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David Allan Coe Biography


The Essential David Allan Coe album cover

David Allan Coe - The Essential David Allan Coe

Image Courtesy of Columbia Records

David Allan Coe Basic Facts:

Name: David Alan Coe
Birthday: September 6, 1939
Birthplace: Akron, Ohio

Country Style: Outlaw Country

David Allan Coe Quotes:

(About country music) "I didn't really care for ... country music until people like Kris Kristofferson ... started writing songs. They had a little more to say than just, 'Oh baby I miss you,' or whatever. I don't do anything halfway."

(About outlaw country) "The reason that Nashville called us outlaws was because they had taken Ray Price and added all of these strings to his music... they were lookin' for crossover music to reach a larger audience and make more money. We did not wanna do that... we wanted to record with just our bands."

Musical Influences:

Hank Williams, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens

Artists Influenced by David Allan Coe:

Urban Legends about David Allan Coe -- True or False:

  • Legend: Coe secretly recorded racist records under the name Johnny Rebel.
    False -- Although Coe has recorded songs with racial slurs (notably "If that Ain't Country"), the Johnny Rebel records are not him. For what it's worth, Coe maintains he is not and never has been a racist.
  • Legend: Coe served time on Death Row for killing a fellow inmate.
    False -- Coe made this statement in interviews, but no one has backed up the story -- including prison officials and a Rolling Stone reporter.
  • Legend: Coe once belonged to a motorcycle gang
    True -- Coe was a member of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club in the '70s.

Best David Allan Coe Songs:

David Allan Coe Biography:

Like Merle Haggard before him, David Allan Coe served time in prison before setting his dreams on becoming a country music star. Coe headed to Nashville in 1967 and found his first big success over five years later -- as a songwriter. Coe wrote Tanya Tucker's controversial hit "Would You Lay with Me (In a Field of Stone)."

In 1975 Coe came into his own as a solo artist with the self-proclaimed perfect country-western song, "You Never Even Called Me By My Name," and later the Outlaw anthem "Willie, Waylon and Me." He experienced success as a songwriter once more with Johnny Paycheck's "Take this Job and Shove It" in 1977.

While part of the Outlaw country movement, Coe was even more extreme than many of his counterparts -- releasing the sexually explicit albums Nothing Sacred and Underground.

After hitting a dry spell, Paycheck returned in the '80s with the mainstream hits "Mona Lisa Lost Her Smile" and "The Ride."

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