23 October 1956, Pikeville, Kentucky, USA. Much of Yoakams hip honky tonk music paved the way for rock audiences accepting country music in the 90s. A singer-songwriter with an early love of the honky-tonk country music of Buck Owens and Lefty Frizzell, he has always shown a distinct antipathy towards the Nashville pop/country scene.
Yoakam, the eldest of three children, moved with his family to Columbus, Ohio, when he was two. After an abortive spell studying philosophy and history at Ohio State University, he briefly sought Nashville success in the mid-70s, but his music was rated too country even for the Grand Ole Opry. He relocated to Los Angeles in 1978 and worked the clubs, playing with various bands including Los Lobos, but for several years he worked as a truck driver. In 1984, the release of a self-financed mini-album on the Oak Records label led to him signing for Reprise Records. Two years later, following the release of an...
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