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About Dwight Yoakam

Dwight David Yoakam is an American country singer-songwriter, actor, and filmmaker. He first achieved mainstream attention in 1986 with the release of his debut album Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.. Yoakam had considerable success throughout the late 1980s onward, with a total of ten studio albums for Reprise Records. Later projects have been released on Audium , New West, Warner, and Sugar Hill Records.

His first three albums—Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc., Hillbilly Deluxe, and Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room—all reached number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. Yoakam also has two number-one singles on Hot Country Songs with "Streets of Bakersfield" and "I Sang Dixie", and twelve additional top-ten hits. He has won two Grammy Awards and one Academy of Country Music award. 1993's This Time is his most commercially successful album, having been certified triple-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America .

Yoakam's musical style draws from a wide variety of influences including neotraditional country, honky-tonk, Bakersfield sound, bluegrass music, country rock, and rockabilly. He is known for his distinctive tenor singing voice, unconventional musical image, and the lead guitar work of his longtime producer and bandleader Pete Anderson. Yoakam writes most of his own songs but has recorded many successful cover songs by a wide range of artists including Johnny Horton, Elvis Presley, Cheap Trick, The Blasters, Lefty Frizzell, and Queen. He has collaborated with Beck, John Mellencamp, k.d. lang, Ralph Stanley, and members of Alison Krauss & Union Station.

As an actor, Yoakam has appeared in the movies Red Rock West, Sling Blade, Panic Room, The Minus Man, and Wedding Crashers, as well as South of Heaven, West of Hell, which he wrote and directed. He also appeared in the TV series P.S. I Luv U and Under the Dome, as well as the Amazon Prime Video original series Goliath.

Dwight David Yoakam was born October 23, 1956, in Pikeville, Kentucky. He is the oldest of three children to David Yoakam and his wife, Ruth Ann Tibbs Yoakam. At the time of Yoakam's birth, his father was serving in the United States Army. After David Yoakam was discharged from the Army, the Yoakams moved to Columbus, Ohio. By this point the couple had a second son named Ronald and a daughter named Kimberly. Meanwhile, David supported his family by working at a Westinghouse Electric Corporation factory and later by ownership of a Texaco gas station. Yoakam's father had acquired a guitar manufactured by the Kay Musical Instrument Company while in the Army, and gave it to Yoakam after being unable to learn to play it himself. Although Yoakam later broke this guitar, he received another one as a Christmas present while he was in the fourth grade. He also wrote his first song around this point. As a child, Yoakam took influence from the music that his parents listened to on records as well as WMNI, then an AM country music radio station in Columbus. Among these records were compilations by Johnny Cash and Johnny Horton. According to his mother, the family would also sing songs to each other when on road trips to visit Yoakam's maternal grandparents. Yoakam himself also stated that he was influenced by rock and roll acts he had seen on television, such as Elvis Presley.

The Yoakam family moved to another neighborhood of Columbus in 1968, where Yoakam attended Northland High School. His mother encouraged all three of her children to join the school's band, in which Yoakam played drums. He also attended drama class at Northland High School, which led to him playing the role of Charlie in a production of Flowers for Algernon. Yoakam later attributed this performance as giving him more confidence performing in front of others. In his senior year of high school, Yoakam and some classmates formed a rock and roll band to compete in the school's talent show. The band became popular enough that they began performing at a number of private parties throughout Columbus as The Greaser Band. Yoakam attended Ohio State University, but quickly dropped out in order to focus on his musical career. While playing at a club in Gahanna, Ohio, Yoakam was approached by a man who promised a musical contract but later turned out to be a con artist. Despite this, Yoakam chose to move to Nashville, Tennessee, to continue pursuing a career in country music. He faced difficulty in the Nashville music scene, as his style was more indebted to honky-tonk and bluegrass music at a time when such sounds were not popular compared to country pop and Nashville sound.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dwight Yoakam", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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