1938 - 2003
Born Donald Eugene Lytle on May 31, 1938, in Greenfield, Ohio, he was playing the guitar by age 6 and performing professionally by age 15.
After serving our country in the U.S. Navy, he moved to Nashville and began playing bass for the likes of Porter Wagoner, Ray Price and Faron Young and between 1962-66, was the front man and bass player for George Jones' band, the Jones Boys.
Under the name of Donny Young, he built some success as a songwriter having penned "Apartment No. 9," recorded by Tammy Wynette.
In 1966, he legally changed his name to Johnny Paycheck.
Like many of the country "outlaw" generation, he had his share of run ins with the law, drugs, alcohol and legal difficulties which translated into plain spoken songs that many listeners could relate to. Of his more than two dozen hit singles. His biggest hit was "Take This Job and Shove It"
"I think he spoke to the
blue-collar American public,"
"The world will miss a great
country singer, and I will miss my friend."
Johnny Paycheck became a member of
the Grand Ole Opry in 1997. He died on Feb. 19, 2003, following a lengthy
illness. He was only 64.
© 2003 Eddie Bear Productions