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Dwight Yoakam Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (41) | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 23 October 1956Pikeville, Kentucky, USA
Birth NameDwight David Yoakam
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Since the start of his music career, Dwight Yoakam has proven he's more than just another guy with a guitar and a hat. He has risen from hot country star to being one of country music's biggest influences. While doing that, he has also become a critically acclaimed actor. Dwight Yoakam was born in the coal mining community of Pikeville, Kentucky, October 23, 1956. Soon after his birth, his family moved to Columbus, Ohio, where he was raised. As part of the Drama Club in his days at Northland High School in Columbus, he acted in school plays. He played Helen Keller's brother in his sophomore year in the school's production of "The Miracle Worker." He followed that his Junior year playing the lead as Charlie in "Flowers for Algernon." He capped off his high school acting career as Richard Bravo in The "Demon Seed." In 1977, Dwight moved to Nashville to pursue a career in music. At the time, Nashville was moving away from the traditional country sound that he was playing. After a brief time there, he moved to California, which was more receptive to the music he was doing. He hooked up with producer/guitar virtuoso Pete Anderson in 1982. That began a musical relationship that became country music's equivalent to rock's Glimmer Twins (Mick Jagger and Keith Richards). Financial backing to make a high-quality recording came from Dwight's sister and brother-in-law, an insurance check that was meant to fix Dwight's El Camino and money raised from a benefit classical music concert staged by UCLA music professor Dr. Robert Winter. With the EP (extended play) that captured the "Dwight Yoakam sound." In 1984, Dwight released the six-song EP "Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc." on the independent Oak label, and then hit the road with such artists as Los Lobos and Violent Femmes. Playing traditional country music, Dwight gained a following among not only country fans but punk rockers and rockabilly fans as well. This eclectic fan base brought him to the attention of many record labels. Warner Brothers signed him to its newly revived Reprise Record label in 1985. The EP's title and tracks were kept intact and more songs added to make a full album. At the time, country music was in the waning days of its Urban Cowboy (1980) phase, and fans of country were hungry for something "new." This new sound was a return to a more traditional style that had been abandoned when John Travolta put on a cowboy hat. After establishing himself in the music industry, Dwight set his sights on his second love, acting. In 1991 he appeared as a stuntman/country singer in an episode of P.S.I. Luv U (1991). This became the beginning of his professional acting career. In 1992, he appeared on the big screen for the first time in the Nicolas Cage/Dennis Hopper film Red Rock West (1993). In 1993, Dwight released what is considered his masterpiece, the album "This Time." He supported the album with a tour that lasted over a year and covered the world. In 1994, he received his first Grammy for the album's single, "Ain't That Lonely Yet." In 1996, he co-starred in Billy Bob Thornton's film Sling Blade (1996). His work as the evil Doyle Hargraves left audiences speechless and critics hailing his performance. Dwight was included with the cast who were among the nominees for "Best Cast" by the Screen Actors Guild awards. As the 1990s drew to a close, Dwight proved that his music didn't have to suffer as he pursued more ventures into movies. While filming The Newton Boys (1998), he wrote what many consider his most personal album, "A Long Way Home." All the tracks were written solely by Dwight. He began 1999 with a Grammy win for his contribution to the track "Same Old Train" from the various artists' album "Tribute to Tradition." He then added two new items to his resume: director and screenwriter. In South of Heaven, West of Hell (2000), he not only starred, he made his directorial debut with a screenplay he authored. Dwight Yoakam continues to prove that he is able to successfully have careers in both film and music, without either profession suffering.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Zeny

Trivia (41)

Attended and graduated from Northland High School in Columbus, Ohio (1974).
While on location in Texas shooting the film The Newton Boys (1998), he wrote the songs he used for the album "A Long Way Home" (1998).
Johnny Cash called Yoakam his favorite modern country artist.
Sang a cover of "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen. This was meant to be used only as a jingle in a television commercial for the Gap's blue jeans, but there was such a huge demand for the song, he ended up releasing this as a single.
Best subject in school was history, and worst subject was math.
Dwight was injured while filming Panic Room (2002). He burst a bursa sac on his elbow, hyper-extended both his thumbs, and had a few cracked ribs.
Self taught on playing the guitar.
Born in the same city as Patty Loveless.
Played the drums in his high school's marching band.
Has two dogs, Luke and Uma.
Is a vegetarian.
Studied history and philosophy at Ohio State University.
Injured while filming Hollywood Homicide (2003). He cut his index finger on a police barricade. He went to Cedars Sinai Hospital and needed four stitches in his finger.
Honored with the Governors' Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in Frankfort, Kentucky.
Received an honorary degree from Ohio Valley University in Vienna, West Virginia on May 7, 2005. In addition to giving a speech, he congratulated each graduate personally, and the mayor gave him the key to the city.
Bought his famous cowboy hat in 1979 for less than $50.
Was announced as the CMA International Artist Achievement Award winner for 2007 at the 41st CMA Awards.
Won a Grammy Award for "Ain't That Lonely Yet" (1993).
Los Lobos was the first band to take Dwight on tour as an opening act.
Gibson Guitars issued a Dwight signature acoustic guitar called the Y2K. A very limited amount was manufactured.
In 1995, he toured Australia for the very first time in support of his CD "Gone".
Made his big screen acting debut in Red Rock West (1993) with Nicolas Cage.
Made his television acting debut on the short-lived crime drama P.S.I. Luv U (1991).
Received the Premiere Performance Award at the 57th Annual Motion Picture Club Awards for his role as Doyle Hargraves in Sling Blade (1996).
Won his second Grammy Award in "Best Country Collaboration" for "Same Old Train" (1999).
Buck Owens gave Dwight a 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville to congratulate him on his first number one song.
Inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame on February 21, 2008.
Broke the Tonight Show record of musical guest appearances on May 15, 2008.
U.S. Route 23 was the subject of Dwight's song "Readin', Rightin', Route 23". The stretch of U.S. Route 23 that runs through Floyd County, Kentucky where Dwight lived as a child and often visited after moving to Ohio is named in his honor. It is known as the Dwight Yoakam Highway. The entire stretch of U.S. Route 23 that runs through Kentucky is known as the Country Music Highway, with each stretch through the connecting counties named in honor of a local country music star.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on June 5, 2003.
Dwight created and owns Dwight Yoakam's Bakersfield Biscuit Brand food line, which is sold in Walmart, Walgreens, Giant, Food City, Meijers, and other supermarket chains nationwide.
Used to have a Weimaraner named Jack, and a blue tick hound named Annie.
Has been living in Los Angeles, California since 1977.
Was born with colic and has motion sickness.
Has performed in Italy for the first time in 1994.
Born by emergency C-section. The doctor had to use forceps. As a result, Dwight has a scar on his forehead.
Named after President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Won the Top New Male Vocalist of the Year award at the 1987 ACM Awards.
Honored with the Pioneer Award at the 2012 ACM Awards.
Has a younger brother (Ronald) and younger sister (Kimberly).
His father, David Yoakum, passed away October 19, 2012.

Personal Quotes (5)

[on his injuries while filming Panic Room (2002)] I got a little bashed up, but thanks to David [Fincher] it was well worth it. I burst a bursa sac on my elbow and cracked ribs and (suffered) hyper-extended thumbs.
I save a lot of things, but I weed through them from time to time. I like to think of myself as an orderly pack-rat.
I've been to Graceland twice - Priscilla and Sam Phillips gave me a personal tour.
I'm an info junkie and watch CNN a lot. Also Nick at Nite - mostly "The Honeymooners".
[When asked about bull riding] I like to stay as far away as possible!

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