Country Blast From The Past: “Every Which Way But Loose”
He's best known for westerns, particularly what's called 'spaghetti westerns'. And then he's perhaps second best known for his 'shoot first and ask questions later' movies (think 'Dirty Harry'). So in 1978 it was maybe a bit uncharacteristic for Hollywood Superstar Clint Eastwood to star in an offbeat comedy.
But this is Clint Eastwood, after all, so it became a mega-hit. And 'Every Which Way But Loose' introduced a massive audience to artist's that they weren't familiar with. People like Charlie Rich, Mel Tillis and most particularly, Eddie Rabbit.
The movie was layered with great country music, with the soundtrack's title cut topping the country chart early in 1979. It became Eddie's ninth Top 10 hit and his fourth number one.
Country Music Hall of Famer Mel Tillis scored his fifth Number One hit with 'Coca Cola Cowboy'.
By the time 'Every Which Way But Loose' came out Charlie Rich was one of country music's biggest stars, having topped the charts with 'The Most Beautiful Girl' and 'Behind Closed Doors'. His contribution to the film 'I'll Wake You Up (When I Get Home)' became a Top 5 country smash.
While movie critic's were not, uh, real big on the film, 'Every Which Way But Loose' became Eastwood's biggest grossing film to date and the second highest grossing film of 1978.
Oh, and by the way, the film also spawned a sequel, 1980's 'Any Which Way You Can', which also featured a number one country smash, David Frizzell and Shelly West's 'You're The Reason God Made Oklahoma'.