DWIGHT YOAKAM FACTS:
Hometown: Betsy Layne, Kentucky
Albums: Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. (1986); Hillbilly Deluxe (1987); Buenas Noches From a Lonely Room (1988); If There Was a Way (1990); This Time (1993); Gone (1995); A Long Way Home (1998); Tomorrow's Sounds Today (2000); South of Heaven, West of Hell (2001); Population Me (2003); Blame the Vain (2005)
Awards: 1 Grammy Award
Hits: "Honky Tonk Man," "Streets of Bakersfield," "I Sang Dixie," "Ain't That Lonely Yet," "A Thousand Miles from Nowhere," "Fast as You"
Other: Has appeared in over a dozen movies, including Crank, Sling Blade, and Wedding Crashers.
In the country music world, few performers stand taller than Dwight Yoakam. With a career spanning more than 25 years and 21 albums, Yoakam has cemented his place among the most well known pioneers of country music, and he continues to enthrall fans across the country.
When Yoakam started performing in the '80s, his brand of country music was unlike anything the genre had seen before. With a heavy emphasis on honky tonk, many were reluctant to accept his unique style, but his debut album quickly changed everything. Released in 1986, Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. was an instant hit. Thanks to the popular tracks "Honky Tonk Man," "Guitars, Cadillacs" and "Heartache by the Number," the album reached the top of the country charts and performed moderately well on the mainstream charts as well.
Not content with just one number on album, Yoakam came back with the 1987 album Hillbilly Deluxe, which also valuted to the top of the country charts. The record spawned four top 10 hits including "Little Sister," "Little Ways" and "Please, Please Baby."
Yoakam then closed out an impressive run in 1988 with Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room, his third consecutive number one album on the country charts. Much like its predecessors, his record contained a number of popular hits including "Streets of Bakersfield" and "I Sang Dixie," both of which reached number one.
While he may not have been able to recreate that three-album run again, that's not to say that he faded from view. Throughout the '90s, Yoakam continued to put out popular albums that continually place in the top 10 on country charts. The 1993 album This Time reached number five and included several classic tunes including "Pocket of a Clown" and "Wild Ride," which was later covered by Kenny Chesney.
Over the next 15 years, Yoakam maintained his status within the country world by regularly pleasing fans with new material. In 2005, he released Blame the Vain, a return to form of sorts that earned rave reviews from critics and fans alike.
Whether or not you're a big country music fan, it's hard to deny the impact that Dwight Yoakam has had on the genre. He is often considered among the all-time greats, and will certainly not be going anywhere in the near future.
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