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Johnny Paycheck
(Country by Roger Ryan)

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Grand Ole Opry member Johnny Paycheck died recently at Vanderbilt University Medical Centre,Nashville, after a lengthy battle with emphysema and asthma.

Paycheck, 64, was best known for his 1977 mega-hit "Take This Job and Shove It", which became a working man's anthem. Paycheck was performing at the age of five and became a professional musician by the time he was 15.

After a stint in the Navy in the '50's, he then became the bass and steel guitar player in George Jones' band The Jones Boys. He also played forFaron Young, Porter Wagoner and Ray Price. He was an accomplished songwriter, penning "Apartment No.9,"( Tammy Wynette's first hit and ACM Song of the Year) and Ray Price's hit"Touch My Heart."

In the '70's, Paycheck received two Grammy nominations for "Take This Job and Shove It" and "Don't Take Her, She's All I've Got." Other hits included "Slide Off of Your Satin Sheets," "The Outlaw's Prayer," "Fifteen Beers," "Old Violin," "Mr. Lovemaker," and a duet with George Jones on "You Can Have Her."

After a rocky 80's, Paycheck was back in the '90's with a new outlook, new band and new look and lease on life. On Nov. 8, 1997, Paycheck became a member of the Grand Ole Opry and made his last Opry appearance on May 15, 1998.

650 WSM radio personality Eddie Stubbs hosted a five-hour tribute to Paycheck during his show on Monday , Feb. 24. The tribute, featuring Paycheck recordings and archive interviews as well as stories as told by some of the Opry member's closest friends in the country music community, was broadcast on 650 WSM and on the Internet at

Country music star George Jones has donated a burial plot next to his own for Johnny Paycheck, who not only played in Jone's band but also recorded an album with him called Double Trouble. ``We all know and love each other, even though we don't get together. Anything of this nature, it's taken care of by friends,'' Jones told WSMV-TV in an interview broadcast last week. Friends said Paycheck died broke. He had been bedridden in a nursing home with emphysema and asthma. He was 64.

Article by Roger Ryan
March 2003
DJ of Radio Show
4 Silverdale Road,
Ballinlough, Cork.


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