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In Focus: Johnny Paycheck

Nashville, 13.01.23

Focus on Johnny Paycheck

Born Donald Lytle in Ohio in 1931, country singer Johnny Paycheck was an outlaw before Willie Nelson, or Waylon Jennings, and before he was even a country singer. Moving to Nashville fresh out of the Navy in the early '50s, Paycheck spent almost two decades living life hard and fast, before finding success, even joining the Grand Ole Opry.

It could be said that Paycheck's life was that of a hard drinking, womanising, drug abuse, and criminality, occasionally punctuated by a successful music career. 1977's "Take This Job and Shove It" was his biggest commercial hit, and acts as a microcosm of worldview and songwriting. He was a man with a "fuck you if you don't like it" attitude to authority. A nihilist cowboy, weary of the ranch.