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It has been a while since I did a post on famous Kentuckians.  This man needs to be added to my ongoing list. 

Dwight David Yoakam was born in Pikeville, Kentucky on October 23, 1956.   He learned to play guitar at the age of six and loved the music of Johnny Cash,  Hank Williams, and Buck Owens.  Dwight attended Ohio State University but dropped out to pursue a career in country music.

Yoakam hit Nashville in the 1970’s and found out his type of country rock music was not accepted.  Dwight headed out to California  and struck gold in the 1980s as a songwriter and country/rock artist.  His first full-length album, Guitars and Cadillacs,  was debuted in 1986 and was an instant sensation going platinum.  In 1988, Yoakam had his first number one hit with Streets of Bakersfield recorded with Buck Owens.

Dwight Yoakam branched out and began acting as early as 1993 in Red Rock West where he played a truck driver.  Dwight played a rodeo clown in the movie Painted Hero and an abusive drunk in Slingblade.   He wrote, directed and starred in South of Heaven, West of Hell. Dwight was in the movie Panic Room with Jodie Foster as well.

Some people might not know that Dwight Yoakam along with Modern Foods launched his own line of biscuits, chicken lickins fried chicken bits, and several other frozen foods based on his grandmother, Earlene’s Kentucky recipes.

I wrote another post earlier about this man and country music in Kentucky where I mentioned seeing him on our Kentucky Educational Television.  He told about his Kentucky roots and his aunt that moved away from the “holler”, did well and bought herself a cadillac.  When she drove it back to Eastern Kentucky everyone thought she was rich!  This was his inspiration for writing the song, Guitars and Cadillacs.  You can read the earlier post here:  Country Music in Kentucky.

We are proud to call Dwight Yoakam a famous Kentuckian.


8 Responses

  1. Yep, there is no doubt that he is one of the good guys.

  2. A wonderful post Judy, it’s good to hear of other people who have made the big time from one’s own territory.
    With a bit of luck I hope to come to Nashville in June to the Grand Ole Oprey to see my Irish favourite Daniel who is recording a programme for PBS.

    Have a grand week -end.

  3. I haven’t heard anything about him in awhile. We’ve had several that have made it big from KY.

    I just noticed your church sign!! That’s a good one!!!

  4. Hi, Judy. It’s nice to see a new addition to your Famous Kentuckians list! Y’all do have a lot of talented folks from Kentucky who have done well for themselves, especially in country and bluegrass music. I knew about Dwight Yoakam’s musical accomplishments, but didn’t know he was an actor, as well.

    Thanks for another enlightening post, Judy!

  5. Love the way you showcase your Kentucky talent.
    By the way…I answered your question on what to plant on your problem area.. embankment…in a post today.

  6. I will now have those songs, which I love, running through my head all day.

  7. Very nice tribute to Dwight, I like his songs. When young we were raised on country music. Too bad Nashville passed him over but he did great on his own.

  8. I LOVE Dwight! I have been in love with his music since a little kid but when I went to college it got worse! HAHA I remember sitting up late nights with friends listening to his music. He is so talented and an incredible song writer. I went to one of his concerts in Metropolis, Il. It was an outdoor concert of 3000 people. I think Anne, Amy and me were the youngest by about 30 years. We screamed our heads off and then later went to the casino with the band. HAHA GOOD TIMES!! GOOD TIMES!!

    Love you Mom!


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