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These Classics Are for the Working Man (and Woman)

Johnny Paycheck
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Country Music is a lot of things to a lot of people.  It’s one of the things I love about Country Music, especially Classic Country.

If you need a good “I’m going to get stupid drunk and cry” song, we got it. If you need a good “I love this women and I want to tell her I’ll love her forever” song, we got it. If you need a good “I can’t believe she left me” song, we got plenty of those, too.

Classic Country music is, more than anything, the ‘voice’ of the common man and woman.

I’ll bet there has been a time, at least once and probably more than once, that you left work and thought to yourself, “damn, I would love to just tell the boss to take this job and…”  Yeah, we all have somewhere, at sometime (oh, and if the boss is reading this, ah, I didn’t mean now!).

Well, in 1977 we finally had a “voice” for that too. You could leave work, get in your vehicle and there’d be a very good chance you could crank up the radio and sing along with Johnny Paycheck‘s working man (and woman) anthem “Take This Job And Shove It.”

The song was written by fellow “Outlaw” David Allan Coe.  Recorded in August 1977, it was released as the title cut of Johnny’s album in October of that year.

The single spent 18 weeks on the Country Chart’s, including 2 week at #1 (the only #1 hit Johnny had).  And there were plenty of pop/rock stations that played it, too.  After all, they probably felt the same sentiments from time to time.

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On an interesting note: the song that it replaced at #1 was Dolly Parton‘s beautiful “Here You Come Again.” Then, “Take This Job And Shove It” was itself replaced on the top by one of Country Music’s most beautiful love ballad’s, Ronnie Milsap‘s “What A Difference You’ve Made In My Life.”

But for 2 weeks in January, 1978, when this song was on top of the charts, we got to tell the Boss, “Hey Boss!  Take This Job And…”

But an anthem for the “Workin’ Man” wasn’t just the one song.  Nope, it Country Music there’s lots of ode’s to the working man (and woman!).  One of the greatest is Merle Haggard‘s “Workin’ Man’s Blues.”  While it’s not quite as ‘in your face’ as Paycheck’s, it pretty well tells the story.

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In country music we celebrate the working folks and say ‘God Bless You All’!

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