David Allan Coe is one of the last pioneers of outlaw country-western music, and he has the scars to prove it. Traveling the country for decades, Coe has built a reputation as one of the most respectable touring acts of the genre. A native of Akron, Coe knows hard times -- he served multiple sentences in Ohio prisons and has spent years battling a reputation for racism. Coe recorded two X-rated albums mid-career, one of which contained a song titled "Nigger Fuckers," which led even some of his fans to call him a bigot. Soon after, word spread that David Allan Coe may have recorded as Johnny Rebel, the outlaw-country singer whose catalog was supported solely by racially charged anthems recorded during the civil rights movement.
Legal issues and scandals aside, Coe has no doubt laid a heavy hand on the country-music industry -- he has penned tunes for the likes of Johnny Cash, Tammy Wynette, and Waylon Jennings. His most influential hit was sung by the late Johnny Paycheck, the historic "Take This Job and Shove It." While his own recorded work isn't so famous, it shouldn't be overlooked -- "Would You Be My Lady" and the bar-room classic "You Never Even Call Me by My Name" remain the perfect soundtrack for a night of NASCAR and Bud Light.