October 1977 and became a monumental success. The song is a first person account of a man who has worked for fifteen years with no apparent reward, and it struck a chord with the public, even inspiring a 1981 film of the same name. Although Coe's name was credited, the assumption by many that Paycheck, an acclaimed songwriter himself, composed the tune would feed into Coe's growing bitterness with the industry as another one of his peers exploded in popularity. Coe was further disenchanted when pop star Jimmy Buffett accused him of plagiarising his hit "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes" for Coe's "Divers Do It Deeper." (Coe had been incorporating Caribbean sounds into his music, as is evident on his 1979 album Compass Point.) By 1980, Coe and producer Billy Sherrill set out to reach a wider audience and bring Coe back to the charts by inviting other singers and musicians to take part in the sessions for what would become I've Got Something to Say, which would boast contributions from Guy Clark, Bill Anderson, Dickey Betts (from The Allman Brothers Band), Kris Kristofferson, Larry Jon Wilson, and George Jones. This process was continued the following year on Invictus (Means) Unconquered, with Sherrill couching the songs in tasteful instrumentation that put the spotlight squarely on Coe's voice. (In his AllMusic review, Thom Jurek calls the LP "arguably the finest album of his career")[9] By 1981, the outlaw country movement waned as the slicker "urban cowboy" era took hold in country music, typified by Johnny Lee's hit "Lookin' for Love," which critic Kurt Wolff panned the song as an example of "watered-down cowboy music."[14] Coe was an important figure in the outlaw country genre, but judging by the sound of his recordings from this period, he had no interest in the trendy urban cowboy phase. Refusing to give into the flavor-of-the-month generic country "talent," Coe stuck to what he knew and sharpened the edges.[9] However, while scoring some moderate hits, mainstream success remained elusive. Coe's highest charting single during this period was "Get a Little Dirt on Your Hands," a duet with Bill Anderson, which peaked at #45. As if aware of the compromises he had been making, Coe chose to close out his 1982 album D.A.C. with a suite of three songs that contained a short prologue:

Makin' records is, uh, somethin' that's kind of hard for me to do because I'm an entertainer. So I made my mind up a few albums ago that I was gonna do so many songs for the record company and so many for myself...We've turned the lights down low in the studio and the musicians have thrown away their little cheat sheets. So this is for all you David Allan Coe fans that's been with me for a long time who didn't really care if I got played on the radio or not. "

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