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Story Behind the Song: ‘Take This Job And Shove It’ by Johnny Paycheck

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The song “Take This Job And Shove It” was a huge hit for Johnny Paycheck. It spent two weeks at number one in January of 1978.

It was immediately something that every working person could connect with. It was a song about a man who worked hard at a job for a long time without much recognition.

You might say we all considered it our working life anthem.I always felt scared when I played it on my radio shows because I worried the boss would think I was playing it to him.

Another thing that just made the song real, was the fact that the guy singing about working at a job had the name Paycheck.

Even though a lot of people just assumed Paycheck wrote it because he sounded like he was really delivering the shove it message when he sang the song, he didn’t have anything to do with writing it.

David Allan Coe wrote the song. Coe even became frustrated that people thought Paycheck wrote it.

Where did Coe come up with the idea for the song? It happened when someone offered him a job as a fireman. His response was, “They can take that job and shove it!” He was just joking, but it inspired him to write the song.

Coe took it to producer Billy Sherrill. Billy looked at it and immediately pegged it as a perfect song for Paycheck to record.

Paycheck claimed it was the easiest thing he ever recorded. It was his only number one hit of his career.

One more note is, there was an interesting song on the B-side called “Colorado Kool-Aid” that also spent multiple weeks on the chart with moderate success.

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