Thursday, November 6, 2014

David Allen Coe

David Allen Coe, born in Akron, Ohio, in 1939, along with Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard, helped to pave the way for a country subgenre of music called “outlaw country.” The subgenre featured longhaired, denim-wearing heroes like Coe who embraced and expressed a rule-breaking philosophy of life.

Coe, like Merle Haggard, came by his outlaw image honestly. Both Coe and Haggard did lengthy stretches in prison prior to the start of their music careers. Coe’s debut album, released shortly after his release from prison, is a bluesy masterpiece. The album was titled, “Penitentiary Blues.” With songs like “Cell 33,” Dear Warden,” and “Death Row,” the album is musically and lyrically riveting.

Coe released many fine country albums during the Seventies including, “The Mysterious Rhinestone Cowboy” (1974), “Longhaired Redneck” (1976), “Texas Moon” (1977), and “Tattoo” (1978). In 1975, Coe scored a major country hit with a cover version of Steve Goodman’s, “You Never Even Call Me by My Name.”

Coe is still alive and well and active in music.

David Allen Coe-Photo by Matthew Woitunski

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