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David Allan Coe

David Allan Coe

Biography

David Allan Coe is one of country music's most outspoken renegades. He was a juvenile delinquent who had run-ins with the law before hitting his double digits and consequently, spent most of his twenties behind bars. Upon his release, Coe immediately pursued a country music career, releasing his first album, Penitentiary Blues in 1968, featuring songs mostly about living life in prison. These early recordings hinted at the Outlaw Country style in his songwriting, but when he nabbed a touring spot opening for the rock band Grand Funk Railroad, Coe cleverly garnered a cult following by outrageous onstage antics such as arriving on stage via his Harley Davidson while decked out in a flashy Nudie suit. The early 1970s found him writing a handful of hits for stars such as Willie Nelson, George Jones, and Johnny Paycheck who hit pay dirt with Coe's "Take This Job And Shove It." The success of these hits landed Coe a record deal with Columbia with whom recorded 26 albums, charting with moderate-to-good success, embracing the outlaw image in his songs and personal life, Coe was looked down upon by many of his more conservative contemporaries. Of course, releasing racist records on underground indie labels didn't do much to further his reputation, either.
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