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Biography

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Overview (4)

Date of Birth 31 May 1938Greenfield, Ohio, USA
Date of Death 18 February 2003Nashville, Tennessee, USA  (emphysema and asthma)
Birth NameDonald Eugene Lytle
Height 5' 5" (1.65 m)

Mini Bio (1)

To many of his fans, country music singer Johnny PayCheck was the epitome of the hell-raising outlaw singer. He was known as much for his string of classic country hits as he was for his scrapes with the law. Born Donald Eugene Lytle on May 31, 1938, in Greenfield, Ohio, PayCheck began his career playing in backing bands for George Jones, Ray Price, Porter Wagoner, Faron Young. He also proved himself to be an adept songwriter, writing Tammy Wynette's debut hit, 1966's "Apartment No. 9." PayCheck broke onto the country music charts in 1965 with his first bonafide "A-11." But it wasn't until 1971 that he truly arrived on the scene with "She's All I Got", which peaked at No. 2 that December on Billboard magazine's country singles chart. His follow-up, the raw, soulful "Someone to Give My Love To" from the spring of 1972, also made the top five. Other hits followed, including "Mr. Lovemaker" (1973), "Song and Dance Man" (1974), and 1977's "Slide off Your Satin Sheets" and "I'm the Only Hell (Mama Ever Raised)." But it was his blue-collar anthem, "Take This Job and Shove It", that made Johnny a hero to the working class. "Take This Job and Shove It" was PayCheck's only No. 1 hit on Billboard's country singles chart, spending two weeks there in January 1978; the song also inspired a hit movie of the same name.

Unfortunately, PayCheck was just as well known in the court system, but not as a singer. Among his troubles with the law: He spent time in a military prison in the 1950s for assaulting an officer; and in 1989, was sentenced to prison (he served two years) in connection with a shooting of a man during a barroom quarrel in Ohio.

But to his fans and a legion of younger country singers, Johnny PayCheck will always be known as the epitome of the outlaw country singer who gave the genre some of its best-loved hits and lived life on his own terms.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Brian Rathjen <briguy_52732@yahoo.com>

Spouse (2)

Sharon Rae (1969 - 18 February 2003) (his death) (1 child)
Dinorah (1956 - 1965) (divorced) (1 child)

Trivia (22)

He served two years in prison for felonious assault 1989-1991.
Country singer and songwriter.
Is famous for his working man's anthem, "Take This Job and Shove It, a No. 1 hit on Billboard magazine's country singles chart in 1978. Other well-known hits include "(Don't Take Her) She's All I Got" (1971), "Someone to Give My Love To" (1972); and "Slide Off of Your Satin Sheets" and "I'm the Only Hell (Mama Ever Raised)" (both 1977).
Country singer Tracy Byrd re-recorded the Paycheck songs, "Someone to Give My Love To" and "(Don't Take Her) She's All I Got"; Byrd made both hits all over again.
Wrote Tammy Wynette's first country hit, "Apartment No. 9" (1966).
Recorded his first tracks under the name Donny Young.
He recorded 70 albums and had more than two dozen hit singles in his career.
He recorded for Decca and Mercury Records as Donny Young
He was a bass player for Porter Wagoner, Ray Price, Faron Young and George Jones.
His biggest hit was the workingman's anthem, "Take This Job and Shove It," which inspired a movie by that name, and a title album that sold 2 million copies.
In 2002, a PayCheck compilation album, "The Soul & The Edge: The Best of Johnny PayCheck," was released.
Took the name Johnny Paycheck in the mid-1960s about a decade after moving to Nashville to build a country music career. He began capitalizing the "c" in PayCheck in the mid-1990s.
He filed for bankruptcy in 1990.
He served in the Navy in the mid-1950s and was later court-martialed and imprisoned for two years, for hitting a naval officer.
He was sued by the IRS in 1982 for $103,000 in back taxes.
He and another ex-convict, country star Merle Haggard, performed at the Chillicothe Correctional Institute in Ohio while PayCheck was imprisoned there.
He began playing the guitar by age 6 and singing professionally by age 15.
Shot a man in 1985 with a .22-caliber pistol, grazing his head. After three years of appeals, he was sent to a medium-security prison in 1989, but not before becoming a born-again Christian and quitting alcohol, drugs and cigarettes.
Two of his early hits, "She's All I Got" (1971) and "Someone to Give My Love To" (1972) were re-made in the 1990s by country singer Tracy Byrd. Byrd's verson of "Someone to Give My Love To" was his debut single in 1993, while "She's All I Got" made the top 10 in 1996.
Adopted the Johnny PayCheck stage name in 1962.
"Take This Job and Shove It" was his only No. 1 hit (2 weeks in 1978), and was the inspiration for a hit movie of the same name. The song is among the few pre-1990 songs still played at modern country radio stations, usually at 5 p.m. Fridays to signal the end of the work week.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 415-417. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.

Personal Quotes (3)

I heard from fans constantly throughout the entire two years. The letters never stopped, from throughout the world. I looked forward to mail call every day. (After his release from prison)
I'm a man who believes that right is right and wrong is wrong. Treat me right, and I will give you my all. Treat me wrong, and I will give you nothing. They don't like me for that, but that's the way I am.
To me, an 'outlaw' is a man that did things his own way, whether you liked him or not. I did things my own way.

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