Johnny Paycheck
Date of Birth
May 31, 1938

Biography

A wild-eyed, country music singing rebel whose blue-collar anthem "Take This Job and Shove It" inspired a popular 1981 film of the same name, Johnny Paycheck recorded 70 albums over the course of his enduring and sometimes troubled career. Born Donald Lytle in Greenfield, OH, the future country star was strumming a guitar by the age of six and embarking on a professional music career by 15. Joining the Navy in the '50s, the rowdy sailor was court-martialed and jailed for two years following an incident in which he punched an officer. Moving to Nashville, he played bass for such luminaries as George Jones and Faron Young. Although he would record as Donald Young for Decca and Mercury early in his music career, it wasn't long before Lytle changed his name to Johnny Paycheck (capitalizing the "C" in the mid-'90s) and began to climb the charts with such hits as "Don't Take Her, She's All I Got" and "Slide Off Your Satin Sheets." Following such headline-grabbing incidents in which he shot a man in the head outside an Ohio bar and filed for bankruptcy in the early '90s, Paycheck's reputation as a drug-fueled madman came to a head, although his later years at the Grand Ole Opry (beginning in 1997) found him mellowed and changing paths while coming to terms with his wild past. He died February 18, 2003, in a Nashville nursing home as a result of emphysema and asthma. He was 64. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Provided by Rovi