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Whatever Happened to Johnny Paycheck?

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There are, of course, names that are legendary in the annals of country music history. Hank Williams. Marty Robbins. Buck Owens. Johnny Cash. Willie Nelson. Donald Lytle.

Donald Lytle?

Well, you know Donald Lytle better by his stage name: Johnny Paycheck.

While Johnny Paycheck had become “known” in the 1960’s for being a member of Ray Price‘s legendary Cherokee Cowboys Band and for writing Tammy Wynette‘s first chart hit “Apartment Number 9″, it was the year of 1977 that vaulted Johnny to super stardom.

The year 1977 was the year of “Take This Job And Shove It”.

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The David Allan Coe penned song became more than a classic, it became a working man’s anthem.  Johnny had several huge hits, but he will forever be remembered for two things: 1) “Take This Job And Shove It”, and 2) One of the leaders of country music’s “Outlaw Movement”.  Johnny was quoted as saying “To me, an outlaw is a man that did things his own way, whether you liked him or not. I did things my own way”.

And sometimes doing things his own way wasn’t the best for Johnny Paycheck. In 1985 he was convicted of shooting a man in an Ohio lounge and sent to jail. After 22 months in prison, Johnny resumed his career which essentially lasted until the late 1990’s. Suffering from emphysema and asthma, Johnny passed away in 2003 at the age of 64.

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