Singer, songwriter, Johnny Paycheck
Singer ~ Songwriter
birth name: Donald Eugene Lytle

Johnny Paycheck

May 31, 1938, Greenfield, OH ~ February 18, 2003, Nashville, TN

The first time that many people ever heard of Johnny Paycheck was in 1977, when his Take This Job And Shove It inspired one-man wildcat strikes all over America. The next time was in 1985, when he was arrested for shooting a man at a bar in Hillsboro, OH. That Paycheck is remembered for a fairly amusical novelty song and a violent crime (for which he spent two years in prison) is a shame, for it just so happens that he is one of the mightiest honky tonkers of his time. ~ Allmusic: Johnny Paycheck ~ retrieved June 26, 2013 © Allmusic

From the early to mid-1960s, he also enjoyed some success as a songwriter for others, with his biggest songwriting hit being Apartment No. 9, which served as Tammy Wynette's first chart hit in December 1966. ~ Wikipedia: Johnny Paycheck ~ retrieved June 22, 2013 © Wikipedia

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May 31, 1997 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (5) The Spice Girls, Say You'll Be There ~ #2 (2) The Notorious B.I.G., Hypnotize ~ #1 (1) Hanson, Mmmbop


One of the most influential country singers of the last 40 years and yet for stretches of his career a Nashville pariah who became more famous for what he did spectacularly wrong than what he did right. […] Though he made his first records in 1958, it was not until the mid-1970's that a movement came along that could accommodate his rowdy, jail-prone life. Suddenly, when certain country singers were marketed as Outlaws, it became acceptable for them to look like hippies and act like pirates. Mr. Paycheck fit right in next to Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, and David Allan Coe. ~ New York Times: Johnny Paycheck Obituary ~ February 20, 2003 © New York Times

Under his first professional name, Donny Young, he put himself about Nashville as a singer, songwriter, bass player and stage sidekick, working with such respected figures on the honkytonk side of country music as Ray Price, Faron Young and, for four years, George Jones. He acquired a manager, Aubrey Mayhew, who gave him his new name, and the two founded the Little Darlin' record label in 1966, which was briefly successful, thanks to hits like Paycheck's Lovin' Machine and Juke Box Charlie. “Johnny's songs then,” according to country music critic John Morthland, “were a monument to the honkytonks, their neon and jukeboxes, fast women and whisky.” By the end of the decade, however, illness and alcohol and drug abuse had virtually put Paycheck out of the business. None the less, his Nashville friends recognised his potential as a direct, virile singer, and one of them, the producer Billy Sherrill, got him cleaned up and signed to Epic Records. During the 1970s he had numerous hits. ~ The Guardian: Johnny Paycheck Obituary ~ March 3, 2003 © The Guardian

In 2012, no less than six Johnny Paycheck albums made it to the #DLW500 Dylan's 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time ~ #484 (Don't Take Her) She's All I Got ~ #459 Jukebox Charlie (1967) ~ #353 Wherever You Are (1969) ~ #329 11 Months & 29 Days (1976) ~ #223 Slide Off Of Your Satin Sheets (1977) ~ #12 The Lovin' Machine (1966)

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