Grand Ole Opry to Tribute Johnny Paycheck


Perhaps it’s fitting that a performer named “Johnny PayCheck” had to earn every single square inch of recognition he ever received, and still probably never received his fair due. Though he’s best known for his massive #1 hit “Take This Job and Shove It” written by David Allan Coe that has since gone on to become one of the best-known country songs of all time, he had scores of other songs that should be just as popular.

The charts might not reflect it, but time has proven that songs like “11 Months and 29 Days,” “I’m The Only Hell (Mama Ever Raised),” and “Colorado Kool-Aid” are PayCheck classics too. He did get to #2 on the charts with “She’s All I Got” and “Mr. Lovermaker,” but PayCheck was always a little too rough around the edges for superstardom, even though he’s a superstar in the minds of many country fans.

One place that paid proper due to PayCheck was the Grand Ole Opry, which made him a member in 1997, well after his popular career had expired, but as PayCheck was becoming a proper country legend. Now on Thursday, May 9th, the Opry will toast PayCheck as part of their Opry Country Classics series.

Scheduled to perform at the tribute are Jamey Johnson, William Michael Morgan, The Gatlin Brothers, Georgette Jones, Chris Janson, Johnny PayCheck’s son and fellow performer John PayCheck, and Jesse Keith Whitley, son of Keith Whitley and Lorrie Morgan. It will be hosted by Larry Gatlin, who hosts the Opry Country Classics series.

The tribute to Johnny PayCheck will also officially be the Opry debut for his son John PayCheck, who has been stepping up more and more as a performer in recent years. He just released a new single “More Days Behind” and will be doing his first full scale tour this upcoming summer.

Born Donald Eugene Lytle, he started his career under the name Donald Young, singing harmonies for numerous artists including George Jones, and playing bass and steel guitar before his career took off in the early ’70s. PayCheck died in 2003 at the age of 64.

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